A study on how appearance affects pays scale:
A study by economists Daniel Hamermesh and Jeff Biddle uses survey data to examine the impact that appearance has on a person’s earnings. In each survey, the interviewer who asked the questions also rated the respondents’ physical appearance. Respondents were classified into one of the following groups: below average, average and above average.
Hamermesh and Biddle found that the “plainness penalty” is 9 percent and that the “beauty premium” is 5 percent after controlling for other variables, such as education and experience. In other words, a person with below-average looks tended to earn 9 percent less per hour, and an above-average person tended to earn 5 percent more per hour than an average-looking person. For the median male in 1996 working full-time, the respective penalty and premium amounted to approximately $2,600 and $1,400 annually. The corresponding penalty and premium for the median female worker are $2,000 and $1,100.
Economists Susan Averett and Sanders Korenman studied the effects of obesity on wages, using a sample consisting of individuals aged 16-24 in 1981 who were 23-31 in 1988. They showed that women who were obese according to their Body Mass Index (BMI) in both 1981 and 1988 earned 17 percent lower wages on average than women within their recommended BMI range… When comparing by race, the authors found a wage penalty for obesity among white women but no significant penalty for black women. Among white men, they found a much lower wage penalty for obesity than for their white female counterparts. A small positive relationship was actually found between obese black men and wages.