Judging a book by its cover: The influence of physical attractiveness on the promotion of regional leaders
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
We investigate the determinants of the promotion of Chinese municipal leaders and find that leaders with greater perceived attractiveness have a higher probability of promotion. Further exploration shows no correlation between a leader's facial traits and local economic growth under his jurisdiction. Essentially, a senior government official's look significantly affects his chance of promotion but says very little about his ability to advance the local economy. Our findings suggest that appearance-based discrimination exists when Chinese political hierarchy screens political elites.
Ling, L., Luo, D., & She, G. (2019). Judging a book by its cover: The influence of physical attractiveness on the promotion of regional leaders. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 158: 1-14.