Women's health * Men's health

Beauty makes you richer, happier

Beauty makes you richer, happier It raises your income and marriage prospects

Being good looking raises a persons level of happiness, according to research published by two economists.

This is because personal beauty improves economic outcomes, such as income and marriage prospects, which in turn increase happiness.

In other words, it is not beauty that gives happiness, but the effect it has on other people and its positive effect on your financial situation.

This is true for both women and men, but the direct effect is greater on women, as beauty affects their happiness independently of its impact on their income and marriage prospects.

The research, which was conducted by Daniel S. Hamermesh and Jason Abrevaya from the University of Texas, Austin, looked at data collected in five surveys conducted between 1971 and 2009 in the US, Canada, Germany and Britain.

They compared respondents' happiness levels with how attractive they were judged by interviewers.

They found that those who ranked in the top 15 per cent in terms of good looks were 10 per cent happier than those who were ranked at the bottom of the attractiveness scale.

"Personal beauty raises happiness. I know it's not terribly surprising, but what's neat is that nobody's ever documented this," Dr Hamermesh said.

This article was published on Fri 1 April 2011

Image © Yuri Arcurs - Fotolia.com

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