The right look: Conservative politicians look better and voters reward it

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Journal of Public Economics, ISSN: 0047-2727, Vol: 146, Page: 79-86

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Niclas Berggren; Henrik Jordahl; Panu Poutvaara
Elsevier BV
Economics, Econometrics and Finance
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article description
Since good-looking politicians win more votes, a beauty advantage for politicians on the left or on the right is bound to have political consequences. We show that politicians on the right look more beautiful in Europe, the United States and Australia. Our explanation is that beautiful people earn more, which makes them less inclined to support redistribution. Our model of within-party competition predicts that voters use beauty as a cue for conservatism when they do not know much about candidates and that politicians on the right benefit more from beauty in low-information elections. Evidence from real and experimental elections confirms both predictions.