Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Ratio Working Papers,
The Ratio Institute

No 161: The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Their Voters Reward it

Niclas Berggren (), Henrik Jordahl () and Panu Poutvaara ()
Additional contact information
Niclas Berggren: The Ratio Institute, Postal: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 3203, SE-103 64 Stockholm, Sweden
Henrik Jordahl: Institute of Industrial Economics, Postal: Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Panu Poutvaara: University of Munich and Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Postal: Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Poschingerstr.5 , 81679 Munich, Germany

Abstract: Previous research has established that good looking political candidates win more votes. We extend this line of research by examining differences between parties on the left and on the right of the political spectrum. Our study combines data on personal votes in real elections with a web survey in which 2,513 non-Finnish respondents evaluated the facial appearance of 1,357 Finnish political candidates. We find that political candidates on the right are better looking in both municipal and parliamentary elections and also have a larger beauty premium in municipal, but not in parliamentary, elections. We discuss possible explanations for these patterns, based on the fact that municipal candidates are relatively unknown.

Keywords: Beauty; Elections; Political candidates; Appearance; Ideology; Parties

JEL-codes: D72; J45; J70

28 pages, December 17, 2010

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nb_hj_pp_look_161.pdf PDF-file 

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