NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Robert Crosnoe

University of Texas at Austin
305 E. 23rd Street
Austin, TX 78712-1086

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Texas at Austin

NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2019O Youth and Beauty: Children’s Looks and Children’s Cognitive Development
with Daniel S. Hamermesh, Rachel A. Gordon: w26412
We use data from the 11 waves of the U.S. Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development 1991-2005, following children from ages 6 months through 15 years. Observers rated videos of them, obtaining measures of looks at each age. Given their family income, parents’ education, race/ethnicity and gender, being better-looking raised subsequent changes in measurements of objective learning outcomes. The gains imply a long-run impact on cognitive achievement of about 0.04 standard deviations per standard deviation of differences in looks. Similar estimates on changes in reading and arithmetic scores at ages 7, 11 and 16 in the U.K. National Child Development Survey 1958 cohort show larger effects. The extra gains persist when instrumenting children’s looks by their mother’s, and do not work thr...
 
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