National Bureau of Economic Research
The authors measure the impact of individuals' looks on life satisfaction/happiness. Using five data sets, from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Germany, they construct beauty measures in different ways that allow placing lower bounds on the effects of beauty. Beauty raises happiness: a one standard-deviation change in beauty generates about 0.10 standard deviations of additional satisfaction/happiness among men, 0.12 among women. Accounting for a wide variety of covariates, particularly effects in the labor and marriage markets, including those that might be affected by differences in beauty, the impact among men is more than halved, among women slightly less than halved.