Imagine that you’re female, and that you’re involved in door to door fundraising. Would it be best (purely from a financial returns viewpoint) to be blonde or brunette? Assistant Professor Michael K. Price at the Department of Economics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville has undertaken an investigation :
“This study examines how a cosmetic attribute – hair color – impacts productivity in a door-to-door fund-raising experiment. Empirical results suggest that returns to physical appearance are, on average, greater for blonde females but depend critically on characteristics of the potential donor. Further, the returns to beauty for brunette solicitors accrue largely on the extensive margin whereas the returns to beauty for blonde solicitors accrue on the intensive margin.”
The professor’s full paper can be read here : ‘Fund-raising success and a solicitor’s beauty capital: Do blondes raise more funds?‘ (Economics Letters, 100, 2008, 351-354)
Clarification: A ‘Solicitor’ in this case means ‘One who solicits’ rather than ‘A member of the legal profession qualified to deal with conveyancing, the drawing up of wills, and other legal matters’.
In the wings: A forthcoming paper from Professor Guéguen : ‘Women’s Hair Color and Donation: Blondes Received More Money’ accepted for publication in the North American Journal of Psychology. (sadly, not yet available online)