Beautiful people are generally happier and make more money than unattractive people, according to a study published online today.
In an analysis of five large surveys conducted over the last 40 years in four countries, economists at the University of Texas-Austin found that the largest contributor to an attractive person's extra happiness was the economic benefit he or she often experienced as a result.
"The majority of beauty's effect on happiness works through its impact on economic outcomes," said lead author Daniel Hamermesh, a long-time student of attractiveness. This and earlier studies conducted by Mr. Hamermesh have shown that physically attractive people earn more and marry people who also earn more, ThirdAge reports.
But in Hamermesh's most recent study he has found many beautiful women are just happier because they are beautiful. "Beauty affects their happiness independent of its impact on their incomes, marriage prospects and other outcomes," Hamermesh and his co-author Jason Abrevaya write in the study.
In men, the effect of beauty continues to be economic and indirect, he explained. Their attractiveness or beauty means they make more money or attract a beautiful spouse and that gives them increased happiness.
While most beautiful women also experience an economic benefit from their beauty. It is their beauty that gives them happiness. "It's just the sheer fact of being good-looking, walking down the street and feeling good about your self," he explained, according to healthzone.ca.