Ugly people have disadvantage in salary, some careers

The success of realtors, like Annette Bening\'s character in \'\'American Beauty,\'\' depends on their attractiveness, according to this study. (AP)

Neal Augenstein,

WASHINGTON – It pays to be good-looking.

Research shows someone with above-average looks earns considerably more than an employee with a below-average appearance, according to Daniel Hamermesh, researcher and author of “Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful.”

Men’s looks matter more than women’s in terms of salary, he says, according to U.S. News & World Report. Unattractive people have a harder time breaking into certain occupations, including law and politics.

“Like any other skill that you don’t have, if you’re bad-looking, avoid the occupations where it matters,” Hamermesh says.

Other research shows attractiveness plays a role in selling real estate.

Good-looking agents sell properties at higher prices than less attractive agents, says Sean Salter, a professor of finance at Middle Tennessee State University, according to the same U.S. News report.

However, Salter found it takes attractive agents far longer to sell a house, perhaps because a higher asking price might require more time to find a suitable buyer.

“There’s a clear trade-off here,” says Salter.

Salter’s study also found good-looking agents take fewer listings and make fewer sales, which leads him to believe they’re using beauty as a crutch.

What do you think? Does having good looks produce a financial advantage?

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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