Economics professors, Tina Das and Steve DeLoach published their paper, "Mirror, mirror on the wall: The effect of time spent grooming on earnings," in the Journal of Socio-Economics (Vol 40, 2011, pp 26-34).
The paper looks at the effect of personal grooming time on the wages of full-time workers. Das and DeLoach argue that “there is reason to believe that grooming affects labor market outcomes quite independently of beauty. For women, the evidence suggests that time spent grooming negatively affects earnings. This could be either because it reduces effort and productivity or because it signals negative worker attributes… For minority men, however, increased grooming time has an unambiguously positive and large effect on their earnings…it may be that grooming helps to counter negative stereotypes regarding minority men’s agreeableness, conscientiousness, or preferred social identity. Whatever the reason, these results indicate that workers have a strong incentive to think more about their grooming patterns and the underlying skills and traits it signals.”
The research began during Das’ sabbatical in the spring of 2007. The paper gained notoriety when an early version of the paper was cited in several articles and blogs, including The New York Times’ Freakonomics blog, Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal Online and The Chicago Tribune.
The Journal of Socio-Economics is an imprint of Elsevier Science.