That’s pretty much the gist of the paper. Even controlling for things like age, confidence, etc., professors who are objectively deemed attractive are more positively assessed by their students.
It makes me curious, though. I wonder if there are premiums for being hot based on student and professor compositions. Perhaps departments like economics or physics–where the professors tend to be male and the students primarily male–see higher evaluations for their attractive female professors because they are more novel. Alternatively a sociology department, comprised of more women on both the professor and student side, might give a bigger boost to attractive male professors. The authors seem to acknowledge that this might be an issue given their strategy for selecting students to rate the professors’ appearance.
h/t Bill Easterly and the WSJ
Source: “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Teaching Evaluations, Beauty and Abilities,” Michela Ponzo and Vincenzo Scoppa, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica Working Paper (March) (via Ideas)