When he looks at China and India, Chambers sees two countries—each with more than a billion people—that are methodically focusing their efforts on improving the math and science skills of their top students. For every new engineering graduate in the U.S., which has a much smaller population to begin with, there are five in China, he says. “In China and India, they clearly understand that if they get the engineers, then they get the managers, then they get the companies, then they get the innovation."
Hamermesh and Biddle found that the “plainness penalty” is 9 percent and that the “beauty premium” is 5 percent after controlling for other variables, such as education and experience. In other words, a person with below-average looks tended to earn 9 percent less per hour, and an above-average person tended to earn 5 percent more per hour than an average-looking person.