GOOD LOOKS=GOOD SCORES
In today's Economic Scene column, Hal Varian reports on research by UT-Austin economist Dan Hamermesh and, appropriately enough, one of his undergrads, Amy Parker, that looks at the correlation between professors' teaching ratings and their looks. Holding constant some obvious variables (sex, race, native English speaking), they find that better looking profs get higher ratings--and that the effect is more important for men than women. Of course, whether higher teaching ratings mean more learning is a difficult question.
A column I wrote on some of Hamermesh's earlier work on the labor economics of beauty is here. You can download all the papers from his website here. (This is the sort of link you can find in my online bibliography for TSOS.)