Those Sexy Political Scientists; Unsexy Economists

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 1/30/2009 08:04:00 AM
Let's face it: those of us aspiring to a career in academia as political scientists don't get paid much compared to say, business instructors. However, I am glad to say that there are fringe benefits. Henry Brighouse over at Crooked Timber made a nice discovery recently that sheds light on this assertion via a research paper he found. Felton et al. (2006) make a serious study [nudge-nudge, wink-wink] concerning how instructor sexiness is related to teachers evaluations on Before turning to this activity, the authors made a ranking of the perceived hotness of various academic groups:
Angry face
I haven't the foggiest idea why religion is considered sexier that political science, but I am nonetheless chuffed that the latter discipline is among the top 5. Economists? They're seventh from dead last. I suppose self-regarding behavioral assumptions in economics--what normal people call being "self-centered" or "cheap"--doesn't do them any favors. At the risk of pushing the analogy too far, think of the difference between American practitioners: Barack Obama's charisma carries worldwide despite his fake internationalist and environmentalist credentials. I must grudgingly admit the man has charisma. Meanwhile, his honcho for the National Economic Council is...frumpy ol' Larry Summers. There's a real lesson here somewhere about the fringe benefits of being hot. So, I try hard to maintain myself at 12 stone, 7 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal ;-) TGIF...