“We find that unattractive individuals commit more crime in comparison to average-looking ones, and very attractive individuals commit less crime in comparison to those who are average-looking,” say Naci Mocan of the University of Colorado and Erdal Tekin of Georgia State University. The Washington Post reports that Mocan and Tekin analyzed data from a federally sponsored survey of 15,000 high-schoolers who were interviewed in 1994 and again in 1996 and 2002.
The economists found that the long-term consequences of being young and ugly were small but consistent. Cute guys were uniformly less likely than averages would indicate to have committed seven crimes including burglary and selling drugs; the unhandsome were consistently more likely to have broken the law. Mocan and Tekin aren’t sure why criminals tend to be ugly. Other studies have shown that unattractive men and women are less likely to be hired, and that they earn less money, than the better-looking. Such inferior circumstances may steer some to crime.