Symmetric advantage? Ballot type, gender, & facial attractiveness in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies
Hansen, Holley E.
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Some research suggests that candidates with a "pretty face" may have an electoral advantage, but it is less clear whether this advantage is due to the information shortcut taken by low-information voters, or whether it is due to deeper cognitive preferences that apply equally in low- and high-information voters. Mexico's Chamber of Deputies, which elects 300 members from single-member plurality districts and 200 members from political parties (based on the results of a closed-list proportional representation votes), offers a natural experiment to test this effect. We analyze photographs of the members of the 2015-2018 Mexican Chamber of Deputies to calculate facial symmetry, and while we fail to find a significant difference for male candidates, female candidates are judged based on their appearance, as SMD females have more symmetric features and PR females less symmetric ones than their male colleagues.