Thursday, March 24, 2011


In 1974 the Journal of Political Economy published an article on the "The economics of brushing teeth" by Alan Blinder. It was a light-hearted (or tongue-in-cheek if you pardon the pun) model of how much people should invest in brushing teeth because of the effect it had on their income. It some respects it was prophetic given the subsequent interest on "beauty" and the labour market. A somewhat more serious paper on "The economic value of teeth" appeared recently.
If you are not convinced that perceptions of beauty may depend on matters dental then this latest paper, The influence of visible dental caries on social judgements and overall facial attractiveness amongst undergraduates Karunakaran, T., Gilbert, D., Asimakopoulou, K., Newton, T. Journal of Dentistry, 39(3), 212 - 217 is for you. A great paper, that you should all read. And I don't say just that because, curiously, it cites a paper of mine.

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