The Blonde Effect is Golden

Last Updated Jul 30, 2010 8:08 AM EDT

One way to increase your earning power is to get more education. Here's another: Dye your hair blonde.

A recent HBR.org newsletter factoid points to a Queensland University of Technology study showing that blondes earn 7% more than brunettes. This effect "is as large as the wage boost from an additional year of education," according to a study of 13,000 caucasian women.

This blonde effect has coattails. "The men they marry earn an average of 6% more than husbands of women with other hair colors," according to the research authored by David W. Johnston.

This data courtesy The Daily Stat newsletter from Harvard Business Review.

(Golden blonde image by LadyDragonflyCC, CC 2.0)

  • Sean Silverthorne

    Sean Silverthorne is the editor of HBS Working Knowledge, which provides a first look at the research and ideas of Harvard Business School faculty. Working Knowledge, which won a Webby award in 2007, currently records 4 million unique visitors a year. He has been with HBS since 2001.

    Silverthorne has 28 years experience in print and online journalism. Before arriving at HBS, he was a senior editor at CNET and executive editor of ZDNET News. While at At Ziff-Davis, Silverthorne also worked on the daily technology TV show The Site, and was a senior editor at PC Week Inside, which chronicled the business of the technology industry. He has held several reporting and editing roles on a variety of newspapers, and was Investor Business Daily's first journalist based in Silicon Valley.