Tamta Maridashvili, a Senior Research Fellow at the Social Policy Research Center, attended the Asian Think Tank Development Forum 2018 on August 22-23. The Forum took place at the Australian National University in Canberra, and provided a venue to share ideas and experiences among affiliated scholars on human capital and skills development for future jobs by attempting to explore the following questions: what are the most relevant examples of existing human capital and skills development programs and interventions that can boost the productivity and employability of workers for future jobs? What are the emerging technologies that are available to foster human resource and capital development and boost productivity? How effective are the existing programs? What is the role of regional cooperation in addressing the challenges associated with the development of human capital?

It is well-known (and, indeed, something of a staple of modern society) that physical attractiveness affects individual well-being and behavior in many different ways… but productivity in economic research would not often be considered one of them.

On June 8, Jan Fidrmuc, a Professor of Brunel University London, delivered a presentation at ISET entitled “Beautiful Minds: Physical Attractiveness and Research Productivity in Economics”. In his speech, Mr. Fidrmuc emphasized that physically attractive people usually receive significant benefits in their social lives, the labor market, and, most importantly, in the marriage market. Surprisingly enough, Mr. Fidrmuc also mentioned that academic achievements are also influenced by physical appearance; for instance, attractive female undergraduate students attending classes in person often better in college, as opposed to those who participate in online courses and are therefore unable to benefit from their appearance (Hernández-Julián and Peters, 2015).

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