Raedwald alerts us to one of the great under-reported scandals of our age - the stigmatization of bald men. This poses the question: how serious an economic problem is this?
One the one hand, baldness is a disadvantage in politics; a slaphead has little chance of becoming PM or President in the UK or US, though Russians are more enlightened. And bald men are slightly under-represented among American CEOs.
On the other hand, though, the only study I know of a link between baldness and earnings - from Brazil (pdf) - found no statistically significant relationship between the two. It seems, then, that Raedwald is wrong to claim that baldness is a “disability.” It is less injurious to earnings than being ugly or short (pdf) - two things which, I suspect, are uncorrelated with slapheadery.
I suspect this is because of an omitted variables problem. Baldness is associated with high testosterone, and this has ambiguous effects upon earnings.
The good news is that it is associated (pdf) with risk-tolerance, which can lead people into high-paying financial careers; baldness is very common in the City. It is also associated with status-seeking behaviour, which can encourage people to climb greasy poles; the common claim that testosterone promotes aggression is not as true as you might think.
On the other hand, though, there’s some evidence that testosterone is associated with poorer social skills. And the status-seeking that can lead to high earnings also has a downside, as it can cause boys to follow their peers into acting lairy or taking drugs, thus jeopardising their intellectual attainment.
On balance, then, I don’t think baldness is either a positive or negative for earnings - though I think the cliché that “more research is required“ actually applies here. I cannot therefore agree with Raedwald that baldies need positive discrimination. But equally, nor is there a case for taxing us more heavily, as there is for tall men. Of course, we should celebrate being alopecially advantaged, but our superiority does not, generally speaking, yield a labour market advantage.