A new study has found being popular pays off.
The National Bureau of Economic Research released a report Monday that found high school students in the top 20 percent of popularity earned 10 percent more money later in life than those in the bottom 20 percent.
The Wall Street Journal reported the wage gap was clear between the least and most popular, 40 years after graduation.
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The study authors said popularity was not an “innate personality trait” but learning how to navigate social relationships helped students later attain success in the workplace.
As the Wall Street Journal noted, trying to quantify what constitutes "popularity" is a bit difficult. Popular kids were more likely to come from “warm family environments” but family income levels did not seem to play a major factor, the study found.
The study used data from the 50-year Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, "a survey of over 10,000 men and women who graduated from a Wisconsin high school in 1957" and followed the group and their social interactions over the years, the Washington Post wrote.