A working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that students considered popular by their peers end up earning more in their lifetime that those who are less-liked, the Washington Post reports.

The researchers used data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, a long-term social study of a random sample of 10,317 men and women who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957.

Popular kids earn more(Photo: Scott Handcock Getty Images)

Researchers asked the high school students back in 1957 to list three people they considered their closest friends. Those who had their names written down the most were deemed the most popular.

Family background, school quality and location were all factors in determining the wage calculation.

"[We] are able to show that the popularity premium is substantial: an increase in the stock of popularity, measured by an additional friendship nomination received in high-school, is associated with about 2 percent higher wages 35 years later," the report reads.

They also found that the biggest factors in popularity are early family environment, school composition and school size on adolescent social engagement.

The authors of the study determined that the most likely cause for the wage bump was that physical and personality traits that make a person well-liked can also lead to more opportunity and wealth in the workplace.

"We estimate that moving from the 20th to 80th percentile of the high-school popularity distribution yields a 10 percent wage premium nearly 40 years later."

Photo: Scott Handcock/Getty Images