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The Relationship Between Economic Preferences and Psychological Personality Measures

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Author Info

  • Anke Becker

    (Department of Economics, and
    Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, 53113 Bonn, Germany)

  • Thomas Deckers

    (Department of Economics, and
    Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, 53113 Bonn, Germany)

  • Thomas Dohmen

    (ROA (Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market) and Department of Economics, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands)

  • Armin Falk

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Fabian Kosse

    (Department of Economics, and
    Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, 53113 Bonn, Germany)

Abstract

Although both economists and psychologists seek to identify determinants of heterogeneity in behavior, they use different concepts to capture them. In this review, we first analyze the extent to which economic preferences and psychological concepts of personality, such as the Big Five and locus of control, are related. We analyze data from incentivized laboratory experiments and representative samples and find only low degrees of association between economic preferences and personality. We then regress life outcomes (such as labor market success, health status, and life satisfaction) simultaneously on preference and personality measures. The analysis reveals that the two concepts are rather complementary when it comes to explaining heterogeneity in important life outcomes and behavior.

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File URL: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-economics-080511-110922
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Annual Reviews in its journal Annual Review of Economics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (07)
Pages: 453-478

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Handle: RePEc:anr:reveco:v:4:y:2012:p:453-478

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Related research

Keywords: risk preference; time preference; social preferences; locus of control; Big Five;

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References

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  1. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2002. "Sex Differences and Statistical Stereotyping in Attitudes Toward Financial Risk," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-03, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  2. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2005. "Driving Forces Behind Informal Sanctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 2017-2030, November.
  3. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  4. Ernst Fehr, 2008. "On the Economics and Biology of Trust," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 154, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2008. "Representative Trust And Reciprocity: Prevalence And Determinants," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(1), pages 84-90, 01.
  7. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Sunde Uwe & Schupp Jürgen & Wagner Gert G., 2009. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants and Behavioral Consequences," Research Memorandum 039, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  8. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  9. Borghans Lex & Lee Duckworth Angela & Heckman James J. & Weel Bas ter, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  10. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
  11. Lex Borghans & Bart H. H. Golsteyn & James J. Heckman & Huub Meijers, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 649-658, 04-05.
  12. Borghans, Lex & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James J. & ter Weel, Bas, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," IZA Discussion Papers 3333, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," IZA Discussion Papers 2735, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Almlund, Mathilde & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5500, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2002. "Maintenance of and Innovation in Long-Term Panel Studies: The Case of the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP)," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 276, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  17. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
  18. Michael Daly & Liam Delaney & Colm P. Harmon, 2009. "Psychological and Biological Foundations of Time Preference," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 659-669, 04-05.
  19. Borghans, Lex & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James J. & Weel, Bas ter, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," MERIT Working Papers 010, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Papers on Personality and Economics
    by Liam Delaney in Economics and Psychology Research on 2012-04-18 10:30:00
  2. Journal session on personality and economics
    by Liam Delaney in Economics and Psychology Research on 2012-05-04 12:58:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Thiel, Hendrik & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2011. "Noncognitive skills in economics: Models, measurement, and empirical evidence," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-076 [rev.], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Friehe, Tim & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2014. "The Individual and Joint Performance of Economic Preferences, Personality, and Self-Control in Predicting Criminal Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 7894, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2013. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Interventions That Improve Character and Cognition," IZA Discussion Papers 7750, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Krause, Annabelle, 2013. "Don’t worry, be happy? Happiness and reemployment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 1-20.
  5. Almås, Ingvild & Cappelen, Alexander W. & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2014. "Willingness to Compete: Family Matters," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 3/2014, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
  6. Krause, Annabelle, 2012. "Don't Worry, Be Happy? Happiness and Reemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 7107, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Shelly Lundberg, 2013. "Educational Inequality and the Returns to Skills," Working Papers 2013-017, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  8. Daniel D. Schnitzlein & Jens Stephani, 2013. "Locus of Control and Low-Wage Mobility," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 589, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  9. Deckers, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2013. "Nominal or Real? The Impact of Regional Price Levels on Satisfaction with Life," IZA Discussion Papers 7345, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Benjamin Volland, 2013. "Conscientious consumers? Preferences, personality and expenditure in the UK," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2013-05, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.

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