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Estimating the Effect of Personality on Male-Female Earnings

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  • Gerrit Mueller

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

  • Erik Plug

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics and Econometrics, Universiteit van Amsterdam)

Abstract

The authors adopt the Five-Factor Model of personality structure to explore how personalityaffected the earnings of a large group of men and women who graduated from Wisconsin highschools in 1957 and were re-interviewed in 1992. All five basic traits–extroversion, agreeableness,conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience–had statistically significant positiveor negative earnings effects, and together they appear to have had effects comparable to those commonlyfound for cognitive ability. Among men, substantial earnings advantages were associatedwith antagonism (the obverse of agreeableness), emotional stability (the obverse of neuroticism),and openness to experience; among women, with conscientiousness and openness to experience.Of the five traits, the evidence indicates that agreeableness had the greatest influence on genderdifferences in earnings: men were considerably more antagonistic (non-agreeable) than women,on average, and men alone were rewarded for that trait. This discussion paper resulted in a publication in the Industrial & Labor Relations Review .

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 04-087/3.

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Date of creation: 17 Aug 2004
Date of revision: 31 Aug 2005
Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20040087

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Keywords: personality and wages; gender wage gap;

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  2. Jeffrey S. Zax & Daniel I. Rees, 2002. "IQ, Academic Performance, Environment, and Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 600-616, November.
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  9. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Emilia Del Bono & Daniela Vuri, 2008. "Job Mobility and the Gender Wage Gap in Italy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2435, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Booth, Alison L., 2009. "Gender and competition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 599-606, December.
  3. Alan Manning & Joanna Swaffield, 2008. "The gender gap in early-career wage growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 983-1024, 07.
  4. Kevin Denny & Patrick Orla Doyle, 2005. "Political Interest, Cognitive Ability and Personality - Determinants of Voter Turnout in Britain," Working Papers, School Of Economics, University College Dublin 200511, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  5. Borghans, Lex & ter Weel, Bas & Weinberg, Bruce A., 2006. "Interpersonal Styles and Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 2466, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Galeotti, Andrea & Mueller, Gerrit, 2005. "Friendship Relations in the School Class and Adult Economic Attainment," IZA Discussion Papers 1682, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Lindeboom, Maarten & Lundborg, Petter & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2009. "Obesity and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the British NCDS," IZA Discussion Papers 4099, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Rodgers III, William M. & Stratton, Leslie S., 2005. "The Male Marital Wage Differential: Race, Training, and Fixed Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 1745, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Budría, Santiago & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2012. "Income Comparisons and Non-Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 6419, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Ham, Roger & Junankar, Pramod N. (Raja) & Wells, Robert, 2009. "Occupational Choice: Personality Matters," IZA Discussion Papers 4105, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Emilia Del Bono & Daniela Vuri, 2008. "Job mobility and the gender wage gap," Working Papers - Dipartimento di Economia 7-DEISFOL, Dipartimento di Economia, Sapienza University of Rome, revised 2008.

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