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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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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

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Keywords: personality and wages; gender wage gap;

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  8. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Budría, Santiago & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2012. "Income Comparisons and Non-Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 6419, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Booth, Alison L., 2009. "Gender and competition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 599-606, December.
  3. 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.
  4. Borghans Lex & Weel Bas ter & Weinberg Bruce A., 2007. "Interpersonal Styles and Labor Market Outcomes," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  5. Del Bono, Emilia & Vuri, Daniela, 2011. "Job mobility and the gender wage gap in Italy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 130-142, January.
  6. 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).
  7. Alan Manning & Joanna Swaffield, 2005. "The Gender Gap in Early Career Wage Growth," CEP Discussion Papers dp0700, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Kevin Denny & Patrick Orla Doyle, 2005. "Political Interest, Cognitive Ability and Personality - Determinants of Voter Turnout in Britain," Working Papers 200511, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  9. 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).
  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. Andrea Galeotti & Gerrit M�ller, 2005. "Friendship Relations in the School Class and Adult Economic Attainment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-032/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 08 Aug 2005.

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