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The Returns to Cognitive Abilities and Personality Traits in Germany

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  • Guido Heineck
  • Silke Anger

Abstract

We provide the first joint evidence on the relationship between individuals' cognitive abilities, their personality and earnings for Germany. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study, we employ scores from an ultra-short IQ-test and a set of measures of personality traits, namely locus of control, reciprocity and all basic items from the Five Factor Personality Inventory. Our estimates suggest a positive effect of so-called fluid intelligence or speed of cognition on males¿ wages only. Findings for personality traits are more heterogeneous. There however is a robust wage penalty for an external locus of control for both men and women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 124.

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Length: 45 p.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: Labour Economics 17 (2010) 3, 535-546
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp124

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Keywords: Cognitive abilities; personality traits; Five Factor Model; Locus of control; reciprocity; wages;

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