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A Critique and Reframing of Personality in Labour Market Theory: Locus of Control and Labour Market Outcomes

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  • Trzcinski, Eileen

    ()
    (Wayne State University, Detroit)

  • Holst, Elke

    ()
    (DIW Berlin)

Abstract

This article critically examines the theoretical arguments that underlie the literature linking personality traits to economic outcomes and provides empirical evidence indicating that labour market outcomes influence personality outcomes. Based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we investigated the extent to which gender differences occur in the processes by which highly positive and negative labour market outcomes are determined and in the processes underlying the development of one particular aspect of personality, locus of control. Gender differences were more pronounced in the results for years in managerial/ leadership positions than for locus of control. Negative labour market states were also marked by gender differences. We conclude by arguing that an explicitly value-laden analysis of the rewards associated with personality within the labour market could expose areas where the gendered nature of rewards by personality serves to perpetuate power relationships within the labour market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6090.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6090

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Keywords: labour market theory; power; gender; personality traits; locus of control; SOEP;

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  1. Anne Busch & Elke Holst, 2009. "Glass Ceiling Effect and Earnings: The Gender Pay Gap in Managerial Positions in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 905, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Susanne Schennach & James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," 2007 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 973, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Veum, Jonathan R. & Darity, William Jr., 1996. "The psychological impact of unemployment and joblessness," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 333-358.
  4. Elke Holst, 2006. "Women in Managerial Positions in Europe: Focus on Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 557, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Stephanie Seguino, 2007. "PlusCa Change? evidence on global trends in gender norms and stereotypes," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 1-28.
  6. Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-41, May.
  7. Carmen Diana Deere & Cheryl Doss, 2006. "The Gender Asset Gap: What Do We Know And Why Does It Matter?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1-2), pages 1-50.
  8. Bruce Headey, 2008. "Life Goals Matter to Happiness: A Revision of Set-Point Theory," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 86(2), pages 213-231, April.
  9. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226041162, June.
  10. Nils Braakmann, 2009. "The Role of Psychological Traits for the Gender Gap in Full-Time Employment and Wages: Evidence from Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 162, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  11. Elke Holst & Julia Schimeta, 2009. "Nach wie vor kaum Frauen in den Top-Gremien gro├čer Unternehmen," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 76(18), pages 302-309.
  12. Groves, Melissa Osborne, 2005. "How important is your personality? Labor market returns to personality for women in the US and UK," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 827-841, December.
  13. Julie Nelson, 1999. "Of Markets And Martyrs: Is It OK To Pay Well For Care?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 43-59.
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