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The Effects of Personality Traits on Adult Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Siblings

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  • Fletcher, Jason M.

    ()
    (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Abstract

While large literatures have shown that cognitive ability and schooling increases employment and wages, an emerging literature examines the importance of so-called "non-cognitive skills" in producing labor market outcomes. However, this smaller literature has not typically used causal methods in estimating the results. One source of heterogeneity that may play an important role in producing both personality and other non-cognitive skills and labor market outcomes is family background, including genetic endowments. This paper is the first to use sibling differences to estimate the effects of personality on employment and wages and is also able to control for many other sources of heterogeneity, including attractiveness, cognitive ability, schooling, occupation, and other factors. Overall, the findings suggest that personality measures are important determinants of labor market outcomes in adulthood and that the results vary considerably by demographic group. The findings also highlight the potential role of extraversion in leading to favorable labor market outcomes, which has not been documented in many other studies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6391.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, online first
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6391

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Keywords: sibling fixed effects; wages; personality;

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  1. Chetty, Raj & Friedman, John Norton & Hilger, Nathanial & Saez, Emmanuel & Schanzenbach, Dianne Whitmore & Yagan, Danny, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," Scholarly Articles 9639983, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
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  12. 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).
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  16. Gerrit Mueller & Erik Plug, 2006. "Estimating the effect of personality on male and female earnings," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 3-22, October.
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Cited by:
  1. 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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