Personality and Earnings
AbstractThis paper studies personality as a potential explanation for wage differentials between apparently similar workers. This follows initial studies by Jencks (1979) that suggest that certain personality traits, such as industriousness and leadership, have an impact on earnings. The paper aims to provide a theoretical framework within which these effects may be analyzed. The study begins by outlining four issues as a backdrop to the model: rationality, the industry, firms, and workers. A crucial factor to the model is the memeÑa mental gene that affects personality. Taking these four factors into consideration, the Contested Exchange model from Bowles and Gintis (1990) is used. Then, it is adapted to study memetic effects on the wage rate. This is followed by an analysis of how memes may affect personality and thus earnings. The issues that require further study and resolution are 1) which traits create wage differentials, and 2) two-way causality: does personality affect the wage, or does a wage premium become an incentive for a person to adopt new memes?
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Levy Economics Institute, The in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_443.
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.levyinstitute.org
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-03-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2006-03-11 (Business Economics)
- NEP-CBE-2006-03-11 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2006-03-11 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Björklund, Anders & Eriksson, Tor & Jäntti, Markus & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Österbacka, Eva, 2000.
"Brother Correlations in Earnings in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden Compared to the United States,"
IZA Discussion Papers
158, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Markus Jäntti & Eva Österbacka & Oddbjörn Raaum & Tor Eriksson & Anders Björklund, 2002. "Brother correlations in earnings in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden compared to the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 757-772.
- Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles & Melissa Osborne, 2001.
"Incentive-Enhancing Preferences: Personality, Behavior, and Earnings,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 155-158, May.
- Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis & Melissa Osborne, 2001. "Incentive-Enhancing Preferences: Personality, Behavior and Earnings," Working Papers 01-01-004, Santa Fe Institute.
- Lerner, Abba P, 1972. "The Economics and Politics of Consumer Sovereignty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(2), pages 258-66, May.
- Alan B. Krueger & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Reflections on the Inter-Industry Wage Structure," NBER Working Papers 1968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Herbert Simon & Lindsay McSweeney, 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 6.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marie-Celeste Edwards).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.