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The stability of big-five personality traits

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  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah
  • Schurer, Stefanie

Abstract

We use a large, nationally-representative sample of working-age adults to demonstrate that personality (as measured by the Big Five) is stable over a four-year period. Average personality changes are small and do not vary substantially across age groups. Intra-individual personality change is generally unrelated to experiencing adverse life events and is unlikely to be economically meaningful. Like other non-cognitive traits, personality can be modeled as a stable input into many economic decisions.

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File URL: http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/handle/10063/1834
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Paper Series with number 1834.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwecf:1834

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Postal: Alice Fong, Administrator, School of Economics and Finance, Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600 Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: +64 (4) 463-5353
Fax: +64 (4) 463-5014
Email:
Web page: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sef
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Related research

Keywords: non-cognitive skills; Big-Five personality traits; stability; wages;

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  1. Guido Heineck & Silke Anger, 2008. "The Returns to Cognitive Abilities and Personality Traits in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 836, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Heckman, James J., 2011. "Integrating Personality Psychology into Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5950, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Cobb-Clark, Deborah & Schurer, Stefanie, 2011. "Two economists’ musings on the stability of locus of control," Working Paper Series 1619, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
  4. 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.
  5. Nyhus, Ellen K. & Pons, Empar, 2005. "The effects of personality on earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 363-384, June.
  6. 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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