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The Relationship Between Economic Preferences and Psychological Personality Measures

  • Anke Becker

    (Department of Economics, and
    Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, 53113 Bonn, Germany)

  • Thomas Deckers

    (Department of Economics, and
    Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, 53113 Bonn, Germany)

  • Thomas Dohmen

    (ROA (Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market) and Department of Economics, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands)

  • Armin Falk

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

  • Fabian Kosse

    (Department of Economics, and
    Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, 53113 Bonn, Germany)

Although both economists and psychologists seek to identify determinants of heterogeneity in behavior, they use different concepts to capture them. In this review, we first analyze the extent to which economic preferences and psychological concepts of personality, such as the Big Five and locus of control, are related. We analyze data from incentivized laboratory experiments and representative samples and find only low degrees of association between economic preferences and personality. We then regress life outcomes (such as labor market success, health status, and life satisfaction) simultaneously on preference and personality measures. The analysis reveals that the two concepts are rather complementary when it comes to explaining heterogeneity in important life outcomes and behavior.

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Article provided by Annual Reviews in its journal Annual Review of Economics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (07)
Pages: 453-478

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Handle: RePEc:anr:reveco:v:4:y:2012:p:453-478
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