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The effects of personality traits on adult labor market outcomes: Evidence from siblings

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  • Fletcher, Jason M.

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 associations between 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 have important associations with labor market outcomes in adulthood and that the results vary considerably by demographic group. The findings also highlight the potential role of extraversion in being associated with favorable labor market outcomes, which has not been documented in many other studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Fletcher, Jason M., 2013. "The effects of personality traits on adult labor market outcomes: Evidence from siblings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 122-135.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:89:y:2013:i:c:p:122-135 DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2013.02.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Schurer, Stefanie & Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. & Leung, Felix, 2015. "Do Universities Shape Their Students' Personality?," IZA Discussion Papers 8873, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Maria Cubel & Ana Nuevo‐Chiquero & Santiago Sanchez‐Pages & Marian Vidal‐Fernandez, 2016. "Do Personality Traits Affect Productivity? Evidence from the Laboratory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(592), pages 654-681, May.
    3. Christopher Boyce & Mikolaj Czajkowski & Nick Hanley, 2017. "Personality and Economic Choices," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2017-08, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
    4. Fletcher, Jason & Kumar, Sanjeev, 2014. "Religion and risky health behaviors among U.S. adolescents and adults," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 123-140.
    5. Engelhardt, Carina, 2017. "Unemployment and personality: Are conscientiousness and agreeableness related to employability?," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-621, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    6. repec:eee:jeborg:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:10-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:kap:pubcho:v:173:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0480-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Maria Cubel & Ana Nuevo-Chiquero & Santiago Sanchez-Pages & Marian Vidal-Fernandez, 2014. "Do Personality Traits Affect Productivity? Evidence from the Lab," Working Papers 2014012, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    9. repec:eee:enepol:v:107:y:2017:i:c:p:472-479 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Michal Brzezinski, 2017. "Childhood circumstances, personality traits and adult-life economic outcomes in developing countries: Evidence from STEP," IBS Working Papers 05/2017, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    11. repec:eee:joepsy:v:62:y:2017:i:c:p:313-328 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Fletcher Jason M. & Schurer Stefanie, 2017. "Origins of Adulthood Personality: The Role of Adverse Childhood Experiences," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(2), pages 1-22, April.
    13. van der Meer, Peter H. & Wielers, Rudi, 2016. "Happiness, unemployment and self-esteem," Research Report 16016-HRM&OB, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    14. Tim Friehe & Markus Pannenberg & Michael Wedow, 2015. "Let Bygones Be Bygones? Socialist Regimes and Personalities in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 776, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    15. SANTAEULÀLIA-LLOPIS, Raül; IORIO, Daniela; GROES, Fane; LEUNG, Man Yee Mallory, 2017. "Educational disparities in the battle against infertility : evidence from IVF success," Economics Working Papers ECO2017/05, European University Institute.
    16. Xu, Yilan & Beller, Andrea H. & Roberts, Brent W. & Brown, Jeffrey R., 2015. "Personality and young adult financial distress," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 90-100.
    17. Silvia Mendolia & Ian Walker, 2015. "Youth unemployment and personality traits," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-26, December.
    18. Fletcher, Jason M. & Wolfe, Barbara, 2016. "The importance of family income in the formation and evolution of non-cognitive skills in childhood," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 143-154.
    19. Christopher Flinn & Petra Todd & Weilong Zhang, 2017. "Personality Traits, Intra-household Allocation and the Gender Wage Gap," Working Papers 2017-029, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    20. Sciulli, Dario, 2016. "Adult employment probabilities of socially maladjusted children," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 9-22.
    21. Pannenberg, Markus & Friehe, Tim & Wedow, Michael, 2015. "Let Bygones be Bygones? Political Regimes and Personalities in Germany," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112841, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    22. Kim, Jinho, 2016. "Personality traits and body weight: Evidence using sibling comparisons," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 54-62.
    23. Benjamin Volland, 2013. "Conscientious consumers? Preferences, personality and expenditure in the UK," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2013-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    24. Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. & Schurer, Stefanie & Leung, Felix, 2015. "Testing the Validity of Item Non-Response as a Proxy for Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 8874, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    25. Jason Fletcher & Norma Padrón, 2016. "The effects of teenage childbearing on adult soft skills development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 883-910, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Personality; Wages; Sibling fixed effects;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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