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Household finances and the ‘Big Five’ personality traits

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  • Brown, Sarah
  • Taylor, Karl

Abstract

Using data drawn from the British Household Panel Survey, we analyse the relationship between personality traits and financial decision-making focusing on unsecured debt and financial assets. Personality traits are classified according to the ‘Big Five’ taxonomy: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. We explore personality traits at the individual level and also within couples, specifically the personality traits of the head of household and personality traits averaged across the couple. We find that certain personality traits such as extraversion are generally significantly associated with household finances in terms of the levels of debt and assets held and the correlation is often relatively large. The results also suggest that the magnitude and statistical significance of the association between personality traits and household finances differs across the various types of debt and assets held in the household portfolio.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl, 2014. "Household finances and the ‘Big Five’ personality traits," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 197-212.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:45:y:2014:i:c:p:197-212
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2014.10.006
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Big Five personality traits; Financial assets; Unsecured debt;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C24 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models; Threshold Regression Models
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

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