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Personality and young adult financial distress

Author

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  • Xu, Yilan
  • Beller, Andrea H.
  • Roberts, Brent W.
  • Brown, Jeffrey R.

Abstract

Researchers have become increasingly interested in understanding the sources of heterogeneity in individual financial behaviors. In this paper, we examine how the Big Five personality traits are related to measures of young adults’ financial distress. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health in the United States, we find that conscientiousness is negatively correlated, and neuroticism positively correlated with financial distress. These correlations are robust to controlling for early life background and other demographic and socioeconomic factors. Young adulthood sets the stage for financial security in later life; as such, this study provides insight for lifelong financial wellbeing. Based on the empirical results, we discuss potential behavioral and policy interventions that can be used to improve financial wellbeing.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:51:y:2015:i:c:p:90-100
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2015.08.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:404-424 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Seuntjens, Terri G. & van de Ven, Niels & Zeelenberg, Marcel & van der Schors, Anna, 2016. "Greed and adolescent financial behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-12.
    3. OKUBO Toshihiro & Alexander F. WAGNER & YAMADA Kazuo, 2017. "Does Foreign Ownership Explain Company Export and Innovation Decisions? Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 17099, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    4. Parise, Gianpaolo & Peijnenburg, Kim, 2017. "Understanding the Determinants of Financial Outcomes and Choices: The Role of Noncognitive Abilities," CEPR Discussion Papers 11900, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Gianpaolo Parise & Kim Peijnenburg, 2017. "Understanding the determinants of financial outcomes and choices: the role of noncognitive abilities," BIS Working Papers 640, Bank for International Settlements.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Personality traits; Conscientiousness; Neuroticism; Financial distress;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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