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Personality Traits Across the Life Cycle: Disentangling Age, Period, and Cohort Effects

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  • Bernd Fitzenberger
  • Gary Mena
  • Jan Nimczik
  • Uwe Sunde

Abstract

Economists increasingly recognise the importance of personality traits for socio-economic outcomes, but little is known about the stability of these traits over the life cycle. Existing empirical contributions typically focus on age patterns and disregard cohort and period influences. This paper contributes novel evidence for the separability of age, period, and cohort effects for a broad range of personality traits based on systematic specification tests for disentangling age, period and cohort influences. Our estimates document that for different cohorts, the evolution of personality traits across the life cycle follows a stable, though non-constant, age profile, while there are sizeable differences across time periods.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernd Fitzenberger & Gary Mena & Jan Nimczik & Uwe Sunde, 2021. "Personality Traits Across the Life Cycle: Disentangling Age, Period, and Cohort Effects," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1153, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp1153
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew E Clark & Rong Zhu, 2024. "Taking Back Control? Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Impact of Retirement on Locus of Control," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 134(660), pages 1465-1493.
    2. Rainer Franz Kotschy & Uwe Sunde, 2022. "Does Demography Determine Democratic Attitudes?," CESifo Working Paper Series 9535, CESifo.
    3. Murray, Neil & Neyse, Levent & Schröder, Carsten, 2023. "Changes in risk attitudes vary across domains throughout the life course," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 212(C), pages 534-563.
    4. Haylock, Michael & Kampkötter, Patrick & Kosfeld, Michael & von Siemens, Ferdinand, 2023. "Helping and Antisocial Behavior in the Workplace," VfS Annual Conference 2023 (Regensburg): Growth and the "sociale Frage" 277645, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Gast'on P. Fern'andez, 2023. "Does personality affect the allocation of resources within households?," Papers 2307.02918, arXiv.org.
    6. McKercher, Bob, 2023. "Age or generation? Understanding behaviour differences," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).
    7. Sunde, Uwe, 2023. "Age, longevity, and preferences," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 24(C).
    8. Kemper, Johanna & Renold, Ursula, 2024. "Evaluating the impact of general versus vocational education on labor market outcomes in Egypt by means of a regression discontinuity design," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 166(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Big Five Personality Traits; Locus of Control; Risk Attitudes; Age-Period-Cohort Decomposition; Life Cycle;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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