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A Critique and Reframing of Personality in Labour Market Theory: Locus of Control and Labour Market Outcomes

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  • Eileen Trzcinski
  • Elke Holst

Abstract

This article critically examines the theoretical arguments that underlie the literature linking personality traits to economic outcomes and provides empirical evidence indicating that labour market outcomes influence personality outcomes. Based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we investigated the extent to which gender differences occur in the processes by which highly positive and negative labour market outcomes are determined and in the processes underlying the development of one particular aspect of personality, locus of control. Gender differences were more pronounced in the results for years in managerial/ leadership positions than for locus of control. Negative labour market states were also marked by gender differences. We conclude by arguing that an explicitly value-laden analysis of the rewards associated with personality within the labour market could expose areas where the gendered nature of rewards by personality serves to perpetuate power relationships within the labour market.

Suggested Citation

  • Eileen Trzcinski & Elke Holst, 2011. "A Critique and Reframing of Personality in Labour Market Theory: Locus of Control and Labour Market Outcomes," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1157, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1157
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    Cited by:

    1. Schröder, Melanie & Schmitt, Norma & Mantei, Britta & Brünn, Claudia, 2014. "Social Norms or Income Taxation - What Drives Couple's Labor Supply? Experimental Evidence," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100375, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • B54 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Feminist Economics

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