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Individual Determinants of Work Attendance: Evidence on the Role of Personality

Author

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  • Störmer, Susi

    () (University of Hamburg)

  • Fahr, René

    () (University of Paderborn)

Abstract

We investigate the influence of personality as measured by the Big Five personality scale on absenteeism using representative data for Germany. In particular, the 2005 wave of the German Socio-Economic Panel provides detailed information on socio-economic background characteristics along with a Big Five personality scale. Estimates of a Logit model and of count data regression are used to analyze an empirical model based on the theory of hedonic labour market outcomes. These estimates allow us to test hypotheses on the influence of the Big Five personality traits on work attendance. We find clear negative correlations between the probability to be absent and Conscientiousness as well as Agreeableness. We find a strong positive impact of Neuroticism on work attendance decisions in general and clues for a positive impact of Extraversion among men. When looking at the length of absence occurrences the personality dimensions of Neuroticism and Agreeableness are found to significantly influence male absenteeism. Implications of our results are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Störmer, Susi & Fahr, René, 2010. "Individual Determinants of Work Attendance: Evidence on the Role of Personality," IZA Discussion Papers 4927, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4927
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    2. Barmby, T A & Orme, C D & Treble, John G, 1991. "Worker Absenteeism: An Analysis Using Microdata," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 214-229, March.
    3. Nyhus, Ellen K. & Pons, Empar, 2005. "The effects of personality on earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 363-384, June.
    4. Rainer Winkelmann, 1999. "Wages, firm size and absenteeism," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(6), pages 337-341.
    5. Miguel A. Delgado & Thomas J. Kniesner, 1997. "Count Data Models With Variance Of Unknown Form: An Application To A Hedonic Model Of Worker Absenteeism," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 41-49, February.
    6. Heineck, Guido & Anger, Silke, 2010. "The returns to cognitive abilities and personality traits in Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 535-546, June.
    7. Barmby, Tim & Sessions, John G & Treble, John G, 1994. " Absenteeism, Efficiency Wages and Shirking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(4), pages 561-566.
    8. Markussen, Simen & Røed, Knut & Røgeberg, Ole J. & Gaure, Simen, 2011. "The anatomy of absenteeism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 277-292, March.
    9. Allen, Steven G, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Work Attendance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 77-87, February.
    10. Barmby, Tim & Nolan, Michael & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2001. "Contracted Workdays and Absence," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(3), pages 269-275, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maite Blázquez & Santiago Budría, 2012. "Overeducation dynamics and personality," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 260-283, March.
    2. Engelhardt, Carina, 2017. "Unemployment and personality: Are conscientiousness and agreeableness related to employability?," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-621, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    3. Egan, Mark & Daly, Michael & Delaney, Liam, 2016. "Adolescent psychological distress, unemployment, and the Great Recession: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1997," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 98-105.
    4. Lara Patrício Tavares, 2016. "Who Delays Childbearing? The Associations Between Time to First Birth, Personality Traits and Education," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(4), pages 575-597, October.
    5. Ernesto Dal Bó & Frederico Finan & Martín A. Rossi, 2013. "Strengthening State Capabilities: The Role of Financial Incentives in the Call to Public Service," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1169-1218.
    6. Wendy V. Cunningham & Paula Villaseñor, 2016. "Employer Voices, Employer Demands, and Implications for Public Skills Development Policy Connecting the Labor and Education Sectors," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 31(1), pages 102-134.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    absenteeism; Five Factor Model; personality; count data model;

    JEL classification:

    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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