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

  • Störmer, Susi

    ()

    (University of Hamburg)

  • Fahr, René

    ()

    (University of Paderborn)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4927.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Applied Economics, 2013, 45 (19), 2863-2875
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4927
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  1. Gerrit Mueller & Erik Plug, 2006. "Estimating the Effect of Personality on Male and Female Earnings," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 3-22, October.
  2. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," NBER Working Papers 13810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. 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.
  5. 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 214-29, March.
  6. 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.
  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 561-66.
  8. Markussen, Simen & Røed, Knut & Røgeberg, Ole J. & Gaure, Simen, 2009. "The Anatomy of Absenteeism," IZA Discussion Papers 4240, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Delgado, M.A. & Kniesner, T.J., 1994. "Count Data Models with Viriance of Unknown Form - An Application to a Hedonic Model of Worker Absenteeism," Papers 94-011, Indiana - Center for Econometric Model Research.
  10. Rainer Winkelmann, 1999. "Wages, firm size and absenteeism," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(6), pages 337-341.
  11. Barmby, Tim & Nolan, Michael & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2001. "Contracted Workdays and Absence," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(3), pages 269-75, June.
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