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Psychological traits and the gender gap in full-time employment and wages: Evidence from Germany

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  • Nils Braakmann

    () (Institute of Economics, University of Lüneburg)

Abstract

This paper shows that differences in various non-cognitive traits, specifically the “big five”, positive and negative reciprocity, locus of control and risk aversion, contribute to gender inequalities in wages and employment. Using the 2004 and 2005 waves of the German Socio-Economic Panel, evidence from regression and decomposition techniques suggests that gender differences in psychological traits are more important for inequalities in wages than in employment. Differences in the “big five”, in particular in agreeableness, conscientiousness and neurocitism matter for both wages and employment. For the latter, the results also show a large effect of differences in external locus of control.

Suggested Citation

  • Nils Braakmann, 2009. "Psychological traits and the gender gap in full-time employment and wages: Evidence from Germany," Working Paper Series in Economics 112, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:112
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2008. "Interpersonal Styles and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    2. James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312.
    3. 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).
    4. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
    5. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2001. "Boys will be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, and Common Stock Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 261-292.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thiel, Hendrik & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2013. "Noncognitive skills in economics: Models, measurement, and empirical evidence," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 189-214.
    2. Matthias Collischon, 2017. "The Returns to Personality Traits across the Wage Distribution," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 921, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Viinikainen, Jutta & Kokko, Katja, 2012. "Personality traits and unemployment: Evidence from longitudinal data," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1204-1222.
    4. Nordman, Christophe Jalil & Sarr, Leopold & Sharma, Smriti, 2015. "Cognitive, Non-Cognitive Skills and Gender Wage Gaps: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data in Bangladesh," IZA Discussion Papers 9132, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Christopher Flinn & Petra Todd & Weilong Zhang, 2017. "Personality Traits, Intra-household Allocation and the Gender Wage Gap," Working Papers 2017-029, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    6. Krause, Annabelle, 2013. "Don’t worry, be happy? Happiness and reemployment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 1-20.
    7. Collischon, Matthias, 2016. "Personality, ability, marriage and the gender wage gap: Evidence from Germany," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 08/2016, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender wage gap; non-cognitive traits; decomposition;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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