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What can the Big Five Personality Factors contribute to explain Small-Scale Economic Behavior?

Author

Listed:
  • Julia Muller

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Christiane Schwieren

    (University of Heidelberg)

Abstract

Growing interest in using personality variables in economic research leads to the question whether personality as measured by psychology is useful to predict economic behavior. Is it reasonable to expect values on personality scales to be predictive of behavior in economic games? It is undoubted that personality can influence large-scale economic outcomes. Whether personality variables can also be used to understand micro-behavior in economic games is however less clear. We discuss reasons in favor and against this assumption and test in our own experiment, whether and which personality factors are useful in predicting behavior in the trust or investment game. We can also use the trust game to understand how personality measures fare relatively in predicting behavior when situational constraints vary in strength. This approach can help economists to better understand what to expect from the inclusion of personality variables in their models and experiments, and where further research might be useful and needed.

Suggested Citation

  • Julia Muller & Christiane Schwieren, 2012. "What can the Big Five Personality Factors contribute to explain Small-Scale Economic Behavior?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-028/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20120028
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    File URL: http://papers.tinbergen.nl/12028.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Does personality matter?
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2012-04-17 18:10:22
    2. Heraclitus vs Zimbardo
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-09-03 18:46:08

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:soceco:v:68:y:2017:i:c:p:119-129 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. John, Katrin & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2015. "School-track environment or endowment: What determines different other-regarding behavior across peer groups?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 122-141.
    3. Bryan C. McCannon & John B. Stevens, 2015. "Role of Personality Style on Bargaining Outcomes," Working Papers 15-22, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Personality; Big Five; Five Factor Model; Incentives; Experiment; Trust Game;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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