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The relationship between economic preferences and psychological personality measures


  • Becker, A.

    (External organisation)

  • Deckers, T.

    (External organisation)

  • Dohmen, T.J.

    (General Economics 2 (Macro)
    Research Centre for Educ and Labour Mark)

  • Falk, A.

    (External organisation)

  • Kosse, F.

    (External organisation)


Although both economists and psychologists seek to identify determinants of heterogeneity in behavior, they use different concepts to capture them. In this review we first analyze the extent to which economic preferences and psychological concepts of personality – such as the Big Five and locus of control – are related. We analyze data from incentivized laboratory experiments and representative samples and find only low degrees of association between economic preferences and personality. We then regress life outcomes – such as labor market success, health status and life satisfaction – simultaneously on preference and personality measures. The analysis reveals that the two concepts are rather complementary when it comes to explaining heterogeneity in important life outcomes and behavior.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Becker, A. & Deckers, T. & Dohmen, T.J. & Falk, A. & Kosse, F., 2012. "The relationship between economic preferences and psychological personality measures," Research Memorandum 047, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2012047

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    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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