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Female labor force participation and the big five

Author

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  • Wichert, Laura
  • Pohlmeier, Winfried

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between personality traits and female labor force participation. While research on the role of cognitive skills for individual labor market success has a long tradition in economics, comparatively little is known about the channels through which non-cognitive skills affect individual labor market behavior. There is striking evidence that personality traits play a major role in explaining individual differences in school attendance and school performance. However, comparatively little is known about how and which personality traits effect labor supply decisions. In this paper, we relate personality traits to preference parameters using a conventional structural framework of labor force participation. This allows us to separate the direct effects of personality traits affecting the individual participation decision through different individual preferences from the indirect effects through wages. We can show that personality traits play an important role in the female labor force participation decision. The channels through which personality traits effect labor force participation are manifold and depend on the specific trait. Aggregation of traits to a single index is therefore a suboptimal strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Wichert, Laura & Pohlmeier, Winfried, 2010. "Female labor force participation and the big five," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-003, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:10003
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    Cited by:

    1. Viinikainen, Jutta & Kokko, Katja, 2012. "Personality traits and unemployment: Evidence from longitudinal data," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1204-1222.
    2. Peter Frauke H. & Spiess C. Katharina, 2016. "Family Instability and Locus of Control in Adolescence," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(3), pages 1439-1471, September.
    3. Eva M. Berger & Luke Haywood, 2016. "Locus of Control and Mothers’ Return to Employment," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 442-481.
    4. Gschwandtner, Adelina & Jewell, Sarah L. & Kambhampati, Uma, 2015. "On the Relationship between Lifestyle and Happiness in the UK," 89th Annual Conference, April 13-15, 2015, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 204199, Agricultural Economics Society.
    5. Schäfer, Konrad C., 2016. "The Influence of Personality Traits on Private Retirement Savings in Germany," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-580, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    6. repec:eee:enepol:v:107:y:2017:i:c:p:472-479 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Homann, Malte & Jensen, Uwe, 2013. "Does better education cause higher income?," HWWI Research Papers 145, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    8. Judith Offerhaus, 2013. "The Type to Train?: Impacts of Personality Characteristics on Further Training Participation," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 531, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    9. Cunningham, Wendy & Villasenor, Paula, 2014. "Employer voices, employer demands, and implications for public skills development policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6853, The World Bank.
    10. Uysal, Selver Derya & Pohlmeier, Winfried, 2011. "Unemployment duration and personality," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 980-992.
    11. Luis Eduardo Arango & Diana Carolina Escobar & Emma Mercedes Monsalve, 2013. "Subempleo por ingresos y funcionamiento del mercado de trabajo en Colombia," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, December.
    12. Acosta,Pablo Ariel & Muller,Noel & Sarzosa,Miguel Alonso, 2015. "Beyond qualifications : returns to cognitive and socio-emotional skills in Colombia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7430, The World Bank.
    13. repec:zbw:espost:168322 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Anger, Silke & Camehl, Georg & Peter, Frauke, 2017. "Involuntary job loss and changes in personality traits," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 71-91.
    15. Konrad C. Schäfer, 2016. "The Influence of Personality Traits on Private Retirement Savings in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 867, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    personality traits; female labor supply; wages;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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