The Returns to Cognitive Abilities and Personality Traits in Germany

48 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2008 Last revised: 29 Jun 2009

See all articles by Guido Heineck

Guido Heineck

University of Bamberg; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Silke Anger

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB); German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Date Written: August 1, 2008

Abstract

We provide the first joint evidence on the relationship between individuals' cognitive abilities, their personality and earnings for Germany. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study, we employ scores from an ultra-short IQ-test and a set of measures of personality traits, namely locus of control, reciprocity and all basic items from the Five Factor Personality Inventory. Our estimates suggest a positive effect of so-called fluid intelligence or speed of cognition on males' wages only. Findings for personality traits are more heterogeneous. There however is a robust wage penalty for an external locus of control for both men and women.

Keywords: Cognitive abilities, personality traits, Five Factor Model, Locus of control, reciprocity, wages

JEL Classification: J24, J31, I21

Suggested Citation

Heineck, Guido and Anger, Silke, The Returns to Cognitive Abilities and Personality Traits in Germany (August 1, 2008). SOEP Paper No. 124; DIW Berlin Discussion Paper No. 836. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1259705 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1259705

Guido Heineck (Contact Author)

University of Bamberg

Feldkirchenstr. 21
Bamberg, 96052
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Silke Anger

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
Germany

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP)
Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany
+49 30 89789-526 (Phone)
+49 30 89789-109 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.diw.de/programme/jsp/MA.jsp?uid=sanger&language=en

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