Conscientiousness, Extraversion, College Education, and Longevity of High-Ability Individuals
51 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2010 Last revised: 1 Jun 2020
Date Written: May 30, 2020
Using the 1922–1991 Terman Life-Cycle Study of Children with High Ability, I investigate the relationship between childhood noncognitive skills, college education, and longevity of a high-IQ population and find a strong relationship between college education and longevity for men. Conscientiousness and Extraversion are strongly related to longevity of men, even though their effects on education are, at best, weak. I demonstrate a number of behavioral mechanisms
behind the estimated effects on longevity. I also find that men with higher levels of education and skills have superior health over the lifespan. For women of this historical cohort (born around 1910), who live at least as long as college-educated men, I find no evidence of a relationship between education, noncognitive skills, and longevity.
Keywords: noncognitive skills, college education, longevity, human potential-education matching, compression of morbidity, sex difference, Big Five personality taxonomy, Terman Life-Cycle Study of Children with High Ability
JEL Classification: I12, J24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation