The Stability of Big-Five Personality Traits

13 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2011

See all articles by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Stefanie Schurer

Victoria University of Wellington - School of Economics and Finance

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Abstract

We use a large, nationally-representative sample of working-age adults to demonstrate that personality (as measured by the Big Five) is stable over a four-year period. Average personality changes are small and do not vary substantially across age groups. Intra-individual personality change is generally unrelated to experiencing adverse life events and is unlikely to be economically meaningful. Like other non-cognitive traits, personality can be modeled as a stable input into many economic decisions.

Keywords: non-cognitive skills, Big-Five personality traits, stability

JEL Classification: J24, C18

Suggested Citation

Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. and Schurer, Stefanie, The Stability of Big-Five Personality Traits. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5943. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1922015

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark (Contact Author)

School of Economics, University of Sydney ( email )

606 Social Sciences Bldg. (A02)
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61435061387 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Stefanie Schurer

Victoria University of Wellington - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

P.O. Box 600
Wellington 6001
New Zealand
+64-4-4636708 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sef/staff/stefanie-schurer.aspx

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