Inequality in Personality Over the Life Cycle
59 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2020
We describe gender and socioeconomic inequalities in the Big Five personality traits over the life cycle, using a facet-level inventory linked to administrative data. We estimate life-cycle profiles non-parametrically and test for cohort and sample-selection effects. We discuss the economic implications of the following findings: Women of all ages score more highly than men on all personality traits, including three that are positively associated with wages; Individuals with high own or parental education have more favorable traits except Conscientiousness; Over the life cycle, gender and socioeconomic gaps widen in Openness and shrink in Neuroticism, a trait associated with worse outcomes.
Keywords: inequality, socio-emotional skills, personality traits, Big Five facets, life cycle dynamics, gender gap, intergenerational transmission
JEL Classification: J24, I24, J62, I31, J16
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