Inequality in Personality Over the Life Cycle

59 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2020

See all articles by Miriam Gensowski

Miriam Gensowski

University of Copenhagen

Mette Gørtz

University of Copenhagen, Department of Economics; IZA

Stefanie Schurer

The University of Sydney

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Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Gensowski, Miriam and Gørtz, Mette and Schurer, Stefanie, Inequality in Personality Over the Life Cycle. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13378, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3631588 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3631588

Miriam Gensowski (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, København DK-1165
Denmark

Mette Gørtz

University of Copenhagen, Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Copenhagen, 1354
Denmark
+4535323014 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.ku.dk/gortz

IZA ( email )

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

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.iza.org/people/fellows/2532/mette-gortz

Stefanie Schurer

The University of Sydney ( email )

Sydney, 2006
Australia

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