Economic Preferences and Personality Traits Among Finance Professionals and the General Population

49 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2021

See all articles by Martin Holmen

Martin Holmen

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics; University of Gothenburg - Centre for Finance

Felix Holzmeister

University of Innsbruck - Department of Economics

Michael Kirchler

University of Innsbruck

Matthias Stefan

University of Innsbruck

Erik Wengström

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 5, 2021

Abstract

Since the financial crisis, the behavior and personality traits of finance professionals have come under scrutiny. As comprehensive scientific findings are lacking, we run artefactual field experiments with finance professionals and a random sample of the working population to investigate differences across industry-relevant economic preferences and personality traits. We report that finance professionals are more risk tolerant, more selfish, less trustworthy, and show higher levels of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. However, we find that many of these differences disappear after adjusting for socioeconomic characteristics, indicating that finance professionals are similar to employees in other industries with a comparable socio-economic background.

Keywords: experimental finance, economic preferences, personality traits, finance professionals, general working population.

JEL Classification: C93, G11, G41

Suggested Citation

Holmen, Martin and Holzmeister, Felix and Kirchler, Michael and Stefan, Matthias and Wengström, Erik, Economic Preferences and Personality Traits Among Finance Professionals and the General Population (February 5, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3779944 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3779944

Martin Holmen

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics ( email )

School of Business, Economics and Law
Box 640
Gothenburg, 40530
Sweden
+46 31 786 6442 (Phone)
+46 31 7865114 (Fax)

University of Gothenburg - Centre for Finance ( email )

Box 640
Gothenburg, 403 50
Sweden

Felix Holzmeister

University of Innsbruck - Department of Economics ( email )

Universitaetsstrasse 15
Innsbruck, 6020
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://www.holzmeister.biz

Michael Kirchler

University of Innsbruck ( email )

Universitätsstraße 15
Innsbruck, Innsbruck 6020
Austria

Matthias Stefan (Contact Author)

University of Innsbruck ( email )

Universitätsstraße 15
Innsbruck, 6020
Austria

Erik Wengström

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark

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

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