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Heterogeneous Returns to Personality - The Role of Occupational Choice

Autor: Katrin John and Stephan L. Thomsen
Nummer: 495, Mar 2012, pp. 40
JEL-Class: J24, J31, C35

We analyze the role of personality in occupational choice and wages using data from Germany for the years 1992 to 2009. Characterizing personality by use of seven complementary measures, the empirical findings show that it is an important determinant of occupational choice. Associated with that, identical personality traits are differently rewarded across occupations. By evaluating different personality profiles, we estimate the influence of personality as a whole. The estimates establish occupation-specific patterns of significant returns to particular personality profiles. These findings underline the importance to consider the occupational distribution when analyzing returns to personality due to its heterogeneous valuation.


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