The Effects of Personality Traits on Wages: A Matching Approach

Authors

  • Robert Girtz

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Economics and Finance, Jennings A. Jones College of Business, Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, USA
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  • I would like to thank Mark Owens, Joachim Zietz, Charles Baum, Christian Brown, John Nunley, Alan Seals, Joshua Hill, E. Anthon Eff, J. Laron Kirby, and all participants at the MTSU Economics and Finance Department Seminar and the 2011 Academy of Economics and Finance conference for their assistance, discussion and helpful comments.

Robert Girtz — Department of Economics and Finance, Jennings A. Jones College of Business, 1500 Greenland Drive, Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, TN 37132, USA. Tel: +1 615 898 2364; E-mail: reg2v@mtmail.mtsu.edu.

Abstract

I use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 to estimate the effects of adolescent measurements of self-esteem and locus of control on adult wages using propensity score matching. An adolescent possessing high self-esteem will experience between 8.5 and 9.2 per cent higher wages as an adult. This result is statistically significant and robust to the addition of cognitive skill and family background characteristics. When cognitive skill and family background characteristics are controlled for, locus of control as an adolescent is insignificant in explaining adult wages. This result is contrary to findings in the literature.

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