Personality characteristics and long-term labor market outcomes: Evidence from twins

Working Papers 299 Terhi Maczulskij, Jutta Viinikainen

We use twin data matched to register-based individual information on earnings and employment to examine the association between personality and long-term labor market success. The average of an individual’s earnings and employment were measured in adulthood over the 1990-2009 period. In contrast to previous studies, we use the within-twin dimension of the data to control for unobservable shared family background and genetic confounding factors. Our results suggest that these unobserved factors partly explain the well-documented relation between personality and labor market success. However, we find that achievement (a facet of conscientiousness) is related to higher earnings in the labor market.

Keywords: Personality, earnings, employment, unobserved heterogeneity, twin studies
Published: 21.12.2015
JEL: J24, J31
ISBN: 978-952-209-143-7 (pdf)
ISSN: 1795-1801 (pdf)
Publication (PDF)