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Journal Article

Explaining personality pay gaps in the UK


Publication date

Sep 2014


Using the British Household Panel Survey we estimate the effect on pay
of each of the Big Five personality traits for employed men living in
the UK. We add to the existing literature by estimating the role of
factors such as education and occupation in explaining personality pay
gaps, by allowing the personality traits to affect wage differently
across occupations, education levels and other workers characteristics,
and by investigating personality pay gaps for high- and low-paid
workers. We find that openness to experience is the most relevant
personality trait in explaining wages, followed by neuroticism,
agreeableness, extroversion and conscientiousness. Openness and
extroversion are rewarded while agreeableness and neuroticism are
penalized, but the openness pay gap is totally explained by differences
in worker characteristics, particularly education and occupation.

Published in

Applied Economics

Volume and page numbers

46 , 3131 -3150





Psychology and Wages And Earnings


Open Access article

Related publications

  1. Explaining personality pay gaps in the UK

    Alita Nandi and Cheti Nicoletti

    1. Psychology
    2. Wages And Earnings


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