The importance of early conscientiousness for socio-economic outcomes: Evidence from the British Cohort Study

T. Prevoo, B.J. ter Weel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This research estimates models of the importance of conscientiousness for socioeconomic outcomes. We use measures of conscientiousness at age 16 to explain adult wages and other outcomes, such as employment, education, health, and savings behaviour. We use several waves from the 1970 British Cohort Study. Our estimates suggest a significant and sizeable correlation between early conscientiousness and adult outcomes. Measurement error is corrected for by applying IV techniques, errors-in-variables estimators, and structural equation modelling. Investigation of the lower-order structure of conscientiousness suggests that facets related to reliability, decisiveness, and impulse control are most strongly correlated with outcomes. We also investigate changes in early conscientiousness and find that persons who experience declines in the personality distribution between the ages 10 and 16 seem to be worse off in terms of a variety of socio-economic outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)918-948
Number of pages31
JournalOxford Economic Papers-New Series
Volume67
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

Keywords

  • LABOR-MARKET OUTCOMES
  • NONCOGNITIVE SKILLS
  • PERSONALITY
  • TECHNOLOGY
  • CHILDHOOD
  • ECONOMICS
  • GENDER
  • AGE
  • IMPATIENCE
  • TRAITS

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