The relationship between economic preferences and psychological personality measures

A. Becker*, T. Deckers, T.J. Dohmen, A. Falk, F. Kosse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Although both economists and psychologists seek to identify determinants of heterogeneity in behavior, they use different concepts to capture them. In this review, we first analyze the extent to which economic preferences and psychological concepts of personality, such as the Big Five and locus of control, are related. We analyze data from incentivized laboratory experiments and representative samples and find only low degrees of association between economic preferences and personality. We then regress life outcomes (such as labor market success, health status, and life satisfaction) simultaneously on preference and personality measures. The analysis reveals that the two concepts are rather complementary when it comes to explaining heterogeneity in important life outcomes and behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-478
JournalAnnual Review of Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • risk preference
  • time preference
  • social preferences
  • locus of control
  • Big Five


Dive into the research topics of 'The relationship between economic preferences and psychological personality measures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this