NBER

Timothy D. Kautz

Mathematica Policy Research
600 Alexander Park Drive
Princeton, NJ 08540

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Mathematica Policy Research

NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2019Some Contributions of Economics to the Study of Personality
with James J. Heckman, Tomáš Jagelka: w26459
This paper synthesizes recent research in economics and psychology on the measurement and empirical importance of personality skills and preferences. They predict and cause important life outcomes such as wages, health, and longevity. Skills develop over the life cycle and can be enhanced by education, parenting, and environmental influences to different degrees at different ages. Economic analysis clarifies psychological studies by establishing that personality is measured by performance on tasks which depends on incentives and multiple skills. Identification of any single skill therefore requires isolation of confounding factors, accounting for measurement error using rich data and application of appropriate statistical techniques. Skills can be inferred not only by questionnaires and ex...

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