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Wage returns to job tasks and personality traits in Germany

Daniela Rohrbach-Schmidt, Caroline Wehner, Sabine Krueger and Christian Ebner

International Journal of Manpower, 2023, vol. 44, issue 9, 55-71

Abstract: Purpose - This article aims to examine whether specific job tasks measured at the individual level or personality traits are associated with wages and whether the relationship between personality traits and wages differs depending on the job tasks that individuals perform. Design/methodology/approach - This study analyzes the association between job tasks and personality traits, and their interaction, with regard to wages using German employee data from 2017/2018. Findings - Results suggest that nonroutine manual, interactive or analytic tasks are associated with significantly higher wages compared to routine manual tasks, and while extraversion and emotional stability are related to higher wages, agreeableness and openness tend to be associated with lower wages also within occupations. Moreover, the association between personality traits and wages varies depending on the job task requirements at the workplace. A high degree of extraversion in particular is associated with higher wages when the employee performs nonroutine manual, interactive or analytic tasks. Originality/value - To date, especially the interaction between individual job tasks and personality traits on wages has not been extensively studied because data on both job tasks and personality at the employee level are scarce. This study contributes to the understanding of wage differences among employees.

Keywords: Job task requirements; Routine tasks; Non-routine tasks; Analytic tasks; Interactive tasks; Social skills; Non-cognitive skills; Big-5 personality traits; Complementarity of skills; Wages; Germany (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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DOI: 10.1108/IJM-01-2022-0038

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