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How Does Socio-Economic Status Shape a Child's Personality?

Thomas Deckers, Armin Falk (), Fabian Kosse and Hannah Hannah Schildberg-Horisch
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Thomas Deckers: University of Bonn
Fabian Kosse: University of Bonn
Hannah Hannah Schildberg-Horisch: University of Bonn

No 2016-002, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: We show that socio-economic status (SES) is a powerful predictor of many facets of a child's personality. The facets of personality we investigate encompass time preferences, risk preferences, and altruism, as well as crystallized and fluid IQ. We measure a family's SES by the mother's and father's average years of education and household income. Our results show that children from families with higher SES are more patient, tend to be more altruistic and less likely to be risk seeking, and score higher on IQ tests. We also discuss potential pathways through which SES could affect the formation of a child's personality by documenting that many dimensions of a child's environment differ systematically by SES: parenting style, quantity and quality of time parents spend with their children, the mother's IQ and economic preferences, a child's initial conditions at birth, and family structure. Finally, we use panel data to show that the relationship between SES and personality is fairly stable over time at age 7 to 10. Personality profiles that vary systematically with SES might offer an explanation for social immobility.

Keywords: personality; human capital; risk preferences; time preference; altruism; experiments with children; origins of preferences; social immobility; socioeconomic status (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 D64 D90 D81 J13 J24 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe
Date: 2016-02
Note: IP
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http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Decker ... hild-personality.pdf First version, April, 2015 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: How Does Socio-Economic Status Shape a Child's Personality? (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: How Does Socio-Economic Status Shape a Child's Personality? (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: How Does Socio-Economic Status Shape a Child's Personality? (2014) Downloads
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