Personality Traits and Low Wealth at Retirement
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This paper builds on research linking personality traits to saving and wealth by focusing on determinants of very low wealth among American men aged 60–66. There is a strong and robust relationship between personality traits, particularly conscientiousness, and low relative wealth. The size of the effect is similar to those of risk aversion and time preference and is not explained by these factors or by income, age, or family size. The relationship between personality and wealth is found to be specific to people with low relative wealth and is independent of education and financial literacy.
KeywordsSaving Wealth Personality Retirement
JEL ClassificationD14 household saving Personal finance
The author is grateful for the assistance and support of the UC, Irvine Economics faculty, in particular David Neumark, Marianne Bitler, and Michael McBride, for their advice on this paper. Thanks also to the referees and editors who reviewed this paper for their excellent suggestions. All errors are my own.
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