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Key Findings Details

Personality, Lifetime Earnings, and Retirement Wealth
Angela Lee Duckworth and David Weir
WP 2010-235

  • More conscientious and emotionally stable adults have higher lifetime earnings.
  • Personality measures account for nearly as much variation in lifetime earnings as do cognitive measures.
  • Conscientiousness and emotional stability interact such that the effects of conscientiousness on lifetime earnings are greater among less emotionally stable adults.
  • In couples, the conscientiousness of husbands and of wives has equal positive effects on wealth.