Dr. Caroline Wehner

Too Scared to Achieve: The Relation between Neuroticism, Conscientiousness and Socioeconomic Outcomes

Year: 2018

Lex Borghans and Trudie Schils


Economic studies show that low emotional stability is negatively related to socioeconomic outcomes, while conscientiousness predicts desirable results. Possible mechanisms behind these relations are far less explored. The dissertation addresses this research gap both theoretically and empirically by including psychological insights into an economic model. Di?erences in expectations and the individual problem-solving ability are explored as an important channel for the observed relations between personality and socioeconomic outcomes. The results suggest that both low emotionally stable and low conscientious individuals have a higher risk to be trapped in a disadvantageous circle of negative expectations and experiences throughout life. Interventions already in school might reduce this risk.

Selected publications by Caroline Wehner