Eckhardt Bode (Kiel Institute)
While it is well known that social skills enable workers to perform interactive tasks, little is known about the relevance of the various other facets of personality for workers’ tasks performance. The present paper addresses this question by investigating workers’ choices of occupational tasks as a function of their multifaceted personalities and economic preferences. Assuming that young labor market entrants choose those occupations whose tasks they can perform particularly well with their skills, it shows for a sample of about 3,000 German labor market entrants since 2000 that especially nonroutine cognitive and interactive tasks attract workers with distinct personality and preference profiles. Conditional on educational attainment or cognitive skills, more introverted workers choose occupations with higher intensities of nonroutine cognitive tasks while more extraverted workers choose occupations with higher intensities of interactive tasks. Nonroutine cognitive tasks are also preferred by more risk averse and trusting workers. Nonroutine manual, routine manual and routine cognitive tasks do not differ much in their workers’ personality or preference profiles, by contrast. This suggests that it may be easier for workers to switch between these three tasks than to nonroutine cognitive or interactive tasks.
Lecture Hall (A-032)