The Non-Cognitive Roots of Civic Honesty: Evidence from the US

TitleThe Non-Cognitive Roots of Civic Honesty: Evidence from the US
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsAlessandro, B, Zarri, L
Series TitleDepartment of Economics Working Paper Series
Document Number2
InstitutionUniversity of Verona
CityVerona, Italy
ISSN Number2036-2919
KeywordsCivic Honesty, Personality Traits, socioeconomic status

Even though a large experimental literature explored the links between personality traits and
honesty, available evidence is inconclusive. In this study, we provide large-scale evidence on
the influence of the “Big Five” personality traits on civic honesty, by considering the role
played by individuals’ socioeconomic status. To this aim, we rely on survey data from the
Health and Retirement Study (HRS), which is representative of the US population aged 50 or
more. We show that most “Big Five” traits significantly affect civic honesty, with
Agreeableness being the strongest predictor. We view our findings as complementing and
extending to civic-minded behavior the results of prior work on cheating based on small
samples and non-representative subject pools.

Citation Key11403