Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers


Personality traits, intra-household allocation and the gender wage gap

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



A model of how personality traits affect household time and resource allocation decisions and wages is developed and estimated. In the model, households choose between two behavioral modes: cooperative or noncooperative. Spouses receive wage offers and allocate time to supplying labor market hours and to producing a public good. Personality traits, measured by the so-called Big Five traits, can affect household bargaining weights and wage offers. Model parameters are estimated by Simulated Method of Moments using the Household Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) data. Personality traits are found to be important determinants of household bargaining weights and of wage offers and to have substantial implications for understanding the sources of gender wage disparities.


Gender wage differentials, Personality and economic outcomes, household bargaining, time allocations

Working Paper Number


Copyright/Permission Statement

Opinions and views are solely the responsibility of the authors. Weilong Zhang is a Ph.D. student in the U Penn economics department.


Todd and Zhang acknowledge research funding from the Pension Research Council/Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research at the Wharton School and the Population Studies Center of the University of Pennsylvania.



Date Posted: 06 February 2019