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Why Do Introverts Get Paid Less?


One of our self-described "introverted" listeners asked us: "Is my introverted-ness costing me money?"

We posed that question to Miriam Gensowski, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Copenhagen who studies the connection between personality traits and lifetime outcomes. She found that the answer is yes, introverts tend to earn less than extroverts over time — but there are some caveats.

Some of the research referenced in this story:

Miriam Gensowski, " Personality, IQ, and Lifetime Earnings"

Timothy A. Judge, Chad A. Higgins, Carl J. Thoresen, Murray R. Barrick, " The Big Five Personality Traits, General Mental Ability, and Career Success Across the Life Span"

Timothy A. Judge, Remus Ilies, Joyce E. Bono, Megan W. Gerhardt, " Personality and Leadership: A Qualitative and Quantitative Review"

Michael O'Connell, Hammad Sheikh, "'Big Five' Personality Dimensions and Social Attainment: Evidence from Beyond the Campus"

Jason M. Fletcher, "The Effects of Personality Traits on Adult Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Siblings"

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Cardiff Garcia is a co-host of NPR's The Indicator from Planet Money podcast, along with Stacey Vanek Smith. He joined NPR in November 2017.
Stacey Vanek Smith is the co-host of NPR's The Indicator from Planet Money. She's also a correspondent for Planet Money, where she covers business and economics. In this role, Smith has followed economic stories down the muddy back roads of Oklahoma to buy 100 barrels of oil; she's traveled to Pune, India, to track down the man who pitched the country's dramatic currency devaluation to the prime minister; and she's spoken with a North Korean woman who made a small fortune smuggling artificial sweetener in from China.