nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2022‒08‒15
two papers chosen by

  1. Personality Traits and Cognitive Ability in Political Selection By Markus Jokela; Jaakko Meriläinen; Janne Tukiainen; Åsa von Schoultz
  2. Investigating inconsistencies in complex lotteries: The role of cognitive skills of low-numeracy subjects By Bruns, Selina; Hermann, Daniel; Musshoff, Oliver

  1. By: Markus Jokela (Department of Psychology and Logopedics, University of Helsinki.); Jaakko Meriläinen (Centro de Investigación Económica and Department of Economics, ITAM.); Janne Tukiainen (Department of Economics, University of Turku; VATT Institute for Economic Research.); Åsa von Schoultz (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki.)
    Abstract: We present the first comprehensive evidence on the role of cognitive ability and personality traits in the selection of electoral candidates and election of politicians. Using unique data that combine population registers and election statistics from local government elections in Finland with tests of cognitive and non-cognitive ability of men administered by the Finnish Defense Forces, we document two main findings. First, political parties select candidates who fare better than the office-eligible population in both intelligence and personality tests that capture three dimensions of cognitive and seven dimensions of non-cognitive ability. Second, elected politicians possess more desirable traits than nonelected candidates. Our results show that a voter-oriented open-list system is able to select competent, motivated, and honest representatives. We also assess the relative importance of cognitive abilities and personality traits, present evidence of no trade-offs between politician quality and descriptive representation, and illustrate that political competition may be an important contextual factor shaping selection.
    Keywords: candidate entry, cognitive ability, election, open-list PR system, personality, political selection
    JEL: D72 J24
    Date: 2022–07
  2. By: Bruns, Selina; Hermann, Daniel; Musshoff, Oliver
    Keywords: Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, Risk and Uncertainty
    Date: 2022–04

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.