Do Good Things Come in Pairs? How Personality Traits Help Explain Individuals’ Simultaneous Pursuit of a Healthy Lifestyle and Financially Responsible Behavior
Accepted for publication in the Journal of Consumer Affairs
59 Pages Posted: 2 May 2019 Last revised: 1 Jun 2020
Date Written: May 21, 2020
Both a healthy lifestyle and financially responsible behavior contribute to individual wellbeing and benefit society. Motivated by the fact that both types of behavior involve short-term sacrifices in exchange for uncertain long-term benefits and require self-control, we examine individuals’ consistency in behavior across the health and financial domains. Using a large-scale dataset of 3,752 employed Australians, we find that the majority of individuals behave in a consistently beneficial or detrimental way across both domains. This behavioral consistency relates to fundamental life outcomes, including physical and mental health, financial prosperity, and life satisfaction. In a new contribution to the literature, we show how personality traits – Locus of Control, the Big Five, Achievement Motivation – have a meaningful role in explaining the simultaneous pursuit of a healthy lifestyle and financially responsible behavior. These behavioral insights can guide policymakers in developing more effective strategies to steer individuals towards beneficial health and financial outcomes.
Keywords: Behavioral Insights, Financial Responsibility, Health Behavior, Household Finance, Personality Traits, Public Policy
JEL Classification: D14, D91, G02, G11, I12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation