Journal of Bioeconomics

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 71–109 | Cite as

Conscientious consumers? Personality, preferences and expenditures in the UK

  • Benjamin VollandEmail author


This study explores the relationship between Big Five personality traits and expenditures for food away from home and other leisure activities using data from a large, representative sample of the population in the United Kingdom. Results from a set of simple mediation analyses show that extraversion, openness and agreeableness are the most relevant dimensions for predicting expenditures on both activities, and that the effects of the latter two traits are overwhelmingly mediated by other socio-economic characteristics. Further analyses provide little support for a close relationship between personality traits and preferences over different leisure activities, and thus substantiate approaches that include personality as a constraint into economic models of human behavior.


Personality Five factor model Expenditures Leisure UK 

JEL Classification




I would like to thank Stephan B. Bruns, Wolfhard Kaus and Ulrich Witt for helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. Suggestions by an anonymous reviewer also greatly helped improving it. All remaining errors are mine.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Economic ResearchUniversity of NeuchâtelNeuchâtelSwitzerland

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