Does Self-control Predict Wealth Creation Among Young Baby Boomers?

Tim S. Griesdorn, Dorothy B. Durband

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Why similar people have different patterns of wealth accumulation is puzzling. The behavioral life-cycle hypothesis indicates self-control is an important aspect of household saving behavior. This study investigated if household wealth creation from 1994 to 2008 could be predicted by self-control among a sample of young baby boomers using National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) data. Variables that significantly predicted 2008 net worth included homeownership, 1994 net worth, income, bankruptcy filing, inheritance, education level, race, marital status, children, retirement planning activities, locus of control, and self-mastery. The addition of self-control predictors to a regression model improved the model’s ability to predict net worth by 1.3 % above and beyond the human capital, financial status, and demographic predictor variables. In total, the model explained 60 % of the variance in net worth. Findings indicated that individuals who invested in their human capital, were homeowners, and had higher self-control, accumulated more wealth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-28
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family and Economic Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Baby boomers
  • Behavioral life-cycle
  • Self-control
  • Wealth


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