In the excerpt below, the WSJ summarizes an article that appeared in Forbes on March 12, 2007. The summarized study implies that those who are innately conscientious end up being rewarded with higher income. I hope it is true. My guess is that the world comes closer to working that way under capitalist institutions, than under other economic systems. (Note that this study was done by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, which implies that we’re talking about what happens in the United States.)
The insight originates in 1979, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics paid 12,700 young people $50 to take a range of tests, one of which required a simple code to be deciphered. The BLS has since surveyed the test takers regularly. Going through the data, Carmit Segal, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Business School, found a strong relationship between someone’s score in the coding test and his or her income over 20 years later, even taking into account differences in IQ.
Ms. Segal argues those who did well on the test were driven entirely by an innate conscientiousness, because candidates had nothing to gain from doing well on it.
For the full story, see:
(Note: the online version has a different subtitle: "A Tricky Test Could Reveal Job Applicants’ Work Ethic")