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This study explored predictors of credit card debt and foreclosure rates in the states of the USA, based on the average personality scores of the residents of the states obtained from an Internet questionnaire completed by 619 397 residents (Rentfrow et al., 2008). It was
found that states whose residents had higher credit card debt in the year 2000 had residents who scored higher in openness and lower in agreeableness. States with higher foreclosure rates in 2007 had residents who scored higher in openness and also had lower average intelligence test scores.
The results were used to argue for a subcultural approach for ecological studies of economic behaviour.