People who are disagreeable earn more than people who are agreeable, and the gap is biggest among men, according to an analysis of four surveys spanning almost 20 years.

Harvard Business Review reported this morning on a study led by Cornell University professor Beth A. Livingston that was delivered to a recent meeting of the Academy of Management.
Men who are significantly less agreeable than average earn 18.3 percent more than men who are significantly more agreeable than average, while the comparable figure for women is 5.47 percent.

“Nice guys do not necessarily finish last, but they do finish a distant second in terms of earnings,” conclude the study’s authors.

The paper’s findings emerge from analysis of data collected during a span of almost two decades in four different surveys.