Genes, Eyeglasses, and Social Policy
AbstractSomeone reading empirical research relating human genetics to personal outcomes must be careful to distinguish two types of work: An old literature on heritability attempts to decompose cross-sectional variation in observed outcomes into unobservable genetic and environmental components. A new literature measures specific genes and uses them as observed covariates when predicting outcomes. I will discuss these two types of work in terms of how they may inform social policy. I will argue that research on heritability is fundamentally uninformative for policy analysis, but make a cautious argument that research using genes as covariates is potentially informative.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.
Volume (Year): 25 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
- A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
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