Molecular Genetics and Subjective Well-Being
AbstractSubjective well-being (SWB) is a major topic of research across the social sciences. Twin and family studies have found that genetic factors may account for as much as 30-40% of the variance in SWB. Here, we study genetic contributions to SWB in a pooled sample of ~11,500 unrelated, comprehensively-genotyped Swedish and Dutch individuals. We apply a recently-developed method to estimate "common narrow heritability": the fraction of variance in SWB that can be explained by the cumulative additive effects of genetic polymorphisms that are common in the population. Our estimates are 5-10% for single-question survey measures of SWB, and 12-18% after correction for measurement error in the SWB measures. Our results suggest guarded optimism about the prospects of using genetic data in SWB research because, while the common narrow heritability is not large, the polymorphisms that contribute to it could feasibly be discovered with a sufficiently large sample of individuals.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1225.
Date of creation: Jun 2013
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subjective well-being; heritability; genetics; GREML;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
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- Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & Ed Diener & Louis Tay & Cody Xuereb, 2013. "The Objective Benefits of Subjective Well-Being," CEP Discussion Papers dp1236, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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