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Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk-Taking

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Author Info

  • David, Cesarini

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Dawes, Christopher T.

    ()
    (Political Science Department, University of California, San Diego)

  • Johannesson, Magnus

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Lichtenstein, Paul

    ()
    (Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet)

  • Wallace, Björn

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

In this paper, we use the classical twin design to provide estimates of genetic and environmental influences on experimentally elicited preferences for risk and giving. Using standard methods from behavior genetics, we find strong prima facie evidence that these preferences are broadly heritable and our estimates suggest that genetic differences explain approximately twenty percent of individual variation. The results thus shed light on an important source of individual variation in preferences, a source which has hitherto largely been neglected in the economics literature.

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File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/hastef/papers/hastef0679.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 679.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 22 Nov 2007
Date of revision: 12 Jan 2009
Publication status: Forthcoming in Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0679

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Keywords: Genetics; Altruism; Risk Aversion; Preferences; Experiments;

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References

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  1. Genetic Variation in Giving and Risk Taking
    by Liam Delaney in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2009-06-22 17:43:00
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