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Genetic markers as instrumental variables: an application to child fat mass and academic achievement

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  • Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder
  • George Davey Smith
  • Debbie A. Lawlor
  • Carol Propper
  • Frank Windmeijer

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Bristol)

Abstract

The use of genetic markers as instrumental variables (IV) is receiving increasing attention from economists. This paper examines the conditions that need to be met for genetic variants to be used as instruments. We combine the IV literature with that from genetic epidemiology, with an application to child adiposity (fat mass, determined by a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan) and academic performance. OLS results indicate that leaner children perform slightly better in school tests compared to their more adipose counterparts, but the IV findings show no evidence that fat mass affects academic outcomes.

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File URL: http://cemmap.ifs.org.uk/wps/cwp0310.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series CeMMAP working papers with number CWP03/10.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:03/10

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  1. Patrick Royston, 2004. "Multiple imputation of missing values," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 227-241, September.
  2. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
  3. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014, November.
  4. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
  5. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-94, December.
  6. Kaestner, Robert & Grossman, Michael, 2009. "Effects of weight on children's educational achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 651-661, December.
  7. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 12840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Edward C Norton & Euna Han, 2007. "Genetic Information, Obesity, and Labor Market Outcomes," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 07/15, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  9. Jason M. Fletcher & Steven F. Lehrer, 2009. "Using Genetic Lotteries within Families to Examine the Causal Impact of Poor Health on Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 15148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," NBER Working Papers 8344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  12. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Angrist, Joshua D & Graddy, Kathryn & Imbens, Guido W, 2000. "The Interpretation of Instrumental Variables Estimators in Simultaneous Equations Models with an Application to the Demand for Fish," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 499-527, July.
  14. Joseph J. Sabia, 2007. "The Effect of Body Weight on Adolescent Academic Performance," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 871–900, April.
  15. Weili Ding & Steven Lehrer & J. Niles Rosenquist & Janet Audrain-McGovern, 2006. "The Impact of Poor Health on Education: New Evidence Using Genetic Markers," Working Papers 1045, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  16. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 499-532, 06.
  17. J. Gronniger, 2005. "Familial obesity as a proxy for omitted variables in the obesity-mortality relationship," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 719-735, November.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The Effect of Child Weight on Academic Performance: Evidence using Genetic Markers
    by Kevin Denny in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2009-07-29 14:56:00
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Cited by:
  1. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & Nicholas A. Christakis & James H. Fowler & Bruno S. Frey, 2010. "Genes, Economics, and Happiness," CREMA Working Paper Series 2010-24, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  2. Petri Bockerman & Alex Bryson & Christian Hakulinen & Jaakko Pehkonen & Laura Pulkki-Raback & Olli Raitakari & Jutta Viinikainen, 2014. "Biomarkers and Long-term Market Outcomes: The Case of Creatine," CEP Discussion Papers dp1279, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Dr Alex Bryson, 2014. "Biomarkers and Long-term Labour Market Outcomes: The Case of Creatine," NIESR Discussion Papers 11805, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  4. Eide, Eric R. & Showalter, Mark H., 2011. "Estimating the relation between health and education: What do we know and what do we need to know?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 778-791, October.

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