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Nature, Nurture and Egalitarian Policy: What Can We Learn from Molecular Genetics?

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  • Lundborg, Petter

    ()
    (Lund University)

  • Stenberg, Anders

    ()
    (SOFI, Stockholm University)

Abstract

This brief paper draws attention to molecular genetic research which may provide a new dimension to our understanding of how socioeconomic outcomes are generated. In particular, we provide an overview of the recently emerging evidence of gene-environment interaction effects. This literature points out specific policy areas which may compensate individuals carrying genetic risks, without resorting to gene mapping of the population. Such policies would also increase intergenerational mobility if genetic and/or environmental risk factors are more common in socially disadvantaged groups.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4585.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: Economics and Human Biology, 2010, 8 (3), 320-330
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4585

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Keywords: gene; environment; interaction; molecular genetics; inequality;

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References

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  1. Björklund, Anders & Jäntti, Markus & Solon, Gary, 2007. "Nature and Nurture in the Intergenerational Transmission of Socioeconomic Status: Evidence from Swedish Children and Their Biological and Rearing Parents," IZA Discussion Papers 2665, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Smith, Susan Livingston & Howard, Jeanne A. & Monroe, Alan D., 2000. "Issues underlying behavior problems in at-risk adopted children," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 539-562, July.
  3. James J. Heckman, 2007. "The Economics, Technology and Neuroscience of Human Capability Formation," NBER Working Papers 13195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "The Nature and Nurture of Economic Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bruce Sacerdote, 2007. "How Large Are the Effects from Changes in Family Environment? A Study of Korean American Adoptees," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 119-157, 02.
  6. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human Development," Working Papers, Geary Institute, University College Dublin 200934, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  7. Erik Plug & Wim Vijverberg, 2003. "Schooling, Family Background, and Adoption: Is It Nature or Is It Nurture?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 611-641, June.
  8. Haoming Liu & Jinli Zeng, 2009. "Genetic ability and intergenerational earnings mobility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 75-95, January.
  9. Taubman, Paul, 1976. "The Determinants of Earnings: Genetics, Family, and Other Environments; A Study of White Male Twins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 858-70, December.
  10. Anne Case & I-Fen Lin & Sara McLanahan, 1999. "How Hungry is the Selfish Gene?," NBER Working Papers 7401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Anders Björklund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2006. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 999-1028, 08.
  12. David Cesarini & Magnus Johannesson & Paul Lichtenstein & Björn Wallace, 2009. "Heritability of Overconfidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 617-627, 04-05.
  13. David, Cesarini & Dawes, Christopher T. & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul & Wallace, Björn, 2007. "Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk-Taking," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance, Stockholm School of Economics 679, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 12 Jan 2009.
  14. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1989. "Is Schooling "Mostly in the Genes"? Nature-N urture Decomposition Using Data on Relatives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1425-46, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Niknami, Susan, 2010. "Intergenerational Transmission of Education among Immigrant Mothers and their Daughters in Sweden," SULCIS Working Papers, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS 2010:10, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
  2. Gränsmark, Patrik, 2010. "A Rib Less Makes you Consistent but Impatient: A Gender Comparison of Expert Chess Players," Working Paper Series, Swedish Institute for Social Research 5/2010, Swedish Institute for Social Research.

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