IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/jecper/v25y2011i4p83-94.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Genes, Eyeglasses, and Social Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Charles F. Manski

Abstract

Someone 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles F. Manski, 2011. "Genes, Eyeglasses, and Social Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 83-94, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:25:y:2011:i:4:p:83-94
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.25.4.83
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.25.4.83
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Goldberger, A.S. & Manski, C.F., 1995. "Review Article: The Bell Curve by Herrnstein and Murray," Working papers 9502, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Smith, Jonathan, 2013. "Ova and out: Using twins to estimate the educational returns to attending a selective college," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 166-180.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:404-424 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Edwin Leuven & Erik Plug & Marte Rønning, 2014. "The relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors to cancer risk and cancer mortality in Norway," Discussion Papers 776, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    4. Costa-Font, J. & Jofre-Bonet, M. & Le Grand, J., 2016. "Vertical Transmission of Overweight: Evidence from English Adoptees," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 15/05, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    5. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2016. "Biology and Gender in the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 10386, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Joan Costa Font & Mireia Jofre-Bonet & Julian Le Grand, 2015. "Vertical Transmission of Overweight: Evidence From English Adoptees," CEP Discussion Papers dp1324, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. Olaf Hübler, 2013. "Are Tall People Less Risk Averse Than Others?," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 133(1), pages 23-42.
    8. Lorenzo Cappellari, 2016. "Income inequality and social origins," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 261-261, May.
    9. Jason Collins & Boris Baer & Ernst Juerg Weber, 2016. "Evolutionary Biology in Economics: A Review," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 92(297), pages 291-312, June.
    10. Loewen, Peter J. & Dawes, Christopher T. & Mazar, Nina & Johannesson, Magnus & Koellinger, Philipp & Magnusson, Patrik K.E., 2013. "The heritability of moral standards for everyday dishonesty," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 363-366.
    11. Maczulskij, Terhi, 2013. "Employment sector and pay gaps: Genetic and environmental influences," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 89-96.
    12. Stenberg, Anders, 2013. "Interpreting estimates of heritability – A note on the twin decomposition," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 201-205.
    13. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet & Herrmann, Mariesa, 2012. "From infant to mother: Early disease environment and future maternal health," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 475-483.
    14. Vanessa Mertins & Andrea B. Schote & Jobst Meyer, 2013. "Variants of the Monoamine Oxidase A Gene (MAOA) Predict Free-riding Behavior in Women in a Strategic Public Goods Experiment," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201302, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    15. Hyytinen, Ari & Ilmakunnas, Pekka & Johansson, Edvard & Toivanen, Otto, 2013. "Heritability of Lifetime Income," MPRA Paper 46326, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:25:y:2011:i:4:p:83-94. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.