IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ehbiol/v8y2010i3p320-330.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Nature, nurture and socioeconomic policy--What can we learn from molecular genetics?

Author

Listed:
  • Lundborg, Petter
  • Stenberg, Anders

Abstract

Many countries use public resources to compensate individuals with genetic disorders, identified by behaviors/symptoms such as chronic diseases and disabilities. This paper draws attention to molecular genetic research which may provide a new dimension to our understanding of how socioeconomic outcomes are generated. We provide an overview of the recently emerging evidence of gene-environment interaction effects. This literature points out specific areas where policies may compensate groups of individuals carrying genetic risks, without the need to identify anyone's genetic endowments. Moreover, epigenetics studies, which concern heritable changes in gene functions that occur independently of the DNA sequence, have shown that environments may affect heritable traits across generations. It means that policies which neutralize adverse environments may also increase intergenerational mobility, given that genetic and/or environmental risk factors are more common in socially disadvantaged groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Lundborg, Petter & Stenberg, Anders, 2010. "Nature, nurture and socioeconomic policy--What can we learn from molecular genetics?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 320-330, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:8:y:2010:i:3:p:320-330
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570-677X(10)00069-9
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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, vol. 22(7), pages 539-562, July.
    2. Case, Anne & Lin, I-Fen & McLanahan, Sara, 2000. "How Hungry Is the Selfish Gene?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 781-804, October.
    3. Anders Björklund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2006. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 999-1028.
    4. 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, vol. 111(3), pages 611-641, June.
    5. Haoming Liu & Jinli Zeng, 2009. "Genetic ability and intergenerational earnings mobility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(1), pages 75-95, January.
    6. Jäntti, Markus & Bratsberg, Bernt & Røed, Knut & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Naylor, Robin & Österbacka, Eva & Bjørklund, Anders & Eriksson, Tor, 2005. "American exceptionalism in a new light: a comparison of intergenerational earnings mobility in the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom and the United States," Memorandum 34/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    7. Bruce Sacerdote, 2007. "How Large are the Effects from Changes in Family Environment? A Study of Korean American Adoptees," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 119-157.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:99:y:2005:i:02:p:153-167_05 is not listed on IDEAS
    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, vol. 66(5), pages 858-870, December.
    10. 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, vol. 97(6), pages 1425-1446, December.
    11. Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "The Nature and Nurture of Economic Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 344-348, May.
    12. David Cesarini & Christopher T. Dawes & Magnus Johannesson & Paul Lichtenstein & Björn Wallace, 2009. "Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk Taking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 809-842.
    13. Doyle, Orla & Harmon, Colm P. & Heckman, James J. & Tremblay, Richard E., 2009. "Investing in early human development: Timing and economic efficiency," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-6, March.
    14. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human DEvelopment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 320-364, 04-05.
    15. Ariel Knafo & Salomon Israel & Ariel Darvasi & Rachel Bachner-Melman & Florina Uzefovsky & Lior Cohen & Esti Feldman & Elad Lerer & Efrat Laiba & Yael Raz & Lubov Nemanov & Inga Gritsenko & Christian , 2007. "Individual Differences in Allocation of Funds in the Dictator Game Associated with Length of the Arginine Vasopressin 1a Receptor (AVPR1a) RS3 Promoter-region and Correlation between RS3 Length and Hi," Discussion Paper Series dp457, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    16. McEvoy, Brian P. & Visscher, Peter M., 2009. "Genetics of human height," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 294-306, December.
    17. 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," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-23, November.
    18. Bernt Bratsberg & Knut Røed & Oddbjørn Raaum & Robin Naylor & Markus Ja¨ntti & Tor Eriksson & Eva O¨sterbacka, 2007. "Nonlinearities in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility: Consequences for Cross-Country Comparisons," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages 72-92, March.
    19. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1976. "Intergenerational Transmission of Income and Wealth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 436-440, May.
    20. James J. Heckman, 2007. "The Economics, Technology and Neuroscience of Human Capability Formation," NBER Working Papers 13195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. David Cesarini & Magnus Johannesson & Paul Lichtenstein & Björn Wallace, 2009. "Heritability of Overconfidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 617-627, 04-05.
    22. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics & Psychology of Inequality and Human Development," Working Papers 200905, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    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. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Pinger, Pia R., 2016. "Transgenerational effects of childhood conditions on third generation health and education outcomes," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 103-120.
    2. Gränsmark, Patrik, 2012. "Masters of our time: Impatience and self-control in high-level chess games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 179-191.
    3. Nævdal, Eric, 2014. "Optimal screening for genetic diseases," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 129-139.
    4. repec:eee:socmed:v:188:y:2017:i:c:p:191-200 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Pinger, Pia, 2014. "A Validation Study of Transgenerational Effects of Childhood Conditions on the Third Generation Offspring's Economic and Health Outcomes Potentially Driven by Epigenetic Imprinting," IZA Discussion Papers 7999, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Owen Thompson, 2014. "Economic Background and Educational Attainment: The Role of Gene-Environment Interactions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(2), pages 263-294.
    7. Cook, C. Justin & Fletcher, Jason M., 2014. "Interactive effects of in utero nutrition and genetic inheritance on cognition: New evidence using sibling comparisons," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 144-154.
    8. Juho Härkönen & Hande Kaymakçalan & Pirjo Mäki & Anja Taanila, 2012. "Prenatal Health, Educational Attainment, and Intergenerational Inequality: The Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 Study," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(2), pages 525-552, May.
    9. Richter, André & Robling, Per Olof, 2013. "Multigenerational e ffects of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic in Sweden," Working Paper Series 5/2013, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    10. Stenberg, Anders, 2013. "Interpreting estimates of heritability – A note on the twin decomposition," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 201-205.
    11. Björklund, Anders & Jäntti, Markus, 2012. "How important is family background for labor-economic outcomes?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 465-474.
    12. Gränsmark, Patrik, 2012. "Masters of Our Time: Impatience and Self-control in High-level Chess Games," Working Paper Series 2/2012, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Genes Environment Inequality;

    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:eee:ehbiol:v:8:y:2010:i:3:p:320-330. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964 .

    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.