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Genetic lotteries within families

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  • Fletcher, Jason M.
  • Lehrer, Steven F.

Abstract

Drawing on findings from the biomedical literature, this paper introduces the idea that specific exogenously inherited differences in the genetic code between full biological siblings can be used to test within-family estimators and potentially improve our understanding of economic relationships. These points are illustrated with an application to identify the causal impact of several poor health conditions on academic outcomes. We present evidence that family fixed effects estimators by themselves cannot fully account for the endogeneity of poor health when estimating education production functions. Further, our analysis elucidates the situations under which genetic markers can serve as instrumental variables for specific health conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Fletcher, Jason M. & Lehrer, Steven F., 2011. "Genetic lotteries within families," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 647-659, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:4:p:647-659
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    References listed on IDEAS

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