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Genetic Markers as Instrumental Variables:An Application to Child Fat Mass and Academic Achievement

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

    ()

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://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmpo/publications/papers/2010/wp229.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 10/229.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:10/229
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  1. Robert Kaestner & Michael Grossman, 2008. "Effects of Weight on Children's Educational Achievement," NBER Working Papers 13764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
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