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Genetic markers as instrumental variables: an application to child fat mass and academic achievement

  • Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • George Davey Smith

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Debbie A. Lawlor

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Carol Propper

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Frank Windmeijer

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Bristol)

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://cemmap.ifs.org.uk/wps/cwp0310.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series CeMMAP working papers with number CWP03/10.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:03/10
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  14. Jason M. Fletcher & Steven F. Lehrer, 2009. "Using Genetic Lotteries within Families to Examine the Causal Impact of Poor Health on Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 15148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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