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

  • Debbie A. Lawlor

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Carol Propper

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Stephanie Scholder

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Bristol)

  • Frank Windmeijer

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Bristol)

  • George Davey Smith

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

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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  1. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
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  4. Weili Ding & Steven Lehrer & J. Niles Rosenquist & Janet Audrain-McGovern, 2006. "The Impact of Poor Health on Education: New Evidence Using Genetic Markers," Working Papers 1045, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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  7. Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," Scholarly Articles 3043406, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  9. 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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  12. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro & Flavio Cunha, 2004. "The Technology of Skill Formation," 2004 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. J. Gronniger, 2005. "Familial obesity as a proxy for omitted variables in the obesity-mortality relationship," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 719-735, November.
  14. Patrick Royston, 2004. "Multiple imputation of missing values," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 227-241, September.
  15. Joseph J. Sabia, 2007. "The Effect of Body Weight on Adolescent Academic Performance," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 871–900, April.
  16. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
  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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