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High School Genetic Diversity and Later-life Student Outcomes: Micro-level Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study

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  • C. Justin Cook
  • Jason M. Fletcher

Abstract

A novel hypothesis posits that levels of genetic diversity in a population may partially explain variation in the development and success of countries. Our paper extends evidence on this novel question by subjecting the hypothesis to an alternative context that eliminates many alternative hypotheses by aggregating representative data to the high school level from a single state (Wisconsin) in 1957, when the population was composed nearly entirely of individuals of European ancestry. Using this sample of high school aggregations, we too find a strong effect of genetic diversity on socioeconomic outcomes. Additionally, we check an existing mechanism and propose a new potential mechanism of the results for innovation: personality traits associated with creativity and divergent thinking.

Suggested Citation

  • C. Justin Cook & Jason M. Fletcher, 2017. "High School Genetic Diversity and Later-life Student Outcomes: Micro-level Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study," NBER Working Papers 23520, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23520
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    Cited by:

    1. Özak, Ömer & Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio, 2020. "The Origins of the Division of Labor in Pre-Industrial Times," SocArXiv k59wg, Center for Open Science.
    2. Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2018. "Interpersonal Diversity and Socioeconomic Disparities Across Populations: A Reply to Rosenberg and Kang," Working Papers 2018-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    3. Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ömer Özak, 2018. "The Origins of the Division of Labor in Pre-modern Times," Departmental Working Papers 1803, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    4. Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2018. "The Out of Africa Hypothesis of Comparative Economic Development: Common Misconceptions," Working Papers 2018-13, Brown University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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