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Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk-Taking

David Cesarini (), Christopher T. Dawes (), Magnus Johannesson (), Paul Lichtenstein () and Björn Wallace ()
Additional contact information
Christopher T. Dawes: Political Science Department, University of California, San Diego, Postal: University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive 0521, La Jolla, CA 92093-0521, USA
Paul Lichtenstein: Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Postal: Karolinska Institutet, Box 281, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
Björn Wallace: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

No 679, Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance from Stockholm School of Economics

Abstract: In this paper, we use the classical twin design to provide estimates of genetic and environmental influences on experimentally elicited preferences for risk and giving. Using standard methods from behavior genetics, we find strong prima facie evidence that these preferences are broadly heritable and our estimates suggest that genetic differences explain approximately twenty percent of individual variation. The results thus shed light on an important source of individual variation in preferences, a source which has hitherto largely been neglected in the economics literature.

Keywords: Genetics; Altruism; Risk Aversion; Preferences; Experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 D01 D64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-ltv and nep-upt
Date: 2007-11-22, Revised 2009-01-12
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Forthcoming in Quarterly Journal of Economics.

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http://swopec.hhs.se/hastef/papers/hastef0679.pdf (application/pdf)
http://swopec.hhs.se/hastef/papers/hastef0679.appendix.pdf (application/pdf)

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Journal Article: Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk Taking (2009) Downloads
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