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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

The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2009, vol. 124, issue 2, 809-842

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 that has hitherto been largely neglected in the economics literature.

Date: 2009
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (248)

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The Quarterly Journal of Economics is currently edited by Robert J. Barro, Lawrence F. Katz, Nathan Nunn, Andrei Shleifer and Stefanie Stantcheva

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