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The Economics and Econometrics of Gene-Environment Interplay

Pietro Biroli (), Titus Galama (), Stephanie von Hinke (), Hans van Kippersluis (), Cornelius Rietveld () and Kevin Thom ()
Additional contact information
Hans van Kippersluis: Erasmus University
Cornelius Rietveld: Erasmus University
Kevin Thom: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

No 2022-005, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: Economists and social scientists have debated the relative importance of nature (one's genes) and nurture (one's environment) for decades, if not centuries. This debate can now be informed by the ready availability of genetic data in a growing number of social science datasets. This paper explores the potential uses of genetic data in economics, with a focus on estimating the interplay between nature (genes) and nurture (environment). We discuss how economists can benefit from incorporating genetic data into their analyses even when they do not have a direct interest in estimating genetic effects. We argue that gene-environment (GxE) studies can be instrumental for (i) testing economic theory, (ii) uncovering economic or behavioral mechanisms, and (iii) analyzing treatment effect heterogeneity, thereby improving the understanding of how (policy) interventions affect population subgroups. We introduce the reader to essential genetic terminology, develop a conceptual economic model to interpret gene-environment interplay, and provide practical guidance to empirical researchers.

Keywords: gene-by-environment interplay; polygenic indices; social science genetics; ALSPAC (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D10 D30 I10 I20 J10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ban, nep-dem, nep-env and nep-hpe
Note: ECI, HI, MIP
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http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Biroli ... gene-environment.pdf First version, February 25, 2022 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: The Economics and Econometrics of Gene-Environment Interplay (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: Economics and Econometrics of Gene-Environment Interplay (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: The Economics and Econometrics of Gene-Environment Interplay (2022) Downloads
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