Credit Card Borrowing and the Monoamine Oxidase A (MAOA) Gene
Jan‐Emmanuel De Neve
University of Oxford
James H. Fowler
UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences; UC San Diego School of Medicine
February 27, 2014
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Forthcoming
Using a discovery and replication sample from a U.S. representative data set, we show that a functional polymorphism on the MAOA gene is associated with credit card borrowing behavior. For the combined sample of approximately 12,000 individuals we find that having one or both MAOA alleles of the less transcriptionally efficient type raises the average likelihood of reporting credit card debt by about 4%. These results suggest that behavioral models benet from integrating genetic variation and that economists should consider the welfare consequences of possible discrimination by lenders on the basis of genotype.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: Credit card borrowing, present-biased time preferences, MAOA gene, genetic association study
JEL Classification: D14, D91, G02
Date posted: August 20, 2009 ; Last revised: February 27, 2014
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