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Credit Card Borrowing and the Monoamine Oxidase A (MAOA) Gene

34 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2009 Last revised: 27 Feb 2014

Jan‐Emmanuel De Neve

University of Oxford

James H. Fowler

UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences; UC San Diego School of Medicine

Date Written: February 27, 2014

Abstract

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 fi nd 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 bene t from integrating genetic variation and that economists should consider the welfare consequences of possible discrimination by lenders on the basis of genotype.

Keywords: Credit card borrowing, present-biased time preferences, MAOA gene, genetic association study

JEL Classification: D14, D91, G02

Suggested Citation

De Neve, Jan‐Emmanuel and Fowler, James H., Credit Card Borrowing and the Monoamine Oxidase A (MAOA) Gene (February 27, 2014). Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1457224 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1457224

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

James Fowler

UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu

UC San Diego School of Medicine ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu

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