Genetic Markers as Instrumental Variables: An Application to Child Fat Mass and Academic Achievement

Posted: 6 Jul 2011

See all articles by Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder

Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder

University of Bristol

George Davey Smith

University of Bristol - MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit; Social Medicine, University of Bristol

Debbie Lawlor

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Carol Propper

Imperial College London Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO)

Frank Windmeijer

University of Bristol - Department of Economics; University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO); Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) - Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice

Date Written: June 2010

Abstract

The use of genetic markers as instrumental variables (IV) is receiving increasing attention from economists. This paper examines the conditions that need to be met for genetic variants to be used as instruments. We combine the IV literature with that from genetic epidemiology, with an application to child adiposity (fat mass) and academic performance. We use a direct measure of fat mass (determined by a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan), rather than the generally used BMI which incorporates both fat and lean mass. OLS results indicate that leaner children perform slightly better in school tests compared to their more adipose counterparts, but the IV findings show no evidence that fat mass affects academic outcomes.

Keywords: Adiposity, BMI, educational attainment, Fat Mass, Genetic Variant, instrumental variables, Mendelian Randomization

Suggested Citation

von Hinke Kessler Scholder, Stephanie and Davey Smith, George and Lawlor, Debbie and Propper, Carol and Windmeijer, Frank, Genetic Markers as Instrumental Variables: An Application to Child Fat Mass and Academic Achievement (June 2010). American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon) Paper . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1880382

Stephanie Von Hinke Kessler Scholder (Contact Author)

University of Bristol ( email )

8 Woodland Road
Bristol, BS8 1TN
United Kingdom

George Davey Smith

University of Bristol - MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit ( email )

Bristol
United Kingdom

Social Medicine, University of Bristol ( email )

Bristol
United Kingdom

Debbie Lawlor

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Carol Propper

Imperial College London Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) ( email )

12 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TN
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Economics/department/profiles/propper.htm

Frank Windmeijer

University of Bristol - Department of Economics ( email )

8 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 ITN
United Kingdom

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) ( email )

12 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TN
United Kingdom

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) - Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice

7 Ridgmount Street
London WC1E 7AE, WC1E 7 AE
United Kingdom

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