Genetic Fortune: Winning or Losing Education, Income, and Health

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2020-053/V

158 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2020 Last revised: 2 Dec 2020

See all articles by Hyeokmoon Kweon

Hyeokmoon Kweon

VU University Amsterdam

Casper Burik

VU University Amsterdam

Richard Karlsson Linnér

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Ronald de Vlaming

VU University Amsterdam

Aysu Okbay

VU University Amsterdam

Daphne Martschenko

Stanford University

Kathryn Harden Harden

University of Texas at Austin

Thomas A. DiPrete

Columbia University - Department of Sociology

Philipp Koellinger

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Date Written: November 26, 2020

Abstract

We develop a polygenic index for individual income and examine random differences in this index with lifetime outcomes in a sample of ~35,000 biological siblings. We find that genetic fortune for higher income causes greater socio-economic status and better health, partly via intervenable environmental pathways such as education. The positive returns to schooling remain substantial even after controlling for now observable genetic confounds. Our findings illustrate that inequalities in education, income, and health are partly due the outcomes of a genetic lottery. However, the consequences of different genetic endowments are malleable, for example via policies that target education.

Keywords: Income, education, health, inequality, heritability, genetics, polygenic index

JEL Classification: J00, I20, I10

Suggested Citation

Kweon, Hyeokmoon and Burik, Casper and Karlsson Linnér, Richard and de Vlaming, Ronald and Okbay, Aysu and Martschenko, Daphne and Harden, Kathryn Harden and DiPrete, Thomas A. and Koellinger, Philipp, Genetic Fortune: Winning or Losing Education, Income, and Health (November 26, 2020). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2020-053/V, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3682041 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3682041

Hyeokmoon Kweon (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

Casper Burik

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

Richard Karlsson Linnér

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands
+31633226460 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://ctg.cncr.nl/about-us/richard_karlsson_linner

Ronald De Vlaming

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

Aysu Okbay

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

Daphne Martschenko

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Kathryn Harden Harden

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

10100 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX Texas 78758
United States

Thomas A. DiPrete

Columbia University - Department of Sociology ( email )

New York, NY 10027
United States

Philipp Koellinger

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.philipp-koellinger.com

Do you want regular updates from SSRN on Twitter?

Paper statistics

Downloads
124
Abstract Views
589
rank
306,244
PlumX Metrics