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Economic Background and Educational Attainment: The Role of Gene- Environment Interactions

Economic Background and Educational Attainment: The Role of Gene- Environment Interactions On average, children from less economically privileged households have lower levels of educational attainment than their higher- income peers, and this association has important implications for intergenerational mobility and equality of opportunity. This paper shows that the income-education association varies greatly across groups of children with different versions of a specific gene, monoamine-oxidase A (MAOA), which impacts neurotransmitter activity. For children with one MAOA variant, increases in household income have the expected positive association with education. For children with another variant, who comprise over half of the population, this relationship is much weaker. These results hold when the interactive effects are identified using genetic variation between full biological siblings, which genetic principles assert is as good as randomly assigned. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Human Resources University of Wisconsin Press

Economic Background and Educational Attainment: The Role of Gene- Environment Interactions

Journal of Human Resources , Volume 49 (2) – Apr 23, 2014

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
©by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
ISSN
1548-8004

Abstract

On average, children from less economically privileged households have lower levels of educational attainment than their higher- income peers, and this association has important implications for intergenerational mobility and equality of opportunity. This paper shows that the income-education association varies greatly across groups of children with different versions of a specific gene, monoamine-oxidase A (MAOA), which impacts neurotransmitter activity. For children with one MAOA variant, increases in household income have the expected positive association with education. For children with another variant, who comprise over half of the population, this relationship is much weaker. These results hold when the interactive effects are identified using genetic variation between full biological siblings, which genetic principles assert is as good as randomly assigned.

Journal

Journal of Human ResourcesUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Apr 23, 2014

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