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J Health Econ. 2011 Jul;30(4):647-59. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2011.04.005. Epub 2011 May 17.

Genetic lotteries within families.

Author information

1
Yale University, School of Public Health, 60 College Street, #303, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. jason.fletcher@yale.edu

Abstract

Drawing on findings from the biomedical literature, this paper introduces the idea that specific exogenously inherited differences in the genetic code between full biological siblings can be used to test within-family estimators and potentially improve our understanding of economic relationships. These points are illustrated with an application to identify the causal impact of several poor health conditions on academic outcomes. We present evidence that family fixed effects estimators by themselves cannot fully account for the endogeneity of poor health when estimating education production functions. Further, our analysis elucidates the situations under which genetic markers can serve as instrumental variables for specific health conditions.

PMID:
21664708
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhealeco.2011.04.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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