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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2011||The Equal Environments Assumption in the Post-Genomic Age: Using Misclassified Twins to Estimate Bias in Heritability Models|
with Dalton Conley: w16711
While it has long been known that genetic-environmental covariance is likely to be non-trivial and confound estimates of narrow-sense (additive) heritability for social and behavioral outcomes, there has not been an effective way to address this concern. Indeed, in a classic paper, Goldberger (1979) shows that by varying assumptions of the GE-covariance, a researcher can drive the estimated heritability of an outcome, such as IQ, down to zero or up close to one. Survey questions that attempt to measure directly the extent to which more genetically similar kin (such as monozygotic twins) also share more similar environmental conditions than, say, dizygotic twins, represent poor attempts to gauge a very complex underlying phenomenon of GE-covariance. Methods that rely on concordance betwe...
Published: Conley, D., Rauscher, E., Dawes, C., Magnusson, P. K., & Siegal, M. L. 2013. “Heritability and the Equal Environments Assumption: Evidence from Multiple Samples of Misclassified Twins.” Behavior Genetics . 43:415-426.
|May 2010||Genetic Interactions with Prenatal Social Environment: Effects on Academic and Behavioral Outcomes|
with Dalton Conley: w16026
Caspi et al. (2002, 2003), Guo et al. (2008a), and Pescosolido et al. (2008) all claim to have demonstrated allele-by-environment interactions, but in all cases environmental influences are potentially endogenous to the unmeasured genetic characteristics of the subjects and their families. Thus, gene-gene interactions cannot be ruled out as an alternative explanation. Second, these studies have not deployed adjustments for multiple hypothesis testing--always an issue, but particularly so for GE studies with multiple alleles and outcomes. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we address these limitations of previous studies by taking advantage of a natural experiment that randomizes a particular environmental influence - fetal position, resul...
Published: Dalton Conley 7 7 Conley, D. and E. Rauscher. 2013. “Genetic Inte ractions with Prenatal Social Environment: Effects on Academic and Behavioral Outcomes.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior . 54: 1-19.
|April 2010||The Effect of Daughters on Partisanship|
with Dalton Conley: w15873
Washington (2008) finds that, controlling for total number of children, each additional daughter makes a member of Congress more likely to vote liberally and attributes this finding to socialization. However, daughters' influence could manifest differently for elite politicians and the general citizenry, thanks to the selection gradient particular to the political process. This study asks whether the proportion of female biological offspring affects political party identification. Using nationally-representative data from the General Social Survey, we find that female offspring induce more conservative political identification. We hypothesize that this results from the change in reproductive fitness strategy that daughters may evince.
Published: Conley, D. and E. Rauscher. 2013. “The Effect of Daughters on Partisanship and Social Attitudes toward Women.” Sociological Forum. 28:700-718.