NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
loading...

Genetic Endowments and Wealth Inequality

Daniel Barth, Nicholas W. Papageorge, Kevin Thom

NBER Working Paper No. 24642
Issued in May 2018
NBER Program(s):Economics of Aging

We show that genetic endowments linked to educational attainment strongly and robustly predict wealth at retirement. The estimated relationship is not fully explained by flexibly controlling for education and labor income. We therefore investigate a host of additional mechanisms that could help to explain the gene-wealth gradient, including inheritances, mortality, savings, risk preferences, portfolio decisions, beliefs about the probabilities of macroeconomic events, and planning horizons. The associations we report provide preliminary evidence that genetic endowments related to human capital accumulation are associated with wealth not only through educational attainment and labor income, but also through a facility with complex financial decision-making. Our study illustrates how economic research seeking to understand sources of inequality can benefit from recent advances in behavioral genetics linking specific observed genetic endowments to economic outcomes.

download in pdf format
   (772 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24642

Published: Daniel Barth & Nicholas W. Papageorge & Kevin Thom, 2020. "Genetic Endowments and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, vol 128(4), pages 1474-1522.

 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us