Lauren L. Schmitz
Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706
Institutional Affiliation: University of Wisconsin
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|July 2016||The Effect of Vietnam-Era Conscription and Genetic Potential for Educational Attainment on Schooling Outcomes|
with Dalton Conley: w22393
This study examines whether draft-lottery estimates of the causal effect of Vietnam-era military service on schooling vary by genetic propensity toward educational attainment. To capture the complex genetic architecture that underlies the bio-developmental pathways behavioral traits and evoked environments associated with educational attainment, we construct a polygenic score (PGS) for the Vietnam-era cohort in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) that aggregates thousands of individual loci across the human genome, weighted by effect sizes derived from a recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) for years of education. Our findings suggest veterans with below average PGSs for educational attainment completed fewer years of schooling than comparable non-veterans with the same PGS, prima...
Published: Lauren L. Schmitz & Dalton Conley, 2017. "The Effect of Vietnam-Era Conscription and Genetic Potential for Educational Attainment on Schooling Outcomes," Economics of Education Review, .
|June 2016||The Impact of Late-Career Job Loss and Genotype on Body Mass Index|
with Dalton Conley: w22348
This study examines whether the effect of job loss on body mass index (BMI) at older ages is moderated by genotype using twenty years of socio-demographic and genome-wide data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). To avoid any potential confounding we interact layoffs due to a plant or business closure—a plausibly exogenous environmental exposure—with a polygenic risk score for BMI in a regression-adjusted semiparametric differences-in-differences matching framework that compares the BMI of those before and after an involuntary job loss with a control group that has not been laid off. Results indicate genetically-at-risk workers who lost their job before they were eligible for Social Security benefits, or before age 62, were more likely to gain weight. Further analysis reveals heter...
|July 2015||The Long-Term Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription and Genotype on Smoking Behavior and Health|
with Dalton Conley: w21348
Research is needed to understand the extent to which environmental factors mediate links between genetic risk and the development of smoking behaviors. The Vietnam-era draft lottery offers a unique opportunity to investigate whether genetic susceptibility to smoking is influenced by risky environments in young adulthood. Access to free or reduced-price cigarettes coupled with the stress of military life meant conscripts were exposed to a large, exogenous shock to smoking behavior at a young age. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we interact a genetic risk score for smoking initiation with instrumented veteran status in an instrumental variables (IV) framework to test for genetic moderation (i.e. heterogeneous treatment effects) of veteran status on smoking behavior an...
Published: Lauren Schmitz & Dalton Conley, 2016. "The Long-Term Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription and Genotype on Smoking Behavior and Health," Behavior Genetics, vol 46(1), pages 43-58.