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'Extra Seminar': Family Disadvantage, Gender and the Returns to Genetic Human Capital Internal seminar

This study relies on a large-scale sample of genotyped individuals linked with detailed register data in Denmark to study whether family disadvantage moderates the effects of genes on human capital formation. To measure the impact of genes, we rely on a polygenic score (PGS) derived from the most recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) of educational attainment. The large-scale sample allows us to test the robustness of our findings in a within-family analysis, controlling for environmental influences. We first show that the educational attainment polygenic score (EA PGS) explains a significant portion (up to 9%) of the variation in human capital outcomes in the Danish sample. We then test whether the effect of the polygenic score differs across family disadvantage groups. We find that childhood disadvantage significantly reduces (up to 30%) the relationship between the EA PGS and human capital outcomes. These gene-by-environment interactions are even larger in the within-family analysis. We also report significant gender differences in the effects of family disadvantage. In particular, we find a substantial decrease in the impact of the EA-PGS on human capital outcomes for boys that experienced family disadvantage. These findings not only highlight how genetic influences are context-dependent but the heterogeneous effects of family disadvantage across gender and genetic potential for education.

Presented by

Victor Ronda (Aarhus University - MiSoC Visitor 11th-15th February)

Date & time

13 Feb 2019, 12:30


2N2.4.16 - ISER Seminar Room

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