Genetic Endowments and Wealth Inequality.

TitleGenetic Endowments and Wealth Inequality.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsBarth, D, Papageorge, NW, Thom, K
JournalJournal of Political Economy
ISSN Number0022-3808
Keywordsbeliefs, Education, Genetics, Inequality, portfolio decisions, Wealth

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 account for the gene-wealth gradient, including inheritances, mortality, risk preferences, portfolio decisions, beliefs about the probabilities of macroeconomic events, and planning horizons. We provide 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.

Citation Key12501
PubMed ID32863431
PubMed Central IDPMC7448697
Grant ListRF1 AG055654 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States