Environmental bottlenecks in children's genetic potential for adult socio-economic attainments: Evidence from a health shock.

TitleEnvironmental bottlenecks in children's genetic potential for adult socio-economic attainments: Evidence from a health shock.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsFletcher, JM
JournalPopulation Studies (Camb)
Volume73
Issue1
Pagination139-148
ISSN Number1477-4747
KeywordsChildhood adversity, Genetics, Health Shocks
Abstract

This paper explores gene-environment interactions-interactions between family environments and children's genetic predispositions-in determining educational attainment. The central question is whether poor childhood family environments reduce children's ability to leverage their genetic gifts to achieve high levels of educational attainment-are there important 'bottlenecks' for poor children? The multigenerational information and genetic data contained in the United States' Health and Retirement Study are used to separate two mechanisms for intergenerational transmission of socio-economic status: genetic endowments and family environments. Using parental in utero exposure to the 1918-19 influenza pandemic as a source of quasi-experimental variation in family environments (that did not affect children's genetic endowments), I estimate interactions between parental investments and children's genetic potential. The main finding suggests that girls with high genetic potential whose fathers were exposed to influenza face reduced educational attainments-a gene-environment interaction-but there is no similar effect for boys.

DOI10.1080/00324728.2018.1498533
User Guide Notes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30350750?dopt=Abstract

Alternate JournalPopul Stud (Camb)
Citation Key9999
PubMed ID30350750
Grant ListU01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
RC2 AG036495 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
RC4 AG039029 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 HD060726 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
P2C HD047873 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
P30 AG017266 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States