Genes, Eyeglasses, and Social Policy
- (pp. 83-94)
AbstractSomeone reading empirical research relating human genetics to personal outcomes must be careful to distinguish two types of work: An old literature on heritability attempts to decompose cross-sectional variation in observed outcomes into unobservable genetic and environmental components. A new literature measures specific genes and uses them as observed covariates when predicting outcomes. I will discuss these two types of work in terms of how they may inform social policy. I will argue that research on heritability is fundamentally uninformative for policy analysis, but make a cautious argument that research using genes as covariates is potentially informative.
Citation2011. "Genes, Eyeglasses, and Social Policy." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25 (4): 83-94. DOI: 10.1257/jep.25.4.83
- D78 Positive Analysis of Policy-Making and Implementation
- A12 Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines