SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk-Taking
(), Christopher T. Dawes
(), Magnus Johannesson
(), Paul Lichtenstein
() and Björn Wallace
Abstract: In this paper, we use the classical twin design to provide
estimates of genetic and environmental influences on experimentally
elicited preferences for risk and giving. Using standard methods from
behavior genetics, we find strong prima facie evidence that these
preferences are broadly heritable and our estimates suggest that genetic
differences explain approximately twenty percent of individual variation.
The results thus shed light on an important source of individual variation
in preferences, a source which has hitherto largely been neglected in the
Keywords: Genetics; Altruism; Risk Aversion; Preferences; Experiments; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: C90; D01; D64; (follow links to similar papers)
39 pages, November 22, 2007, Revised January 12, 2009
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- This paper is forthcoming as:
David, Cesarini, Christopher T. Dawes, Magnus Johannesson, Paul Lichtenstein and Björn Wallace, 'Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk-Taking', Quarterly Journal of Economics.
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