Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Oslo University, Department of Economics

No 05/2014: The Relative Contribution of Genetic and Environmental Factors to Cancer Risk and Cancer Mortality in Norway

Edwin Leuven (), Erik Plug () and Rønning Marte ()
Additional contact information
Edwin Leuven: Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo, Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Erik Plug: University of Amsterdam
Rønning Marte: Statistics Norway, Research Department

Abstract: Using Norwegian cancer registry data we study twin and non-twin siblings to decompose variation in cancer at most common sites and cancer mortality into a genetic, shared environment and individual (unshared environmental) component. Regardless the source of sibling variation, our findings indicate that genes dominate over shared environment in explaining relatively more of the variation in cancer at most common cancer sites (but lung and skin cancer) and cancer mortality. The vast majority of the variation in cancer and cancer mortality, however, is explained by individual (unshared environmental) factors.

Keywords: Cancer; Twins; Heritability; Environment

JEL-codes: I12; J62

19 pages, February 1, 2014

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