The Nurture of Nature and the Nature of Nurture: How Genes and Investments Interact in the Formation of Skills

Mikkel Aagaard Houmark, Victor Ronda, Michael Rosholm*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper studies the interplay between genetics and family investments in the process of skill formation. We model and estimate the joint evolution of skills and parental investments throughout early childhood. We document three genetic mechanisms: the direct effect of child genes on skills, the indirect effect of child genes via parental investments, and family genetic influences captured by parental genes. We show that genetic effects are dynamic, increase over time, and operate via environmental channels. Our paper highlights the value of integrating biological and social perspectives into a single unified framework.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Volume114
Issue2
Pages (from-to)385–425
Number of pages41
ISSN0002-8282
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

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