Genes, Economics, and Happiness

De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel, Christakis, Nicholas A., Fowler, James H. and Frey, Bruno S. (2012) Genes, Economics, and Happiness. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, 5 (4). pp. 193-211.

[img]
Preview
PDF - Published Version
Download (303kB) | Preview

Abstract

We explore the influence of genetic variation on subjective well-being by employing a twin design and genetic association study. In a nationally representative twin sample, we first show that 33% of the variation in life satisfaction is explained by genetic variation. Although previous studies have shown that baseline happiness is significantly heritable, little research has considered molecular genetic associations with subjective well-being. We study the relationship between a functional polymorphism on the serotonin transporter gene(5-HTTLPR) and life satisfaction. We initially find that individuals with the longer, transcriptionally more efficient variant of this genotype report greater life satisfaction (n = 2,545; p .012). However, our replication attempts on independent samples produce mixed results, indicating that more work needs to be done to better understand the relationship between this genotype and subjective well-being. This work has implications for how economists think about the determinants of utility, and the extent to which exogenous shocks might affect individual well-being.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: life satisfaction, twin study, genetic association, serotonin transporter gene, 5-HTTLPR, rs2020933
Subject(s): Strategy; Entrepreneurship & Global business
Centre: Faculty of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2015 10:53
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:08
Funders: N/A
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/5468

View statistics

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View