Genetic variation in preferences for giving and risk taking

David Cesarini, Christopher T. Dawes, Magnus Johannesson, Paul Lichtenstein, Björn Wallace

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    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 that has hitherto been largely neglected in the economics literature.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)809-842
    Number of pages34
    JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - May 2009

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics


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