Two genes predict voter turnout

James H. Fowler, Christopher T. Dawes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Fowler, Baker, and Dawes (2008) recently showed in two independent studies of twins that voter turnout has very high heritability. Here we investigate two specific genes that may contribute to variation in voting behavior. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we show that individuals with a polymorphism of the MAOA gene are significantly more likely to have voted in the 2004 presidential election. We also find evidence that an association between a polymorphism of the 5HTT gene and voter turnout is moderated by religious attendance. These are the first results ever to link specific genes to political behavior.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)579-594
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Politics
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Jul 2008

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science


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