CitationBaier, Tina; Barclay, Kieron; Conley, Dalton; Laidley, Thomas; Lang, Volker; Lyngstad, Torkild Hovde; & Grätz, Michael (2019). Social and Genetic Influences on Education: Testing the Scarr-Rowe Hypothesis for Education in a Comparative Perspective. Population Association of America annual meeting. Austin, TX.
AbstractThe Scarr-Rowe hypothesis claims that impoverished environmental settings suppress gene expression, while enriched social settings enhance the realization of genetic potential. We investigate whether the relative importance of genes for school grades and educational attainment varies by family socioeconomic status. We argue that welfare regimes can moderate socioeconomic differences in the effects of genes on education. We test this prediction using data from four advanced, industrialized societies which vary in their institutional settings. We use survey data for Germany (TwinLife) and the United States (Add Health) as well as register data for Norway and Sweden. Results based on ACE variance decomposition models provide evidence for the Scarr-Rowe hypothesis for Germany and to a lesser extent for Sweden. For the US, however, we find that genes are less important for education in high than in low status families. We conclude that both individual-level characteristics and macro-structural conditions shape individuals chances for gene expression.
Reference TypeConference proceeding
Book TitlePopulation Association of America annual meeting
Lyngstad, Torkild Hovde