Classmate Moderation of Genetic Effects on Educational Outcomes


Fletcher, Jason (2019). Classmate Moderation of Genetic Effects on Educational Outcomes. Population Association of America annual meeting. Austin, TX.


This paper explores genetic and environmental sources of educational attainments. Extending current literature, I construct school-cohort level measures of educational mobility using Add Health data to allow a high-school fixed effect approach that controls for a large set of contextual confounders and also selection into school environments (reducing concerns of gene-environment correlation). I use polygenic scores (PGS) for education from Okbay et al. (2016) and Lee et al. (2018) to ask whether individuals with high values of the PGS attain more education in local environments of high social mobility. Like Fletcher (2018), I find that environments of more fluid social mobility appear to decouple genetic endowments from eventual educational attainments. I then further leverage the Add Health data to analyze some of the possible explanations for this decoupling by examining the extent to which these gene-environment interactions are linked with school performance, course taking patterns, and other educational outcomes.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

Population Association of America annual meeting


Fletcher, Jason

Year Published


City of Publication

Austin, TX

Reference ID