The CPC Seminar Series takes place between October and June, all seminars are free to attend and no registration is required. If you would like to present please contact

Gene-neighborhood interactions in educational attainment

7th December 2017 12.45pm, Room 1/G/8, Ladywell House, Edinburgh

Nicola Barban, University of Oxford

An increasing literature in social sciences examines the role of gene-environment interactions in shaping socio-economic outcomes. This paper investigates the role of neighbourhood deprivation and in particular how characteristics such as unemployment, poverty level, proportion of adults with college education and median household income mitigate the genetic predisposition to higher educational attainment. We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescence and Adult Health (Add-Health) based on a representative sample of US respondents. Using polygenic score (PGS) calculated from genome-wide data included in the Add-Health study (N=9,926), we test interaction effects of neighbourhood characteristics at Wave I (during childhood) with genetic predisposition for educational attainment and their effect on final educational attainment measured in Wave IV (young adulthood). Our preliminary results show that polygenic score has no predictive value in a deprived context, while it is strongly associated with education in more affluent neighbourhoods We further examine the role of parental investments as a proxy of parental investment as a possible mechanism. Finally, we reflect on how to replicate the results using biomarkers included in longitudinal British Data linked to geographical data.