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Stine MOLLEGAARD (University of Copenhagen) “The Genetics of Education and the role of Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills”
May 9, 2019, 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
The Sociology Seminar: Thursdays
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Date: 9th of May 2019
Place: Room 3105, ENSAE.
Stine MOLLEGAARD (University of Copenhagen) – “The Genetics of Education and the role of Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills“
Abstract : Genome-wide association studies have mapped a genetic component to education, now explaining up to 10-12 % of the variation in educational attainment, but little is known about how this genetic component affects educational attainment. While incorporating genetics into sociological research in education holds great potential, we need to know what the genetic component captures before we can fully adopt and incorporate this in our research (either as variable of interest or merely as control variable). In this paper, I investigate the role of cognitive and non-cognitive skills in the genetic component (measured using polygenic scores (PGS)) to educational attainment (measured as years of education). I use data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study to explore to what extent cognitive skills (measured as academic ability in high school) and noncognitive skills (the Big Five personality traits) mediate the association found between genes and education, in a research design exploiting sibling differences. Results suggest that cognitive and noncognitive traits mediate 44 % of the genetic association in the pooled OLS models and 36 % in the family fixed-effect models (of which cognitive skills mediate 25 % and personality traits 12 %, respectively), suggesting that the polygenic score predominantly captures individual differences in cognitive skills and personality traits.
Jeanne GANAULT, Céline GOFFETTE, Sander WAGNER (Laboratoire de sociologie quantitative – CREST)