Wednesday, July 10, 2019

It’s better to be born rich than gifted

By Andrew Van Dam
October 9, 2018


Using one new, genome-based measure, economists found genetic endowments are distributed almost equally among children in low-income and high-income families. Success is not.

The least-gifted children of high-income parents graduate from college at higher rates than the most-gifted children of low-income parents.

First, consider the people whose genome scores in the top quarter on a genetic index the researchers associated with educational achievement.

Only about 24 percent of people born to low-income fathers in that high-potential group graduate from college.

That’s dwarfed by the 63 percent college graduation rate of people with similar genetic scores who are lucky enough to be born to high-income fathers.

Contrast that with a finding from the other end of the genetic scoring scale: about 27 percent of those who score at the bottom quarter of the genetic index, but are born to high-income fathers, graduate from college. That means they’re at least as likely to graduate from college as the highest-scoring low-income students.


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