By Michael Beenstock
Empirical literature in disciplines starting from behavioural genetics to economics indicates that during nearly each point of existence the results of youngsters are correlated to a better or lesser volume with the results in their mom and dad. Beenstock deals theoretical and methodological instruments for figuring out those correlations.
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Extra info for Heredity, family, and inequality : a critique of social sciences
For example, in studies of the effect of mothering on infants’ crying, the behavior of the mothers is jointly determined with the crying of their infants. Therefore, mothering is not an independent variable, as age or height is. Several methodological solutions have been proposed to solve this identification problem. These are reviewed in chapter 5. One proposed solution entails using longitudinal data, which in the present context means data on successive generations. This solution is not feasible, because the dynastic data that are required are not available.
Quantity Theory is also a theory about the geneenvironment correlation of behavioral genetics. For example, the Quality vs. Quantity Theory predicts that parents will invest more in the education of their abler children than in that of their less able children. The gene-environment correlation is positive because schooling and ability are positively related. Behavioral geneticists refer to this phenomenon as “the nature of nurture,” since schooling, which is part of “nurture,” is ultimately dependent on “nature” through the genotype for learning.
Panel data are synonymous with longitudinal data in which the same individuals or observation units are observed repeatedly. For example, siblings and parents may be observed repeatedly, as was done in the PSID. In principle, panel data exist for generations of the same family (greatgrandchildren, grandchildren, children, parents, grandparents, greatgrandparents). In practice such dynastic data are not available. Nevertheless, chapter 10 shows how, if such data were available, family-specific effects that would express unobserved family genotypes could be estimated.
Heredity, family, and inequality : a critique of social sciences by Michael Beenstock