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Genetic markers as instrumental variables

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-148
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Early online date10 Nov 2015
DateAccepted/In press - 19 Oct 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 10 Nov 2015
DatePublished (current) - Jan 2016


The use of genetic markers as instrumental variables (IV) is receiving increasing attention from economists, statisticians, epidemiologists and social scientists. Although IV is commonly used in economics, the appropriate conditions for the use of genetic variants as instruments have not been well defined. The increasing availability of biomedical data, however, makes understanding of these conditions crucial to the successful use of genotypes as instruments. We combine the econometric IV literature with that from genetic epidemiology, and discuss the biological conditions and IV assumptions within the statistical potential outcomes framework. We review this in the context of two illustrative applications.

    Research areas

  • ALSPAC, Genetic Variants, Instrumental Variables, Mendelian Randomization, Potential Outcomes

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  • 1-s2.0-S0167629615001198-main

    Rights statement: © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

    Final published version, 865 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY


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