June 7, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Leon Neyfakh reported on the latest research on “genoeconomics.” He writes:

  • Confidence and a risk taking attitude – qualities seen as important for entrepreneurs – are at least in part, determined by genes.
  • This might lead to the creation of an entirely new field in economics that attempts to explain why we act the way we do based upon our genes.
  • This could lead to a frightening future where banks require a saliva test to see if you’re reckless before giving you a loan.
  • On the other hand it has positive applications. Parents who find out that their children are predisposed to irresponsibility might take extra care to teach them important financial skills.
  • Or policy makers could use aggregate data about the populace to understand what polices would be most effective at guiding and shaping behaviour.

To read many more details about the field, including its history, its current status, why it briefly flickered into existence in the 1970s, why it’s seeing a resurgence, why there’s no ‘violence’ gene and what some other potential applications of this technology would be, click here.

Source: Boston Globe

Via: Marginal Revolution