B3545 - School starting age the role of gene-environment interactions - 03/06/2020

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Stephanie von Hinke | University of Bristol (UK)
Title of project: 
School starting age: the role of gene-environment interactions
Proposal summary: 

It is well known that September-born children perform better on school tests than August-borns, most likely because they are "older in the year". This project aims to explore the importance of gene-environment interplay within this context. More specifically, it will investigate whether this September-effect, or the effect of being "old in the academic year", varies with an individual's genetic predisposition, as proxied by a polygenic score for cognitive ability, for educational attainment, and for 'non-cognitive' skills. We will examine the effects on cognitive outcomes such as academic achievement, as well as on non-cognitive skills, such as the children's "strength and difficulties".

Impact of research: 
We are writing a "practitioners' paper" on estimating gene-environment interplay in economics. This paper will focus on how the environment as well as genetic information can be incorporated within this framework, highlighting the role of endogeneity, measurement error, the interpretation of polygenic scores, and the inter-relatedness of genes and the environment. We would like to include the above application in this paper, investigating the importance of gene-environment interactions in the timing of birth relative to 1 September. With the increasing availability and use of genetic information in social science research, we believe this paper will be read widely across the social sciences.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 25 May, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 26 May, 2020
Social Science, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Statistical methods, Social science, Statistical methods