Genetic markers as instrumental variables

Stephanie Von Hinke, George Davey Smith, Debbie A. Lawlor, Carol Propper, Frank Windmeijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-148
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Volume45
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ALSPAC
  • Genetic variants
  • Instrumental variables
  • Mendelian randomization
  • Potential outcomes

Cite this

Von Hinke, S., Davey Smith, G., Lawlor, D. A., Propper, C., & Windmeijer, F. (2016). Genetic markers as instrumental variables. Journal of Health Economics, 45, 131-148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2015.10.007