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date: 27 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the main pathways through which genes can relate to health and health determinants, focusing on channels of primary interest to health economics research. Research implications and methodological considerations for using genetic data in health economics applications are also discussed, as is the potential for informing policy-making. As knowledge of the genetic architecture of outcomes and traits of interest to health economics expands, incorporating genetic data in health economics research is likely to become more fruitful, including in providing policy-relevant findings. However, identifying genetic variants and mechanisms that explain a substantial fraction of the heritability of complex human traits will take time. Meanwhile, research can continue to achieve piecewise advances in knowledge on interplays between genes and the environment in shaping health, preferences, and human capital.

Keywords: genes, health determinants, genetic data, health economics, genetic data, policy-making, health economics research

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