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date: 27 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of research primarily within the discipline of economics that empirically examines how biomarkers influences specific health and socioeconomic outcomes. Since the role that biomarkers are hypothesized to play in the estimating equation differs across studies, a distinction is first made between two separate categories of biomarkers: biological time-varying measures such as hormones and biological time-invariant measures including DNA. Recent research in these two categories is then reviewed, focusing on studies that can present the most credible evidence of the role of specific biomarkers. Last, an emerging literature that focuses on the interactions between time-varying environmental conditions and time-invariant genetic factors is discussed. The chapter concludes by highlights three promising areas for future research and suggesting researchers should shift their attention away from investigating specific candidate genes to polygenic risk scores, as well as focus on genetic interactions with more aggregated rather than specific environmental influences.

Keywords: genetic markers, gene-environment interactions, polygenic risk scores, hormones, health outcomes, obesity, education, menstrual cycle, smoking and candidate genes

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