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Genetic Determinants of Financial Risk Taking

Kuhnen, Camelia M. and Chiao, Joan Y. (2008): Genetic Determinants of Financial Risk Taking. Published in: PLoS ONE , Vol. 2, No. 4 (February 2009)

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Abstract

Individuals vary in their willingness to take financial risks. Here we show that variants of two genes that regulate dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission and have been previously linked to emotional behavior, anxiety and addiction (5-HTTLPR and DRD4) are significant determinants of risk taking in investment decisions. We find that the 5-HTTLPR s/s allele carriers take 28% less risk than those carrying the s/l or l/l alleles of the gene. DRD4 7-repeat allele carriers take 25% more risk than individuals without the 7-repeat allele. These findings contribute to the emerging literature on the genetic determinants of economic behavior.

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