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A role for epigenetics in economic analysis

Neu, Werner (2022): A role for epigenetics in economic analysis.

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Abstract

If DNA and the environment are looked at as inputs comparable to inputs in industrial production, transcription, translation, actions in the post-translational phase and epigenetic processes could be looked at as the corresponding productive processes. Given those inputs, their function is to produce and maintain organisms, where the epigenetic processes are the ones that react to the environment. The paper first briefly introduces epigenetic mechanisms, thereby highlighting their relevance with reference to the Flynn effect. It follows a digression on statistical methods and genetic models, needed to support the argument in the last section. There, on human grounds as well as on grounds of economic efficiency, a case is developed for strong support of children both before they are even born and during the very early years; this at the level of the family as well as at the level of the whole of society.

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