Daniel J. Benjamin

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In this paper, we ask whether variation in preference anomalies is related to variation in cognitive ability. Evidence from a new laboratory study of Chilean high school students shows that small-stakes risk aversion and short-run discounting are less common among those with higher standardized test scores, although anomalies persist even among the(More)
Social identities prescribe behaviors for people. We identify the marginal behavioral effect of these norms on discount rates and risk aversion by measuring how laboratory subjects' choices change when an aspect of social identity is made salient. When we make ethnic identity salient to Asian-American subjects, they make more patient choices. When we make(More)
The role of the market in mitigating and mediating various forms of behavior is perhaps the central issue facing behavioral economics today. This study designs a field experiment that is explicitly linked to a controlled laboratory experiment to examine whether, and to what extent, social preferences influence outcomes in actual market transactions. While(More)
General intelligence (g) and virtually all other behavioral traits are heritable. Associations between g and specific single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in several candidate genes involved in brain function have been reported. We sought to replicate published associations between g and 12 specific genetic variants (in the genes DTNBP1, CTSD, DRD2,(More)
Much of science is (rightly or wrongly) driven by hypothesis testing. Even in situations where the hypothesis testing paradigm is correct, the common practice of basing inferences solely on p-values has been under intense criticism for over 50 years. We propose, as an alternative, the use of the odds of a correct rejection of the null hypothesis to(More)
Preferences are fundamental building blocks in all models of economic and political behavior. We study a new sample of comprehensively genotyped subjects with data on economic and political preferences and educational attainment. We use dense single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data to estimate the proportion of variation in these traits explained by(More)
Educational attainment is strongly influenced by social and other environmental factors, but genetic factors are estimated to account for at least 20% of the variation across individuals. Here we report the results of a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for educational attainment that extends our earlier discovery sample of 101,069 individuals to 293,723(More)
This article reviews existing research at the intersection of genetics and economics, presents some new findings that illustrate the state of genoeconomics research, and surveys the prospects of this emerging field. Twin studies suggest that economic outcomes and preferences, once corrected for measurement error, appear to be about as heritable as many(More)
We identify the marginal effect of religious identity on economic choices by measuring how laboratory subjects’ choices change when their religious identity is made salient to them. We find that Protestantism increases contributions to public goods, and there is suggestive evidence that it increases reciprocity in a labor market gift-exchange game.(More)
By comparing 401(k) eligible and ineligible households’ wealth, this paper estimates that, on average, about one half of 401(k) balances represent new private savings, and about one quarter of 401(k) balances represent new national savings. Responses to eligibility vary considerably, however, with households who normally save the most largely contributing(More)