On the robustness of economic models to heavy-tailedness assumptions. Mimeo, Yale University. Available at http://post.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/ ibragimov/ Papers/HeavyTails.pdf
- R. Ibragimov
In this paper, we study transmission of traits through generations in multifactorial inheritance models with sexand time-dependent heritability. We further analyze the implications of these models under heavy-tailedness of traits’ distributions. Among other results, we show that in the case of a trait (for instance, a medical or behavioral disorder or a phenotype with significant heritability affecting human capital in an economy) with not very thick-tailed initial density, the trait distribution becomes increasingly more peaked, that is, increasingly more concentrated and unequally spread, with time. But these patterns are reversed for traits with sufficiently heavy-tailed initial distributions (e.g., a medical or behavioral disorder for which there is no strongly expressed risk group or a relatively equally distributed ability with significant genetic influence). Such traits’ distributions become less peaked over time and increasingly more spread in the population. The proof of the results in the paper is based on the general results on majorization properties of heavy-tailed distributions obtained recently in Ibragimov (2004) and also presented in the author’s Ph.D. dissertation Ibragimov (2005) and several their extensions derived in this work.