Researchers Want to Link Your Genes and Income - Should They?

My critical summary of Megan Motleni’s Wired.com article.

A statistical geneticist at the University of Edinburgh and his team of European collaborators poured through the largest public genetic repository in the world looking for genetic markers related to income. Keeping in mind that the Wired.com article reports on a not-yet-peer-reviewed study, it’s hard not to be alarmed by the idea of tying genes to income earning potential. At the very least it’s tricky (if not impossible) to separate causation from correlation. At worst, it’s a pathway to eugenics paved by good intentions, personalized social policy, and powerful new statistical tools. Might employers use a genetic test as a requirement for employment? Would parents choose to select embryos with high “genetic income scores”?

jacob okada