NBER

Su H. Shin

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Institutional Affiliation: University of Alabama

NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2019Understanding the Correlation between Alzheimer’s Disease Polygenic Risk, Wealth, and the Composition of Wealth Holdings
with Dean R. Lillard, Jay Bhattacharya: w25526
We investigate how the genetic risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease (AD) relates to saving behavior. Using nationally representative data from the 1992-2014 Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we find that genetic predisposition for AD correlates with, but is not causally related to older individuals’ wealth holdings. People with higher Alzheimer’s Disease polygenic risk score (PGS) hold roughly 9 percent more wealth in CDs (hands-off assets) and around 11 percent, 15 percent, and 7 percent less wealth in stocks, IRAs, and other financial assets (hands-on assets) respectively. We explore three hypotheses that could explain these correlations. We hypothesize that people with high risk of AD choose different portfolios because: (i) they know their polygenic risk of developing Alzheimer’s Di...

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