We are rich because of… genes?

Thinking that being rich and poor is due to fate is the concept of Eastern people, but surprisingly, Westerners are now also starting to care about this issue.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh claim to have identified a number of genes that influence… the amount of a person’s salary.

We are rich because of… genes?
The University of Edinburgh, one of the most famous universities in the world.

In the UK there is a Biobank which is a biological “bank” , which holds a large group of genetic records of more than 500,000 Britons.

There is a wealth of data here that could be used in research against cancer or the onset of neurodegenerative diseases. But researchers at the University of Edinburgh instead decided to sift through this massive data to understand why some people are… richer than others.

This is a surprising initiative, and one of the researchers, statistician David Hill explains:

“The link between social class and good health is often established by environmental factors, such as access to quality information, exposure to stressful or harmful environments, behavioral unhealthy such as smoking, having an unhealthy diet and drinking too much alcohol, as well as lack of physical activity.”

In addition to the factors often mentioned, the team of genetics experts at the University of Edinburgh wanted to try a different approach by combining genetic data from the Biobank to see if certain genes were linked. associated with high wages.

David Hill’s team relied on personal financial income data from 286,000 Biobank records. These individuals were divided into five groups according to their income level.

We are rich because of… genes?
An expert in David Hill’s research group.

The lowest-wage group had the most negative genetic variants , which, for scientists, was a disadvantage.

Along with the data from this information, the researchers managed to identify about thirty parts of the genome, known as “loci,” that may be responsible for the “level of intelligence,” ten eight of these even have a direct link to “perception.”

Julien Larregue, an associate researcher at the Mediterranean Laboratory of Sociology, CNRS-Aix University of Marseille and a genetics expert, commented: “This study does not confirm any hypothesis but only says that the genome “may” play a role, “linked” to cognitive ability…

And David Hill, the study’s lead author, argues that socioeconomic factors have no impact on human biology, but we do know that the environment does play a role. brain structures, such as piano players, are the ones who have more gray matter than other people.”

In short, it can be seen that the researchers in Edinburgh have linked genetics to intelligence, and intelligence leads to high incomes.

In addition, David Hill, the study’s lead author, believes that this work will help provide additional insight into the inequality of men and women, particularly in terms of position and salary, in the society. festival.

But what’s interesting is that David Hill and the University of Edinburgh are not the only ones to embark on research on the topic.

Another group, chaired by Philipp Koellinger, an economist at Vrije University in Amsterdam, started a project on the same theme but conducted in a different way.

Using data from 800,000 people, he divided it into 22 groups and developed an algorithm that estimated a person’s income using a number of parameters such as nature of work, age, gender, and location. resident. And in the end, Philipp Koellinger also linked certain genetic traits to a person’s income.

So, is richness and poverty also due to genes?