The roots of EURIBEB go back to 2007 when researchers from the Erasmus School of Economics and the Erasmus Medical Center started a joint research project to investigate the molecular genetic architecture of economic outcomes. The collaboration was motivated by the following insights:
- There are well-documented relationships between socio-economic variables and health outcomes, but little is known about the causal reasons for these observed relationships.
- Although there was evidence that many social scientific traits are to some extent heritable, the then existing approaches to gene discovery in the social sciences have often not produced replicable findings.
- Medical researchers had developed proof-of-concept that replicable genetic discoveries are possible if strict statistical quality criteria are combined with very large samples, often organized as research consortia.
- Some of the variables that social scientists are interested in (e.g. educational attainment, happiness, occupational choice) are available in very large sample in genotyped cohorts from around the world.
- Genetic discoveries for social scientific outcomes could serve as starting points to investigate the complex interplay between behavior and health.
Motivated by these insights, the founding members of EURIBEB established the Gentrepreneur Consortium, which conducted the first large-scale genome-wide association study on an economic outcome: self-employment. This later led to the development of the SSGAC. Fueled by the success of these interdisciplinary research initiatives, the board of Erasmus University Rotterdam decided in 2013 to provide seed-financing for EURIBEB, which was launched in January 2014.
Since the academic year 2018-2019, we are teaching the exciting Bachelor 3 (Block 2) course "Economics and Genetics" (FEB13089) at Erasmus School of Economics!