Richard Karlsson Linnér, Pietro Biroli, Edward Kong, S. Fleur W. Meddens, Robbee Wedow, Daniel Benjamin, Philipp Koellinger, and Jonathan Beauchamp, together with the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium (SSGAC; see paper for the full authors)

Humans vary substantially in their willingness to take risks. In a combined sample of over one million individuals, we conducted genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of general risk tolerance, adventurousness, and risky behaviors in the driving, drinking, smoking, and sexual domains. We identified 611 approximately independent genetic loci associated with at least one of our phenotypes, including 124 with general risk tolerance. We report evidence of substantial shared genetic influences across general risk tolerance and risky behaviors: 72 of the 124 general risk tolerance loci contain a lead SNP for at least one of our other GWAS, and general risk tolerance is moderately to strongly genetically correlated with a range of risky behaviors. Bioinformatics analyses imply that genes near general-risk-tolerance-associated SNPs are highly expressed in brain tissues and point to a role for glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission. We find no evidence of enrichment for genes previously hypothesized to relate to risk tolerance. Supplemental information may be found here: Supplemental Information: ... ntal-information.pdf  Supplemental Figures: ... analyses_figures.pdf  Supplemental Tables: ... analyses_tables.xlsx 

JEL Codes  
D81: Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
I14: Health and Inequality
genome-wide association studies
risk taking
risk tolerance