Paper Co-Authored by Henrik Cronqvist Exploring Genetics and Home Ownership Wins ARES Manuscript Prize for Innovative Thinking

Well, he’sthey’vedone it again. Henrik Cronqvist, the McMahon Family Chair in Corporate Finance, George R. Roberts Fellow, and associate professor of financial economics, has produced another notable paper that continues to explore the roles “nature vs. nurture” play in financial decision-making. The paper, Genetics, Homeownership, and Home Location Choice, just won Best Paper in the American Real Estate Society’s 2012 Manuscript Prize competition, in the category of “Innovative ThinkingThinking Out of the Box.” The paper was co-authored with Stephan Siegel, assistant professor of finance at University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, and Florian Muenkel, a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington. (Siegel has worked with Cronqvist on other papers in this range of research.)

More than 200 papers, among 20 categories, were submitted for the ARES Prize this yearan average of about 10.5 papers per category, with prizes ranging between $1,000 and $2,500. Cronqvist, Siegel, and Muenkel’s submission studies the factors that determine people’s choices to own versus rent their homes, and also what determines where people choose to live (for example, an urban or a rural location).

“We conclude that genetic factors are partially responsible for the choices people make with respect to the housing market,” Cronqvist says.

A link to the full paper, as well as links to other published papers by Cronqvist, can be found here.

In addition to winning an award, Genetics, Homeownership, and Home Location Choice was also published recently in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics.

“The paper,” Cronqvist says, “is one part of an ongoing research agenda we have been pursuing since I joined CMC in 2008, that attempts to understand the roles of nature vs. nurture in financial decision making.” The nature vs. nurture angle in financial economics seems to have had mass appeal, capturing a fair share of media attention, including a spot in TIME last fall. (Read about that here, and view links to other papers in their exploratory series.)

Cronqvist concedes that media interest in their research has been “terrific,” but students also are finding the topics engaging, which “goes hand in hand with teaching,” he says.

The project, Genetics, Homeownership, and Home Location Choice, was sponsored by CMC’s Financial Economics Institute and the Lowe Institute of Political Economy.