主题:Peripheral Gene Expression of RARA and Intertemporal Decision Making

主讲人:杨光普 国务院发展研究中心宏观经济部副研究员

主持人:经济学院 周恕弘教授





杨光普,经济学博士,国务院发展研究中心宏观经济部副研究员。在加入国研中心之前,杨光普先后在北京大学、香港大学和新加坡国立大学学习,并在新加坡国立大学经济系、商学院、李光耀公共政策学院授课,先后讲授宏观经济学、货币银行学、国际金融、计量经济学、公共经济学等课程。杨光普长期跟踪研究国际金融与开放条件下的宏观经济,近几年的研究重点包括宏观经济景气指数的编制、宏观经济政策的国际协调、生产率的测算与演变、竞争政策的制定与落实等,并在Journal of International Money and Finance等国内外知名期刊上发表学术论文十数篇,2017年,与魏加宁博士联合出版译著《二十国集团:演变、互动、记录》。

YANG Guangpu, PhD in economics, serves as an Associate Research Fellow at the Department of Macroeconomic Research of the Development Research Center (DRC) of the State Council, P. R. China. Before joining DRC, Yang had studied at Peking University (PKU), University of Hong Kong (HKU), and National University of Singapore (NUS). He had also taught various courses at the NUS Department of Economics, the NUS Business School, and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policies, including Macroeconomics, Monet and Banking, International Finance, Econometrics, as well as Public Economics. Yang’s research interest lies in International Finance and Open Economy Macroeconomics, with a recent focus on the construction of macroeconomic indices, the international coordination of macroeconomic policies, the estimation and evolution of productivity, and the implementation of competition policies. Yang has published a number of academic papers on journals like the Journal of International Money and Finance. He translated the book “The G20: Evolution, Interrelationships, Documentation” with Dr. Wei Jianing in 2017.


Focusing on people's attitudes towards time, which plays an important role when making a decision regarding future, this paper explores the genetic underpinnings for   variations in time discounting and present bias across individuals. We first elicit the degree of impatience in the remote future and present bias based on a series of incentivized decision tasks. Then, we selected retinoic acid receptor-α (RARA) as a novel candidate gene for explaining individual differences in time discounting based on the emerging new role for retinoic acid (vitamin A), its receptor and retinoic acid (RA) orphan receptor as regulators of biological rhythms within the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus. Our main finding is that the expression level of the RARA gene in peripheral blood is positively correlated with the degree of impatience in the remote future but negatively correlated with the degree of near-term bias. The significance of these correlations is robust with demographic characteristics including genders, ages and cognitive ability controlled. Of notable interest is the biological plausible finding that a gene known to be involved as mediators of rhythm in the brain has been implicated for the first time in temporal decision making.

Key Words: Time Attitude, Present Bias, RARA, Gene Expression, Biological rhythm