A decade of research on the genetics of entrepreneurship: a review and view ahead

TitleA decade of research on the genetics of entrepreneurship: a review and view ahead
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsRietveld, CA, Slob, E, A. Thurik, R
JournalSmall Business Economics
Date Published2020/04/28
ISBN Number1573-0913
KeywordsEntrepreneurship, Genetics, Polygenic risk scores

Studies analyzing the heritability of entrepreneurship indicate that explanations for why people engage in entrepreneurship that ignore genes are incomplete. However, despite promises that were solidly backed up with ex ante power calculations, attempts to identify specific genetic variants underlying the heritable variation in entrepreneurship have until now been unsuccessful. We describe the methodological issues hampering the identification of associations between genetic variants and entrepreneurship, but we also outline why this search will eventually be successful. Nevertheless, we argue that the benefits of using these individual genetic variants for empirical research in the entrepreneurship domain are likely to be small. Instead, the use of summary indices comprising multiple genetic variants, so-called polygenic risk scores, is advocated. In doing so, we stress the caveats associated with applying population-level results to the individual level. By drawing upon the promises of “genoeconomics,” we sketch how the use of genetic information may advance the field of entrepreneurship research.

Short TitleSmall Business Economics
Citation Key10715