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Is the Tendency to Engage in Entrepreneurship Genetic?

  • Nicos Nicolaou


    (Department of Public and Business Administration, University of Cyprus, 1678 Nicosia, Cyprus)

  • Scott Shane


    (Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106)

  • Lynn Cherkas


    (Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology Unit, King's College London, St. Thomas' Hospital Campus, London SE1 7EH, United Kingdom)

  • Janice Hunkin


    (Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology Unit, King's College London, St. Thomas' Hospital Campus, London SE1 7EH, United Kingdom)

  • Tim D. Spector


    (Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology Unit, King's College London, St. Thomas' Hospital Campus, London SE1 7EH, United Kingdom)

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    We used quantitative genetics techniques to compare the entrepreneurial activity of 870 pairs of monozygotic (MZ) and 857 pairs of same-sex dizygotic (DZ) twins from the United Kingdom. We ran model-fitting analyses to estimate the genetic, shared environmental and nonshared environmental effects on the propensity of people to become entrepreneurs. We found relatively high heritabilities for entrepreneurship across different operationalizations of the phenomenon, with little effect of family environment and upbringing. Our findings suggest the importance of considering genetic factors in explanations for why people engage in entrepreneurial activity.

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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 54 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 167-179

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:54:y:2008:i:1:p:167-179
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    13. Taubman, Paul, 1976. "The Determinants of Earnings: Genetics, Family, and Other Environments; A Study of White Male Twins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 858-70, December.
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