The quest for the entrepreneurial gene: The importance of study design
Cornelius A. Rietveld, Matthijs J.H.M. van der Loos
Abstract: Twin studies consistently estimate the heritability of several different operationalizations of entrepreneurship in the range 0.4-0.6. These estimates suggest that genes influence the propensity of individuals to engage in entrepreneurial activity, and it is therefore, in principle, possible to locate the genetic loci that influence this propensity. We discuss how to find these loci with association studies. The choice of study design is crucial for finding robust associations; therefore, we argue that Genome-Wide Association (GWA) studies are preferable to candidate gene studies. The hypothesis-free GWA study design corresponds with our current knowledge of the human genome. A non-replication of a recent candidate gene study on entrepreneurship illustrates this argument.