Is the tendency to engage in entrepreneurship genetic?

N Nicolaou, S Shane, L Cherkas, J Hunkin, T D Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

238 Citations (Scopus)


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
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167 - 179
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

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