[FoRK] [jhughes@changesurfer.com: [>Htech] Entrepreneurial drive somewhat genetic]

Eugen Leitl < eugen at leitl.org > on > Thu Jun 8 12:11:02 PDT 2006

----- Forwarded message from "Hughes, James J." <jhughes at changesurfer.com> -----

From: "Hughes, James J." <jhughes at changesurfer.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2006 14:55:59 -0400
To: transhumantech at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [>Htech] Entrepreneurial drive somewhat genetic
Reply-To: transhumantech at yahoogroups.com


April 13, 2006

Much of entrepreneurial drive is genetic, new study finds

Paper co-authored by professor from Weatherhead School of Management
shows genetic predisposition toward entrepreneurism

Scott Shane

Entrepreneurs are considered vital to the health of a region's or
nation's economy since they create wealth and jobs. And while
governments and business groups are always on the lookout for ways to
spark entrepreneurship, no one knows precisely what leads people to
start their own business. But a new study suggests that a substantial
part of the answer can be found in an individual's genetic makeup.

Scott Shane, the Mixon Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case
Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management; Nicos
Nicolaou, a lecturer in entrepreneurship at the Tanaka School of
Business of Imperial College London; and Janice Hunkin, Lynn Cherkas,
and Tim Spector of the Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology Unit at St
Thomas' Hospital in London, home of the UK Twin registry of over 10,000
twins collaborated in this unique study. They compared rates of
entrepreneurship between and among more than 1,200 pairs of identical
and fraternal twins in the U.K and conclude that nearly half-48
percent-of an individual's propensity to become self-employed is

The authors studied self-employment among 609 pairs of identical twins,
and compared it to self-employment among 657 pairs of same-sex fraternal
twins in the U.K. Identical twins share 100% of their genetic
composition, while fraternal twins share about 50%, on average. Thus
differences in the rates at which pairs of identical twins both become
entrepreneurs and the rates at which both members of fraternal twins
both become entrepreneurs are attributable to genetics. "One can look at
the patterns of concordance (the numbers of pairs of twins in which both
members are or are not entrepreneurs) and reasonably infer that genetic
factors account for the differences," says Shane.

The authors propose several methods by which genetic factors might
influence people's tendency to become entrepreneurs. For example, genes
may predispose an individual to develop traits such as being sociable
and extroverted, which in turn facilitate skills such as salesmanship,
which are vital to entrepreneurial success.

In addition, genes have been shown to affect the level of education an
individual receives, and more highly educated people are likelier to
become entrepreneurs because they are better able to recognize new
business opportunities when they arise.

This study shows a clear genetic predisposition toward entrepreneurship
and makes it now possible proceed with studies to identify the specific
genes involved in being an entrepreneur.

The Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management is
an international center of management scholarship, committed to
preparing and enhancing organizational leadership. The Weatherhead
School is dedicated to making discoveries of enduring consequence,
developing innovative educational programs, fostering strategic
partnerships with students and organizations, and providing services to
multiple communities. 

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Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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