There’s a guy who writes a blog where he summarizes every day all the latest research into a wide variety of economic and social issues. I have it as one of my tabs when I open Google Chrome every morning. It’s very interesting stuff. There is a pile of research on issues of interest to an economic developer.
One of my fascinations relates to how a region fosters an entrepreneurial culture. I am interested in that sweet spot beyond lifestyle or home-based businesses where insatiable entrepreneurs look to build products and services and take them global.
The blog today summarizes new research in the U.K. that suggests the tendency to be an entrepreneur may be influenced by genetic variation. Sensation seeking is more common among entrepreneurs than among the general population.
Twin studies show that the tendency to be an entrepreneur is heritable and that common genes influence both sensation seeking and entrepreneurial tendency (Nicolaou et al. Manag Sci 54:167-179, 2008a; Strateg Entrep J 2:7-21, 2008b). Since dopamine receptor genes have been associated with novelty seeking/sensation seeking (Benjamin et al. Nat Genet 12:81-84, 1996; Ebstein et al. Nat Genet 12:78-80, 1996; Noblett and Coccaro Curr Psychiatry Rep 7:73-80, 2005), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been reported to occur at greater rates among entrepreneurs, we examined the association between five dopamine receptor genes and four ADHD-associated genes, with the tendency to be an entrepreneur in a sample of 1,335 individuals from the UK. We found a single nucleotide polymorphism (rs1486011) of the DRD3 gene on chromosome 3 to be significantly associated with the tendency to be an entrepreneur. This result is the first evidence of the association of a specific gene with entrepreneurship. Further studies are needed to replicate this association.
ADHD is a predictor of entrepreneurship? I guess that makes some intuitive sense when you meet some of these amped up entrepreneurs.