Candidate gene studies of human behavior are gaining interest in economics and entrepreneurship research. Performing and interpreting these studies is not straightforward because the selection of candidates influences the interpretation of the results. As an example, Nicolaou et al. (Small Bus Econ 36:151-155, 2011) report a significant association between a common genetic variant in the DRD3 gene and the tendency to be an entrepreneur. We fail to replicate this finding using a much larger, independent dataset. In addition, we discuss the candidate gene approach and give suggestions to avoid the publication of false positives.

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Keywords Candidate gene study, Entrepreneurship, Genetics, Genome-wide association study
JEL Economic Methodology: General (jel B40), Entrepreneurship (jel L26)
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Series ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal Small Business Economics: an entrepreneurship journal
van der Loos, M.J.H.M, Koellinger, Ph.D, Groenen, P.J.F, Rietveld, C.A, Rivadeneira Ramirez, F, van Rooij, F.J.A, … Thurik, A.R. (2011). Candidate gene studies and the quest for the entrepreneurial gene. Small Business Economics: an entrepreneurship journal, 37(3), 269–275. doi:10.1007/s11187-011-9339-2