Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 1263–1284 | Cite as

The contribution of behavior genetics to entrepreneurship: An evolutionary perspective

  • Graciela KuechleEmail author
Regular Article


In line with well-replicated findings in psychology, genetic factors have been found to correlate with several measures of entrepreneurial activity, prompting a new conversation in the field. We contribute to this dialogue in several ways. First, we assess the contribution of this emergent literature in the light of well-established findings from behavior genetics. Second, we sharpen the debate by showing why an evolutionary perspective based on game theoretic models of gene-culture evolution, such as the Dual-Inheritance Theory, can help explain the mechanism behind the heritability of behaviors involving knowledge, beliefs, and interactions with other individuals. Third, we apply this framework to explain why entrepreneurial activity, even if heritable, will be highly contingent on environmental forces. Finally, we discuss the implications of our model and sketch a research agenda for studies on entrepreneurship.


Entrepreneurship Behavior genetics Dual-inheritance theory 

JEL Classification

L26 B41 C19 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Business, Intercultural StudiesHochschule HeilbronnHeilbronnGermany

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