Recent research from the National Bureau of Economic Research studied risk-taking in the stock market and found that environmental factors (not genetic) most influenced behavior.
The study appear to answer the question “Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made“, but it doesn’t really. Furthermore many interpreted the results as: Entrepreneurship is for rich kids (or upper middle class), which again is a wrong interpretation.
First, let’s examine the Abstract of the research, before jumping to conclusions, (full article linked above).
Risk-taking behavior is highly correlated between parents and their children; however, little is known about the extent to which these relationships are genetic or determined by environmental factors. We use data on stock market participation of Swedish adoptees and relate this to the investment behavior of both their biological and adoptive parents. We find that stock market participation of parents increases that of children by about 34% and that both pre-birth and post-birth factors are important. However, once we condition on having positive financial wealth, we find that nurture has a much stronger influence on risk-taking by children, and the evidence of a relationship between stock-holding of biological parents and their adoptive children becomes very weak. We find similar results when we study the share of financial wealth that is invested in stocks. This suggests that a substantial proportion of risk-attitudes and behavior is environmentally determined.
Meaning, there is a difference between someone putting his money on random companies with no emotional connections to, and someone putting his money on an idea that he has been day dreaming about for several months.
Another article covering this subject can be found: Are Entrepreneurs Rich Kids From Wealthy Families ?