Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1915939
 
 

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Born to Lead? A Twin Design and Genetic Association Study of Leadership Role Occupancy


Jan-Emmanuel De Neve


University College London; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Slava Mikhaylov


University College London, Department of Political Science

Christopher T. Dawes


University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science

Nicholas A. Christakis


Harvard Medical School - Department of Health Care Policy

James H. Fowler


UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences; UC San Diego School of Medicine

August 7, 2012


Abstract:     
We address leadership emergence and the possibility that there is a partially innate predisposition to occupy a leadership role. Employing twin design methods on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we estimate the heritability of leadership role occupancy at 24%. Twin studies do not point to specific genes or neurological processes that might be involved. We therefore also conduct association analysis on the available genetic markers. The results show that leadership role occupancy is associated with rs4950, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) residing on a neuronal acetylcholine receptor gene (CHRNB3). We replicate this family-based genetic association result on an independent sample in the Framingham Heart Study. This is the first study to identify a specific genotype associated with the tendency to occupy a leadership position. The results suggest that what determines whether an individual occupies a leadership position is the complex product of genetic and environmental influences; with a particular role for rs4950.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 57

Keywords: leadership, genetic association, twin study

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Date posted: August 24, 2011 ; Last revised: August 8, 2012

Suggested Citation

De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel and Mikhaylov, Slava and Dawes, Christopher T. and Christakis, Nicholas A. and Fowler, James H., Born to Lead? A Twin Design and Genetic Association Study of Leadership Role Occupancy (August 7, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1915939 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1915939

Contact Information

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (Contact Author)
University College London ( email )
29/30 Tavistock Square
London, WC1H 9QU
United Kingdom
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/deneve/
Slava Mikhaylov
University College London, Department of Political Science ( email )
Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
Christopher T. Dawes
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science ( email )
9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States
HOME PAGE: http://dss.ucsd.edu/~cdawes/
Nicholas A. Christakis
Harvard Medical School - Department of Health Care Policy ( email )
25 Shattuck Street
Boston, MA 02115
United States
James H. Fowler
UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences ( email )
9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States
HOME PAGE: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu
UC San Diego School of Medicine ( email )
9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States
HOME PAGE: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu
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