Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

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

57 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2011 Last revised: 8 Aug 2012

Jan‐Emmanuel De Neve

University of Oxford

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

Date Written: 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.

Keywords: leadership, genetic association, twin study

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1915939 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1915939

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Slava Mikhaylov

University College London, Department of Political Science ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Christopher 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 Christakis

Harvard Medical School - Department of Health Care Policy ( email )

25 Shattuck Street
Boston, MA 02115
United States

James 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

Paper statistics

Downloads
490
Rank
47,673
Abstract Views
3,622