Does testosterone make men more likely to start businesses? According to Roderick White, Stewart Thornhill and Elizabeth Hampson of the University of Western Ontario, the answer is “yes”.
They measured the testosterone levels of 31 male MBA students who had been involved in starting new businesses with 79 male MBA students who had never been involved in starting new businesses. They found that the students with entrepreneurial experience had higher testosterone levels. In addition, there was a relationship between testosterone levels and the odds of having entrepreneurial experience after they separated out the effects of the subjects’ age, race, undergraduate degree, risk taking propensity, and the time of day that the testosterone levels were measured.
Although the authors believe that testosterone levels make starting businesses more likely, it could be the other way around. Being an entrepreneur could increase testosterone levels. Whether higher levels of testosterone increase the odds of starting a business or having entrepreneurial experience increases testosterone levels, the relationship between testosterone and entrepreneurship is pretty interesting, don’t you think?
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About the Author: Scott Shane is A. Malachi Mixon III, Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western Reserve University. He is the author of seven books, the latest of which is Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths that Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Policy Makers Live By. He is also a member of the Northcoast Angel Fund in the Cleveland area and is always interested in hearing about great start-ups. Take the entrepreneurship quiz.