Serum testosterone levels in males are not associated with entrepreneurial behavior in two independent observational studies

Matthijs J.H.M. van der Loos, Robin Haring, Cornelius A. Rietveld, Sebastian E. Baumeister, Patrick J.F. Groenen, Albert Hofman, Frank H. de Jong, Philipp D. Koellinger, Thomas Kohlmann, Matthias A. Nauck, Fernando Rivadeneira, André G. Uitterlinden, Frank J.A. van Rooij, Henri Wallaschofski, A. Roy Thurik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research has suggested a positive association between testosterone (T) and entrepreneurial behavior in males. However, this evidence was found in a study with a small sample size and has not been replicated. In the present study, we aimed to verify this association using two large, independent, population-based samples of males. We tested the association of T with entrepreneurial behavior, operationalized as self-employment, using data from the Rotterdam Study (N=587) and the Study of Health in Pomerania (N=1697). Total testosterone (TT) and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were measured in the serum. Free testosterone (FT), non-SHBG-bound T (non-SHBG-T), and the TT/SHBG ratio were calculated and used as measures of bioactive serum T, in addition to TT adjusted for SHBG. Using logistic regression models, we found no significant associations between any of the serum T measures and self-employment in either of the samples. To our knowledge, this is the first large-scale study on the relationship between serum T and entrepreneurial behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-114
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Entrepreneurship
  • Free testosterone
  • Non-sex hormone-binding globulin-bound testosterone
  • Self-employment
  • Serum testosterone
  • Sex hormone-binding globulin

Cite this