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Niels Rietveld

Personal Data

Research Profile

Educational Background



Ad-hoc reviewing

Grants and Awards

Personal Data

Name: Dr. C.A. (Niels) Rietveld



Department of Applied Economics (Associate Professor)

Erasmus University Rotterdam Institute for Behavior and Biology (Executive Director)

Erasmus School of Economics

Erasmus University Rotterdam


Tinbergen Institute (Research Fellow)


Erasmus Research Institute of Management (Full Member / High Performance Researcher)


Social Science Genetic Association Consortium (Affiliated Researcher)


Visiting address:         

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, Office Mandeville T18-29

3062 PA  Rotterdam


Postal address:           

P.O. Box 1738

3000 DR  Rotterdam


Telephone: +31 (0)10 408 14 01

Fax: +31 (0)10 408 91 41

E-mail: nrietveld[at] [please note the 'n' before 'rietveld']  


Google Scholar Profile


Research profile

I am associate professor at the department of Applied Economics, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, executive director of the Erasmus University Rotterdam Institute for Behavior and Biology, and PI of the ERC Starting Grant project "Genes, Policy, and Social Inequality" (GEPSI). I am teaching the bachelor courses Economics & Genetics (FEB13089) and Small Business Economics (FEB13035). As applied econometrician, my primary fields of research are "Economics and human biology" and "The economics of entrepreneurship".

I am inspired for this research agenda by Adam Smith (1723-1790), the founding father of modern economics, who attributed the division of labour among people to a supposedly innate human ‘propensity to truck, barter, and exchange’. There are two main themes in my research. The first theme is the identification of biological predispositions to indicators of socio-economic status. I am primarily analysing genes, but also worked with hormonal measures such as testosterone and physical properties such as height. The second theme is the investigation of how socio-economic conditions affect biological dispositions. In this research area, I focus on entrepreneurship (self-employment) as labour market choice and its effects on health and well-being.

Educational Background 

Publications (peer reviewed)

  1. Patel, P. C., Rietveld, C.A., Pereira, I. (2021). The relation between public assistance and self-employment in census tracts: A long-term perspective. Journal of Evolutionary Economics. Accepted.
  2. Rietveld, C.A., Hoogendoorn, B. (2021). The mediating role of values in the relationship between religion and entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics. Forthcoming. Available online.
  3. Patel, P.C., Rietveld, C.A. (2021). Does globalization affect perceptions about entrepreneurship? The role of economic development. Small Business Economics. Forthcoming. Available online.
  4. Patel, P.C., Rietveld, C.A., Wolfe, M.T., Wiklund, J. (2020). The polygenic risk score of subjective well-being, self-employment, and earnings among older individuals. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 45, 440-466. Available online.
  5. Patel, P.C. , Rietveld, C.A. (2020). The impact of the public disclosure of curved inspection scores using emojis on hygiene violations in food establishments. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. Forthcoming. Available online.
  6. Van Loon, L, Hessels, J., Rietveld, C.A., Van der Zwan, P. (2020). Separation from the life partner and exit from self-employment. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 1118. Available online.
  7. Rietveld, C.A., Slob, E.A.W., Thurik, A.R. (2020). A decade of research on the genetics of entrepreneurship: a review and view ahead. Small Business Economics. Forthcoming. Available online.
  8. Hessels, J., Rietveld, C.A., Van der Zwan, P. (2020). The relation between health and earnings in self-employment. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 801. Available online.
  9. Rietveld, C.A., Patel, P.C. (2020). Prescription opioids and new business establishments. Small Business Economics. Forthcoming. Available online.
  10. Hessels, J., Rietveld, C.A., Thurik, A.R., van der Zwan, P. (2020). The higher returns to formal education for entrepreneurs versusemployees in Australia. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 13, e00148. Available online.
  11. Patel, P.C., Rietveld, C.A., Verheul, I. (2019). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and earnings in later-life self-employment. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 45, 43-63. Available online.
  12. Meddens, S.F.W., De Vlaming, R., Bowers, P., Burik, C.A.P., Linnér, R.K., Lee, C., ... Koellinger, P.D. (2019). Genomic analysis of diet composition finds novel loci and associations with health and lifestyle. Molecular Psychiatry. Forthcoming. Available online.
  13. Clark, D.W., Okada, Y., Moore, K.H.S., Mason, D., Pirastu, N., Gandin, I., ... Wilson, J.F. (2019). Associations of autozygosity with a broad range of human phenotypes. Nature Communications, 10, 1-17. Available online.
  14. Rietveld, C.A., Patel, P.C. (2019). ADHD and later-life labor market outcomes in the United States. European Journal of Health Economics, 20, 949-967. Available online.
  15. Patel, P.C., Rietveld, C.A. (2019). Effect of the genetic propensity for obesity on income and wealth through educational attainment. Obesity, 27, 1423-1427 Available online.
  16. Van der Kooi, C., Rietveld, C.A. (2019). God and his works from an entrepreneurship perspective Journal of Reformed Theology, 13, 47-64. Available online.
  17. Linnér, R.K., Biroli, P., Kong, E., Meddens, S.F.W., Wedow, R., Fontana, M.A., ... Beauchamp, J.P. (2019). Genome-wide association analyses of risk tolerance and risky behaviors in over one million individuals identify hundreds of loci and shared genetic influences. Nature Genetics, 51, 245-257. Available online. Early version available here
  18. Bansal, V., Mitjans, M., Burik, C.A.P., Karlsson Linner, R., Okbay, A., Rietveld, C.A., ... Koellinger, P.D. (2018). Genome-wide association study results for educational attainment aid in identifying genetic heterogeneity of schizophrenia. Nature Communications, 9, 1-12. Available online. Early version available here
  19. Bernoster, I., Rietveld, C.A., Thurik, A.R., Torrès, O. (2018). Overconfidence, optimism and entrepreneurship. Sustainability, 10, 2233. Available online. Early version available here.
  20. Van Kippersluis, H., Rietveld, C.A. (2018). Beyond plausibly exogenous. Econometrics Journal, 21, 316-331. Available online. Early version available here.
  21. Hessels, J., Rietveld, C.A., Thurik, A.R., van der Zwan, P. (2018). Depression and entrepreneurial exit. Academy of Management Perspectives, 32, 323-339. Available online.
  22. Van der Zwan, P., Hessels, J., Rietveld, C.A. (2017). Self-employment and satisfaction with life, work, and leisure. Journal of Economic Psychology, 64, 73-88. Available online. Early version available here.
  23. Linnér, R.K., Marioni, R.E., Rietveld, C.A., Simpkin, A.J., Davies, N.M., Watanabe, K., ... Benjamin, D.J. (2017). An epigenome-wide association study of educational attainment. Molecular Psychiatry, 22, 1680-1690. Available online. Early version available here.
  24. Slob, E.A.W., Groenen, P.J.F., Thurik, A.R., & Rietveld, C.A. (2017). A note on the use of Egger regression in Mendelian randomization studies. International Journal of Epidemiology, 46, 2094–2097. Available online.
  25. Sniekers, S., Stringer, S., Watanabe, K., Jansen, P.R., Coleman, J., Krapohl, E., ... Posthuma, D. (2017). Meta-Analysis of 78,308 individuals identifies 15 novel loci and 40 novel genes for intelligence. Nature Genetics, 49, 1107-1112. Available online.
  26. Van Kippersluis, H, & Rietveld, C.A. (2017). Pleiotropy-robust Mendelian Randomization. International Journal of Epidemiology, 47, 1279-1288. Available online. Early version available here.
  27. De Vlaming, R., Okbay, A., Rietveld, C.A., Johannesson, M., Magnusson, P.K.E., Uitterlinden, A.G., ... Koellinger, P.D. (2017). Meta-GWAS Accuracy and Power (MetaGAP) calculator shows that hiding heritability is partially due to imperfect genetic correlations across studies. PLOS Genetics, 13, e1006495. Available online.
  28. Hessels, J., Rietveld, C.A., van der Zwan, P. (2017). Self-employment and work-related stress: The mediating role of job demand and job control. Journal of Business Venturing, 32, 178–196. Available online.
  29. Barban, N., Jansen, R., de Vlaming, R., Vaez, A., Mandemakers, J.J., Tropf, F.C., ... Mills, M.C. (2016). Genome-wide analysis identifies 12 loci influencing human reproductive behavior. Nature Genetics, 48, 1462–1472. Available online.
  30. Li, E., Rietveld, C.A., Van Stel, A. (2016). The returns to field of study in college: A comparison between entrepreneurs and wage-workers. International Review of Entrepreneurship, 14, 343-360. Available online.
  31. Okbay, A., Beauchamp, J.P., Fontana, M., Lee, J.J., Pers, T.H., Rietveld, C.A., ... Benjamin, D.J. (2016). Genome-wide association study identifies 74 loci associated with educational attainment. Nature, 533, 539-542. Available online.
  32. Okbay, A., Baselmans, B.M.L., De Neve, J.E., Turley, P., Nivard, M.G., Fontana, M.A., ... Cesarini, D. (2016). Genetic variants associated with subjective well-being, depressive symptoms and neuroticism identified through genome-wide analyses. Nature Genetics, 48, 624-633. Available online.
  33. Hoogendoorn, B., Rietveld, C.A., Van Stel, A. (2016). Belonging, believing, bonding, and behaving: The relationship between religion and business ownership at the country level. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 26, 519-550. Available online.
  34. Rietveld, C.A., Böckerman, P., Viinikainen, J., Bryson, A., Raitakari, O., & Pehkonen, J. (2016). Creatine and entrepreneurship. Journal of Bioeconomics, 18, 53-64. Available online.
  35. Rietveld, C.A. & Webbink, D. (2016). On the genetic bias of the quarter of birth instrument. Economics and Human Biology, 21, 137-146. Available online.
  36. Rietveld, C.A., Bailey, H., Hessels, J., & Van der Zwan, P. (2016). Health and entrepreneurship in four Caribbean Basin countries. Economics and Human Biology, 21, 84-89. Available online.
  37. Joshi, P.K., Esko, T., Mattsson, H, Eklund, N., Gandin, I., ..., Wilson, J.F. (2015). Directional dominance on stature and cognition in diverse human populations. Nature, 523, 459-462. Available online.
  38. Power, R.A., Steinberg, S., Bjornsdottir, G., Rietveld, C.A., Abdelloui, A., ..., Stefansson, K. (2015). Polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder predict creativity. Nature Neuroscience, 18, 953–955. Available online.
  39. Peyrot, W., Lee, S.H., Milaneschi, Y., Abdellaoui, A., Byrne, E., Esko, T., ... Penninx, B.J.W.H. (2015). The association between lower educational attainment and depression due to shared genetic effects? Results in ~25,000 subjects. Molecular Psychiatry, 20, 735-743. Available online.
  40. Okbay, A. & Rietveld, C.A. (2015). On improving the credibility of candidate gene studies: A review of candidate gene studies published in Emotion. Emotion, 15, 531-537. Available online.
  41. Conley, D., Domingue, B.W., Cesarini, D., Dawes, C., Rietveld, C.A., & Boardman, J.D. (2015). Is the effect of parental education on offspring biased or moderated by genotype? Sociological Science, 2, 82-105. Available online.
  42. Rietveld, C.A., Hessels, J., & Van der Zwan, P. (2015). The stature of the self-employed and its realtion with earnings and satisfaction. Economics and Human Biology, 17, 59-74. Available online.
  43. Rietveld, C.A., Esko, T., Davies, G., Pers, T.H., Turley, P.A., Benyamin, B., ..., Koellinger, P.D. (2014). Common genetic variants associated with cognitive performance identified using proxy-phenotype method. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111, 13790–13794. Available online.
  44. Rietveld, C. A., Conley, D., Eriksson, N., Esko, T., Medland, S. E., Vinkhuyzen, A. A. E., … Social Science Genetic Association Consortium. (2014). Replicability and robustness of GWAS for behavioral traits. Psychological Science, 25, 1975-1986. Available online.
  45. Rietveld, C.A., Van Kippersluis, H., & Thurik, A.R. (2015). Self-employment and Health: Barriers or Benefits? Health Economics, 24, 1302-1313. Available online. Early version available here.
  46. De Zeeuw, E.L., Van Beijsterveldt, C.E.M., Glasner, T.J., Ehli, E.A., Davies, G.E., Hudziak, J.J., ... Boomsma, D.I. (2014). Polygenic scores associated with educational attainment in adults predict educational achievement and attention problems in children. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 165, 510-520. Available online.
  47. Ward, M.E., McMahon, G., St Pourcain, B., Evans, D.M., Rietveld, C.A., Benjamin, D.J., ... Timpson, N.J. (2014). Genetic variation associated with differential educational attainment in adults has anticipated associations with school performance in children. PLOS ONE, 9, e100248. Available online.
  48. Van der Gaast, J., Rietveld, C.A., Gabor, A., & Zhang, Y. (2014). A Tabu Search algorithm for application placement in computer clustering. Computers & Operations Research, 59, 38-46. Available online. Early version available here.
  49. Rietveld, C.A. & Van Burg, E. (2014). Religious beliefs and entrepreneurship among Dutch protestants. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 27, 279-295. Available online. Early version available here.
  50. Hessels, J., Rietveld, C.A., & Van der Zwan, P.W. (2014). Unraveling two myths about entrepreneurs. Economics Letters, 122, 435–438. Available online.
  51. Van der Loos, M.J.H.M., Haring, R., Rietveld, C.A., Baumeister, S.E., Groenen, P.J.F., Hofman, A., ... Thurik, A.R. (2013). Serum testosterone levels in males are not associated with entrepreneurial behavior in two independent observational studies. Physiology & Behavior, 119, 110–114. Available online.
  52. Rietveld, C.A., Medland, S.E., Derringer, J., Yang, J., Esko, T., Martin, N.W., ... Koellinger, P.D. (2013). GWAS of 126,559 individuals identifies genetic variants associated with educational attainment.  Science, 340, 1467-1471. Available online.
  53. Rietveld, C.A., Cesarini, D., Benjamin D.J., Koellinger, P.D., De Neve, J.E., Tiemeier H, ... Bartels, M. (2013). Molecular genetics and subjective well-being.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110, 9692-9697. Available online.
  54. Van der Loos, M.J.H.M., Rietveld, C.A., Eklund, N., Koellinger, P.D., Rivadeneira, F., Abecasis, G.R., ... Thurik, A.R. (2013). The molecular genetic architecture of self-employment. PLOS ONE, 8, e60542. Available online.
  55. Van der Loos, M.J.H.M., Koellinger, P.D., Groenen, P.J.F., Rietveld, C.A., Rivadeneira, F., van Rooij, ... Thurik, A.R. (2011). Candidate gene studies and the quest for the entrepreneurial gene. Small Business Economics, 37, 269-275. Available online.


Teaching some lectures / Teaching assistance:

Main teacher / coordination:

Ad-hoc reviewing

American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, Applied Psychology, Czech Science Foundation, Economics and Human Biology, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, European Journal of Human Genetics, Genes, Brain and Behavior, Health Economics, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, International Journal of Epidemiology, International Review of Entrepreneurship, Journal of Bioeconomics, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Economic Psychology, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Labour Economics, Nature Human Behaviour, Plos One, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Scientific Reports, Small Business Economics, Social Science Quartely. 

Grants and Awards

2020: ERC Starting Grant, €1,500.000.

2017: Top Article award Erasmus Research Institute of Management.

2017: Team member NORFACE DIAL Grant "Gene-Environment Interactions in the Development of Education and Health", €525.000.

2016: Young researcher award Erasmus Research Institute of Management.

2016: Research award Erasmus University Rotterdam.

2015: NWO Veni grant, €250.000.

2014: CHARGE Tiger Award “Early Career” (CHARGE consortium).