Candidate gene studies of human behavior are gaining interest in economics and entrepreneurship research. Performing and interpreting these studies is not straightforward because the selection of candidates influences the interpretation of the results. As an example, Nicolaou et al. (Small Bus Econ 36:151-155, 2011) report a significant association between a common genetic variant in the DRD3 gene and the tendency to be an entrepreneur. We fail to replicate this finding using a much larger, independent dataset. In addition, we discuss the candidate gene approach and give suggestions to avoid the publication of false positives.