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The shadows of the socialist past: Lack of self-reliance hinders entrepreneurship

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  • Bauernschuster, Stefan
  • Falck, Oliver
  • Gold, Robert
  • Heblich, Stephan

Abstract

We provide empirical evidence that the experience of a socialist regime leads to a lack of self-reliance by comparing East and West Germans conditional on regional differences in current economic development. This meaningful lack of self-reliance persists after the regime's breakdown and hinders the development of an entrepreneurial spirit, which might hamper the transition process. Since East Germany adopted the formal institutions of a market economy quasi overnight when reunifying with West Germany, we avoid simultaneity issues regarding current institutions and preferences. Further tentative evidence suggests that the socialist regime also affected the composition of the East German population by inducing selective migration before the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 28 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 485-497

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:28:y:2012:i:4:p:485-497

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

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Keywords: Self-reliance; Entrepreneurship; Socialism; Capitalism;

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References

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  1. Helmut Rainer & Michael Siedler, 2006. "Does democracy foster trust?," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 200602, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
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  7. Denise DiPasquale & Edward L. Glaeser, 1998. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," NBER Working Papers 6363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Stefan Bauernschuster & Helmut Rainer, 2012. "Political regimes and the family: how sex-role attitudes continue to differ in reunified Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 5-27, January.
  9. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
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  11. Earle, John S. & Sakova, Zuzana, 2000. "Business start-ups or disguised unemployment? Evidence on the character of self-employment from transition economies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 575-601, September.
  12. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  13. Fuchs-Schundeln, Nicola & Alesina, Alberto, 2007. "Good-Bye Lenin (Or Not?): The Effect of Communism on People's Preferences," Scholarly Articles 4553032, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Smallbone, David & Welter, Friederike, 2001. " The Distinctiveness of Entrepreneurship in Transition Economies," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 249-62, June.
  15. Michael Wyrwich, 2012. "Regional Entrepreneurial Heritage in a Socialist and a Postsocialist Economy," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 88(4), pages 423-445, October.
  16. Heiko Bergmann & Rolf Sternberg, 2007. "The Changing Face of Entrepreneurship in Germany," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 205-221, March.
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Cited by:
  1. François Facchini & Mickaël Melki, 2011. "Optimal Government Size and Economic Growth in France (1871-2008): An explanation by the State and Market Failures," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 11077, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  2. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Government Ideology and Tuition Fee Policy: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 4205, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Necker, Sarah & Voskort, Andrea, 2013. "The evolution of German's values since reunification," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 13/13, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
  4. Thomas P. Triebs & Justin Tumlinson, 2013. "Learning Capitalism the Hard Way—Evidence from Germany's Reunification," NBER Working Papers 19209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Boenisch, Peter & Schneider, Lutz, 2013. "The social capital legacy of communism-results from the Berlin Wall experiment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 391-411.

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