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How much of a socialist legacy? The re-emergence of entrepreneurship in the East German transformation to a market economy

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  • Michael Fritsch
  • Elisabeth Bublitz
  • Alina Sorgner
  • Michael Wyrwich

Abstract

We investigate how institutional change—the transition from a socialist system to a western type market economy—relates to the re-emergence of entrepreneurship in East Germany. This region is particularly well suited for such a study because of the rapid change of the institutional framework and the possibility to use West Germany as a benchmark. It took about 15 years until self-employment levels in East Germany reached those of West Germany. Despite this catch up, we find a number of peculiarities in East German self-employment that appear to be a continuing legacy of the socialist period. There is also a considerable correspondence of the regional levels of self-employment before, during and after the socialist period, suggesting the existence of a long-lasting regional entrepreneurship culture that can be regarded as an informal institution. This is in line with the hypothesis that informal institutions change much more slowly than formal institutions. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Fritsch & Elisabeth Bublitz & Alina Sorgner & Michael Wyrwich, 2014. "How much of a socialist legacy? The re-emergence of entrepreneurship in the East German transformation to a market economy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 427-446, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:43:y:2014:i:2:p:427-446
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-014-9544-x
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Self-employment; New business formation; Transformation; East Germany; L26; P3; O34; R11;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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