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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

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  • Elisabeth Bublitz

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  • Alina Sorgner

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  • 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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    Cited by:

    1. repec:oup:jecgeo:v:17:y:2017:i:5:p:1111-1148. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Fackler, Daniel, 2014. "Establishment survival in East and West Germany: A comparative analysis," Discussion Papers 90, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    3. Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2016. "Does persistence in start-up activity reflect persistence in social capital?," Chapters,in: Handbook of Social Capital and Regional Development, chapter 4, pages 82-107 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Gheorghe Savoiu & Marian Siminica, 2016. "Disparities, Discrepancies and Specific Concentration – Diversification Trends in the Group of Central and East European Ex-Socialist Countries," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 18(43), pages 503-503, August.
    5. Michael Wyrwich, 2015. "Entrepreneurship and the intergenerational transmission of values," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 191-213, June.
    6. Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2017. "Persistence of Regional Entrepreneurship: Causes, Effects, and Directions for Future Research," Jena Economic Research Papers 2017-003, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    7. Michael Fritsch & Alina Sorgner & Michael Wyrwich & Evguenii Zazdravnykh, 2016. "Historical shocks and persistence of economic activity: evidence from a unique natural experiment," HSE Working papers WP BRP 143/EC/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    8. Charlie Karlsson & Peter Warda, 2014. "Entrepreneurship and innovation networks," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 393-398, August.
    9. David B. Audretsch & Erik E. Lehmann & Matthias Menter, 2016. "Public cluster policy and new venture creation," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 43(4), pages 357-381, December.
    10. Michael Wyrwich & Michael Stuetzer & Rolf Sternberg, 2016. "Entrepreneurial role models, fear of failure, and institutional approval of entrepreneurship: a tale of two regions," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 467-492, March.
    11. Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2015. "The Persistence of Regional Entrepreneurship - Are all types of Self-Employment Equally Important?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-008, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    12. Oliver Falck & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2017. "Lifting the iron curtain: school-age education and entrepreneurial intentions," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(5), pages 1111-1148.
    13. Elisabeth Bublitz & Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2015. "Balanced Skills and the City: An Analysis of the Relationship between Entrepreneurial Skill Balance, Thickness, and Innovation," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 91(4), pages 475-508, October.
    14. Michael Fritsch & Alexander Kritikos & Alina Sorgner, 2013. "Drivers of Self-Employment - A Multivariate Decomposition Analysis for the Case of Germany," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-006, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    15. Moritz Zöllner & Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2016. "An Evaluation of German Active Labor Market Policies and its Entrepreneurship Promotion," Jena Economic Research Papers 2016-022, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    16. Viktor Slavtchev & Michael Wyrwich, 2017. "TV and Entrepreneurship," Jena Economic Research Papers 2017-007, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    17. Michael Fritsch & David J. Storey, 2014. "Entrepreneurship in a Regional Context: Historical Roots, Recent Developments and Future Challenges," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(6), pages 939-954, June.
    18. Erik E. Lehmann & Matthias Menter, 2016. "University–industry collaboration and regional wealth," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(6), pages 1284-1307, December.
    19. Alina Sorgner & Michael Fritsch, 2013. "Occupational Choice and Self-Employment - Are They Related?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-001, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    20. Michael Fritsch & Alina Sorgner & Michael Wyrwich & Evguenii Zazdravnykh, 2014. "Regional Transitions from Socialism to Entrepreneurship: Russia and Germany compared," ERSA conference papers ersa14p281, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Self-employment; New business formation; Transformation; East Germany; L26; P3; O34; R11;

    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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