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Entrepreneurship in Transition Economies: The Role of Institutions and Generational Change

  • Estrin, Saul


    (London School of Economics)

  • Mickiewicz, Tomasz


    (Aston University)

The transition economies have lower rates of entrepreneurship than are observed in most developed and developing market economies. The difference is even more marked in the countries of the former Soviet Union than those of Central and Eastern Europe. We link these differences partly with the legacy of communist planning, which needs to be replaced with formal market-supporting institutions. But many of these developments have now taken place, yet entrepreneurial activity still remains low in many places. To analyse this longer term issue, we highlight the necessarily slow pace of development of new informal institutions and the corresponding social attitudes, notably rebuilding the generalised trust. We argue that changes are even slower in the former Soviet Union than Central and Eastern Europe because communist rule was much longer, leading to a lack of institutional memory. We posit that changes in informal institutions may be therefore delayed until after full generational change.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4805.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Maria Minniti (ed.) 2011, The Dynamics of Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Data, Oxford, pp.181-208
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4805
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