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How Much of a Socialist Legacy? The Reemergence of Entrepreneurship in the East German Transformation to a Market Economy

Listed author(s):
  • Michael Fritsch

    ()

    (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

  • Elisabeth Bublitz

    ()

    (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Alina Rusakova

    ()

    (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

  • Michael Wyrwich

    ()

    (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

The 40 years of socialist regime in East Germany were characterized by a massive anti-entrepreneurship policy. We investigate the reemergence of entrepreneurship in East Germany during its transformation to a market economy following the collapse of the East German state in 1989. 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. In particular, older and better-educated East Germans have a relatively low propensity for starting an own business. Moreover, East German workers tend to have a lower variety of skills than their West German counterparts, which could explain a lower propensity for start up in the early years after reunification. Despite this socialist imprint, we also find considerable continuity in the levels of self-employment in the 1920s and those after transition to a market economy, suggesting the existence of a long-lasting regional entrepreneurship culture.

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File URL: http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11187-014-9544-x.pdf
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Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2012-042.

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Date of creation: 16 Jul 2012
Publication status: Published as "How much of a socialist legacy? The re-emergence of entrepreneurship in the East German transformation to a market economy", in: Small Business Economics 43 (2012), 427-446.
Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2012-042
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  1. Niels Bosma & Jolanda Hessels & Veronique Schutjens & Mirjam van Praag & Ingrid Verheul, 2011. "Entrepreneurship and Role Models," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-061/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Audretsch, David B. & Keilbach, Max, 2002. "Entrepreneurship Capital and Economic Performance," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-76, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Michael Wyrwich, 2012. "Regional Entrepreneurial Heritage in a Socialist and a Postsocialist Economy," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 88(4), pages 423-445, October.
  4. Parker, Simon C, 2009. "Why do small firms produce the entrepreneurs?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 484-494, June.
  5. Michael Fritsch & Alexander S. Kritikos & Alina Rusakova, 2012. "Who Starts a Business and Who Is Self-Employed in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1184, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Michael Fritsch & Alina Rusakova, 2012. "Self-Employment after Socialism: Intergenerational Links, Entrepreneurial Values, and Human Capital," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 456, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  7. Wagner, Joachim, 2004. "Are Young and Small Firms Hothouses for Nascent Entrepreneurs? Evidence from German Micro Data," IZA Discussion Papers 989, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. David Audretsch & Michael Fritsch, 2002. "Growth Regimes over Time and Space," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 113-124.
  9. Minniti, Maria, 2005. "Entrepreneurship and network externalities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 1-27, May.
  10. Michael Wyrwich, 2011. "Regional Entrepreneurial Heritage in a Socialist and Post-socialist Economy," ERSA conference papers ersa10p495, European Regional Science Association.
  11. repec:ids:ijeven:v:1:y:2010:i:3:p:245-263 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Stefan Bauernschuster & Oliver Falck & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2009. "The Shadows of the Past - How Implicit Institutions Influence Entrepreneurship," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-044, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  13. Pontus Braunerhjelm & Zoltan Acs & David Audretsch & Bo Carlsson, 2010. "The missing link: knowledge diffusion and entrepreneurship in endogenous growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 105-125, February.
  14. Marco Caliendo & Alexander Kritikos, 2010. "Start-ups by the unemployed: characteristics, survival and direct employment effects," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 71-92, July.
  15. Edward P. Lazear, 2004. "Balanced Skills and Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 208-211, May.
  16. Fritsch, Michael, 2004. "Entrepreneurship, entry and performance of new business compared in two growth regimes: East and West Germany," Freiberg Working Papers 2004,09, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  17. Elisabeth Bublitz & Florian Noseleit, 2011. "The Skill Balancing Act: Determinants of and Returns to Balanced Skills," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-025, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  18. P. Mueller, 2006. "Entrepreneurship in the Region: Breeding Ground for Nascent Entrepreneurs?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 41-58, August.
  19. Fritsch, Michael & Falck, Oliver, 2007. "New business formation by industry over space and time: A multidimensional analysis," Munich Reprints in Economics 20306, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  20. Edward J. Bird & Johannes Schwarze & Gert G. Wagner, 1994. "Wage Effects of the Move toward Free Markets in East Germany," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(3), pages 390-400, April.
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