Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/70178
Authors: 
Fritsch, Michael
Bublitz, Elisabeth
Rusakova, Alina
Wyrwich, Michael
Year of Publication: 
2012
Series/Report no.: 
Jena Economic Research Papers 2012,042
Abstract: 
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.
Subjects: 
Entrepreneurship
self-employment
new business formation
transformation
East Germany
JEL: 
L26
O11
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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