Abstract

Prevailing institutions in post-socialist countries are often different (the term used in the literature is sub-optimal) from those in advanced market economies: influencing actor incentives (often stated in the literature as preventing the incentives of the market system from revealing their full strength), and thus impacting on (obstructing) the process of economic development. In response researchers and policy-makers view the creation of an institutional setting that favours entrepreneurship as a pre-requisite for economic development. The introduction of new institutions is invariably viewed as the remit of the state – which enjoys legitimacy and holds a clear vision of the institutions required for growth. However, there is evidence from a host of post-socialist regimes that the (top-down) introduction of change often fails to have the anticipated results. Within this context, this paper sets out to explore the role of entrepreneurs in the process of institutional change.

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