I am professor (emeritus) and former Chair of Business Dynamics, Innovation, and Economic Change at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. I am also an editor of the academic journal “Small Business Economics”.

Ich bin Professor (Emeritus) für Volkswirtschaftslehre (Unternehmensentwicklung, Innovation und wirtschaftlichen Wandel) an der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena sowie ein Editor der Fachzeitschrift „Small Business Economics“.


March 14, 2023:

I mourn the death of my co-author and friend Loet Leydesdorff, who passed away last Saturday. Loet always impressed me with his immense knowledge and his exuberant creativity. He was extremely open to new ideas and a great person to cooperate with. What a loss for science! RIP, dear Loet. My thoughts are with you and your family.

January 10, 2023: My paper „Entrepreneurship in the Long Run: Empirical evidence and historical mechanisms“ (with Michael Wyrwich) is now out in Foundations and Trends in Entrepreneurship, 19 (2023), No. 1, 1-125. https://doi.org/10.1561/0300000100

Abstract: We review and discuss research on the development of regional entrepreneurship over time. A particular focus is on the long-term persistence of regional levels of entrepreneurship, its explanation, and its meaning for economic development. What is the state of empirical research in this field, and what can explain the empirical findings? How are long-term trends of entrepreneurial activity linked to regional performance in terms of employment, gross domestic product (GDP), and innovative activity? Based on our assessments we derive conclusions for theory, policy implications, and avenues for further research.

January 2, 2023:  How did German reunification affect innovation activities in the Eastern and the Western part of the country? Does the innovation system of East Germany converge towards West German level? A new paper with Maria Greve and Michael Wyrwich investigates these issues by means of a difference-in-difference approach. Our findings indicate that integrating the two innovation systems mainly benefitted the West.

Fritsch, Michael, Maria Greve and Michael Wyrwich: Shades of a Socialist Legacy? Innovation Activity in East and West Germany 1877-2014. Jena Economic Research Papers #2023-001, Friedrich Schiller University Jena. https://ideas.repec.org/p/jrp/jrpwrp/2023-001.html

Average number of patent applications per 10 thousand population in East and West Germany 1877 to 2014

 Abstract: The unification of the East and West German states in 1990 initiated the integration of two distinct innovation systems. In this process, the poorly functioning socialist system of East Germany adopted the formal institutions and organization of West Germany, a western-style market economy. We investigate the effect of this integration on patenting activity by applying a. While patenting activity increased in both parts of the country until recently, the gap between East and West Germany widened considerably over time. This divergence in innovation activity suggests that current East-West differences may be indirectly rooted in this socialist legacy and the sudden shock transformation that occurred upon reunification. We also find that the similarity of the technology profile of the East and West German innovation systems is crucial to understand the divergence. So, East German innovation activity fell behind especially in technologies where both East and West Germany were specialized in before re-unification. The same applies to technologies where only West Germany was specialized in.

December 22, 2022:

Best wishes for a merry Christmas and a peaceful, happy new year 2023!

Ich wünsche allen Menschen ein frohes Weihnachtsfest und ein friedvolles, glückliches Jahr 2023!

Weihnachten, Neujahr, Gruß, Typografie


December 22, 2022: Mein gemeinsam mit Maria Greve und Michael Wyrwich verfasster Aufsatz „Regionale Ausgangsbedingungen und Unternehmensgründungen im post-sozialistischen Kontext“ ist jetzt erschienen in dem von Falk Flade, Anna M. Steinkamp und Konrad Walerski herausgegebenen Buch  Transformation in Polen und Ostdeutschland – Voraussetzungen, Verlauf und Ergebnisse. Wiesbaden 2022: Harrassowitz, 125-140. Dieses Buch gibt einen Überblick über Ergebnisse des vom Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung geförderten Projektverbundes Modernisierungsblockaden in Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft der DDR (ModBlock DDR). Es ist Open Access und kann herunter geladen werden unter https://opus4.kobv.de/opus4-euv/files/1253/IPS_Band_11.pdf.

In unserem Aufsatz untersuchen wir die Gründe für die ausgeprägten regionalen Unterschiede von Unternehmensgründungen im Zuge der Transformation vom Sozialismus zu einer Marktwirtschaft in Ostdeutschland. Relativ hohe Gründungsraten fin­den sich in Regionen, die am Ende der sozialistischen Periode über gut qualifi­zierte Arbeitskräfte und einen relativ hohen Anteil an verbliebenen Selbstständigen verfügten. Dies gilt auch für Neugründungen in innovativen und wissensintensiven Branchen. Die Politik sollte diesen Unter­schieden in den regionalen Bedingungen für Unternehmensgründungen Rechnung tragen.

December 18, 2022: My paper (with Moritz Zoellner) „Actor Fluidity and Knowledge Persistence in Regional Inventor Networks“ was accepted for publication in the journal economies and is available online at https://www.mdpi.com/2227-7099/10/12/298/pdf.

We deal with the possible consequences of the rather pronounced levels of inventor’s entry and exit in regional innovation systems might have for the  persistence of regional knowledge and inventive activity. Based on data for nine German regions we estimate how the size and structure of regional inventor networks may influence knowledge persistence over time Iusing alternative assumptions about knowledge transfer. The results suggest that the knowledge of new inventors is much more important for the persormance of regional innovation systems than old knowledge that persists.

November 22, 2022: Happy to find out that I am again listed by Elsevier among the top 2% highly cited academic authors world wide. See https://elsevier.digitalcommonsdata.com/datasets/btchxktzyw/5

November 18, 2022: Adnan Efendic, Tomasz Mickiewicz, Tomasz Skica and I are guest editors of a Special Issue „Entrepreneurship and local development in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe – new challenges are ahead“ of the journal Post-Communist Economies that just came out (no. 8 of vol. 38). See our editorial https://doi.org/10.1080/14631377.2022.2104502.

The Special Issue includes my paper (with Maria Greve and Michael Wyrwich) „One transition story does not fit them all: initial regional conditions and new business formation after communism“ (https://doi.org/10.1080/14631377.2021.1943912)  that analyzes the case of East Germany.
Abstract: We investigate the reasons for the pronounced regional differences of new business formation after the transformation from a centrally planned system to a market economy in East Germany. Relatively high start-up rates are found in regions that had a well-qualified workforce and a relatively high share of self-employment left over at the end of the communist period. This also holds for high-tech manufacturing start-ups. Based on our conclusion that policy should account for these initial regional conditions, we use a measure of the regional knowledge base and self-employment at the end of the communist period to introduce a classification of regions.

November 14, 2022: Hier der Link zu einem Interview mit mir, das am 13. November im Deutschlandfunk gesendet wurde. In diesem Interview geht es um wesentliche Ergebnisse meiner Analysen (mit Maria Greve und Michael Wyrwich) zu regionalen Unterschieden der Wahlergebnisse für rechtspopulistische Parteien.   https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/rechtspopulismus-und-kollektives-gedaechtnis-interview-michael-fritsch-oekonom-dlf-31fc1618-100.html

Hier auch der Link zu dem entsprechenden Aufsatz: “Long-Term Decline of Regions and the Rise of Populism: The Case of Germany

November 9, 2022: In a new paper published in the Journal of Economics and Statistics (see https://doi.org/10.1515/jbnst-2022-0058), my co-authors and I describe our compilation of  the Comprehensive Patent Data of the German Democratic Republic 1949-1990. This is a shorter version of our recent Working Paper at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Faculty of Economics. https://ideas.repec.org/p/jrp/jrpwrp/2022-011.html. Remarkable that this paper about East German patents appeared on a 9th of November 🙂

October 11, 2022: My paper with Maria Greve and Michael Wyrwich entitled “Long-Term Decline of Regions and the Rise of Populism: The Case of Germany” has been published online in the Journal of Regional Science. In this paper, we analyze the recent rise of populism in Germany and suggest that high vote shares of populist parties are associated with the long-term decline of a region’s relative welfare, which goes beyond a lifespan of people inhabiting such “left behind” places. Moreover, we are able to show that a place-based collective memory about past prosperity plays a crucial role in shaping present resentment. Finally, we find a stronger activation of collective memory about the past that translates into support of populism today among less educated people.

September 25, 2022:  Here is a description of the Comprehensive Patent Data of the German Democratic Republic 1949-1990 in English published as a Working Paper of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Faculty of Economics. https://ideas.repec.org/p/jrp/jrpwrp/2022-011.html  A shorter version of this paper was accepted for publication in the Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik).

September 13, 2022: Maria Greve, Michael Wyrwich und ich haben einen Policy Brief zu unserem Aufsatz  „The Long-run Effects of Communism and Transition to a Market System on Self-Employment: The Case of Germany“ verfaßt, der vor einigen Wochen in der Zeitschrift Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice erschienen ist. Siehe https://www.ifm-bonn.org/publikationen/policy-brief-unternehmertum-im-fokus/detailansicht/langfristige-auswirkungen-von-sozialismus-und-transformation-auf-die-selbststaendigkeit-in-ostdeutschland-1

In der heutigen Ausgabe der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung (FAZ) wurde im Wirtschaftsteil auf Seite 18 ausführlich darüber berichtet. Siehe https://zeitung.faz.net/faz/unternehmen/2022-09-13/94edd2c43fcfc0c0d6e389788375d3c3/?GEPC=s5

August 06, 2022:

My paper (with Michael Wyrwich) “Initial conditions and regional performance in the aftermath of disruptive shocks” is now published online by Industrial and Corporate Change. https://doi.org/10.1093/icc/dtac033 Taking the example of East Germany after socialism we find that entrepreneurship and knowledge are key regional resources for mastering the turbulent transition to a market economy. Schumpeter already knew!

July 08, 2022: Michael Wyrwich (University of Groningen and Friedrich Schiller University Jena) has prepared a new version of the Entrepreneurship Compendium (Gründungs- und Selbstständigenatlas) that is freely available here. The Entrepreneurship Compendium contains data on yearly startup rates in German districts (Kreise) from 1976-2020 (West Germany) and 1993-2020 (East Germany) as well as self-employment rates for the period 1996-2019. Data distinguishes between three broad economic secors (manufacturing, construction and services).

June 14, 2022: In a huge joint effort, we have prepard the patents of the former East German State, the German Democratic Republic (GDR), and made it available fur public use at the GESIS. A connected text explains how we identified the patents and prepared the file. See Hipp, Ann, Michael Fritsch, Maria Greve, Jutta Günther, Marcel Lange, Christian Liutik, Beate Pfeifer, Mariia Shkolnykova and Michael Wyrwich (2022). Patentdaten der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (DDR) (1949-1990). GESIS, Köln. Datenfile Version 1.0.0, https://doi.org/10.7802/2423

May 08, 2022: My paper „The Long-Run Effects of Communism and Transition to a Market System on Self-Employment: The Case of
Germany“ with Maria Greve and Michael Wyrwich has just been published in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.  See https://doi.org/10.1177/10422587221094498.

We investigate how self-employment in East Germany was impacted by 40 years of Soviet-style communism and the subsequent shock transition to a market economic system. Our results show that the strict antientrepreneurial policies prevalent during the Soviet regime do not have a long-run negative effect on self-employment in East Germany. Quite to the contrary, self-employment in East Germany today is higher than before German separation. Our analysis suggests that current differences in self-employment between East and West Germany are pre-dominantly a result of the sudden shock transformation that occurred with reunification, rather than the outcome of four decades of anti-entrepreneurial policies and

April 27, 2022: Hier meine Argumente, warum eine Senkung der Mehrwertsteuer auf Grundnahrungsmittel nicht, oder eher den Falschen hilft. https://web.de/magazine/wirtschaft/aussetzung-mehrwertsteuer-grundnahrungsmittel-idee-36807574

March 24, 2022: My paper „Micro dynamics and macro stability in inventor networks“ with Muhamed Kudic has now been published in a regular issue of the Journal of Technology Transfer, Vol. 47 (2022), 353-382 see https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-021-09851-8. Based on co-patenting data of the entire population of West German inventors in the field of laser technology, we analyze the development of their network from the onset of the technology in the early 1960 over a period of 45 years. A main focus is on the highly dynamic processes at the micro-level of inventors and their ties that seem to inconsistent with the remarkable stable structures at the macro level.

February 24, 2022: I co-organize two Special Sessions at this year ERSA Conference on August 23-26, in Pecs, Hungary (https://ersa.eventsair.com/ersa2022/). One of these Special Sessions is devoted to „Historical Roots of Regional Entrepreneurship and Innovation“ (with Maria Greve, Korneliusz Pylak and Michael Wyrwich). See: ERSA 2022 Special Sessions Historical Roots. The second Special Session is on „Aligning entrepreneurship, sustainability and regional policy“ (with Marcus Dejardin, Maria Greve and Michael Wyrwich). See: ERSA 2022 Special Sessions Entrepreneurship and regional policy. The deadline for submissions is February 28 (will probably be extended).

December 29, 2021: My paper (with Maria Greve and Michael Wyrwich) „The COVID-19 Pandemic and Entrepreneurship in Germany: First Observations and Interpretations“ has just been published in Foresight and STI Governance, 15(4), 42-51. https://doi.org/10.17323/2500-2597.2021.4.42.51

We find that the overall level of business registrations slightly decreased during the first year of the pandemic, but that the effect is specific to certain industries. Innovative manufacturing industries and technology-oriented services experienced an increase in numbers of start-ups.

December 1, 2021: GERADE ERSCHIENEN! Die 3., überarbeitete Auflage des Lehrbuches „Entrepreneurship – Theorie, Empirie, Politik“ ist soeben im Verlag Springer-Gabler erschienen. Neu als Ko-Autor dabei ist Michael Wyrwich. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-658-34637-9

Die in dem Buch enthaltenen Grafiken stehen auf dieser Webseite unter „material/entrepreneurship-theorie-empirie-politik“ im PPT-Format als Download zur Verfügung. http://m-fritsch.de/material/entrepreneurship-theorie-empirie-politik/