In This Review

Starting over in Eastern Europe: Entrepreneurship and Economic Renewal
Starting over in Eastern Europe: Entrepreneurship and Economic Renewal
By Simon Johnson and Gary Loveman
Harvard Business School Press, 1995, 256 pp

Johnson and Loveman are two business school professors who have made an in-depth study of the new and converted enterprises in Poland. The result is a fascinating and arresting look on the micro level at the impact of economic reform. They build their study around a series of specific case studies: Prochnik, a large privatized manufacturing facility producing men's and women's clothing, two state-owned shipyards, and a half dozen new privately organized companies in diverse areas. The arresting part is how limited, albeit important, has been the progress achieved through the privatization of existing plant and how central to the Polish success story have been new businesses. They recognize that eventually the transformation of the Polish economy and the continued advance of the new business sector will require some means around the value-destroying behemoths of the formerly centrally planned economy. But meanwhile their message to those elsewhere who are counting on privatization of state industry as the path to growth is to shift more of their hopes to entrepreneurs starting from scratch.