This book analyses the relative importance of small firms in industrial economies. It brings together a series of studies spanning a spectrum of selected countries in developed Western nations and Eastern Europe to identify the exact role of small firms and how this role has evolved. A striking result which emerges is that a distinct and consistent shift away from large firms and towards small enterprises has occurred within the manufacturing sector of all Western countries, while the role of small firms in Eastern European nations has been remarkably restricted, and, indeed, all these countries have experienced a shift away from small firms. It is clear from this analysis that a major challenge for political and economic reform in Central and Eastern Europe is to create the strong entrepreneurial sector which exists in the West.
• A unique survey of the position of small firms in the economies of western and East European countries • Nine countries are discussed, and the book has important implications for economic and political reform in Eastern Europe • The editors are leading figures in the field, and are the editors of Small Business Economics: An International Journal
List of figures; List of tables; List of contributors; Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction Zoltan J. Acs and David B. Audretsch; 2. Industrial concentration and small firms in the United Kingdom: the 1980s in historical perspective Alan Hughes; 3. The role of small firms in West Germany Michael Fritsch; 4. Has the role of small firms changed in the United States? Zoltan J. Acs and David B. Audretsch; 5. Recent developments in the firm-size distribution and economics of scale in Dutch manufacturing Roy Thurik; 6. Small firms in Portuguese manufacturing industries José Mata; 7. Small firms and the Italian economy: structural changes and evidence of turbulence B. Invernizzi and Riccardo Revelli; 8. The role of small firms in Czechoslovak manufacturing Gerald A. McDermott and Michal Mejstrik; 9. The evolution of small business in East Germany Hans-Gerd Bannasch; 10. The implications of the Polish economic reform for small business: evidence from Gdansk Simon Johnson and Gary Loveman; 11. The development experience and government policies: lessons for Eastern Europe? Hans-Peter Brunner; 12. Conclusion Zoltan J. Acs and David B. Audretsch; Index.
Review of the hardback: '… studded with interesting ideas and insights … A useful addition to the still small number of books available on international comparisons of the role of small and medium enterprises.' Small Business Perspective