In Russia the growth of small business has been much slower compared with the leading transition countries (Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary). In Poland, and to a lesser degree in the Czech Republic and Hungary, this sector has been the engine of the economic recovery. A natural question is why Russia differs. Apart from the fact that in contrast to these countries Russia does not have an entrepreneurial tradition and has experienced communist rule longer what is especially distinctive about Russia has been the strong influence of interest groups during the transition process which favoured the allocation of entrepreneurship to largely unproductive activities.

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