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The First Shall Be Last? Entrepreneurship and Communist Cadres in the Transition from Socialism

Akos Rona-Tas
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 100, No. 1 (Jul., 1994), pp. 40-69
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2782537
Page Count: 30
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The First Shall Be Last? Entrepreneurship and Communist Cadres in the Transition from Socialism
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Abstract

This article reviews the sociological literature on the transition from socialism to capitalism. It distinguishes between the erosion and transition phases and between traditional and corporate segments in the emerging private sector. Panel survey data from Hungary show that during the transition ex-communist cadres maintain their advantageous position and do especially well in the more dynamic corporate segment. They are successful because human capital is important in both capitalism and socialism and because the cadres are able to convert past political power to economic advantage. Contrary to the findings of studies based only on agriculture, the transition increases income inequalities.

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