Mod-Block DDR

The legacy of the GDR innovation system
Image: Paul H - pixabay
Mod-Block-Logo Image: BMBF

The project investigates regional disparities of innovation and entrepreneurial activities within Germany. A special focus is on the legacy of 40 years of socialist regime, the German Democratic Republic, in East German regions. We collect and analyze data on innovation and entrepreneurship at a regional level from the time before World War II, the socialist period, and from more recent decades.

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For more information on the project consorium please click here


An overview of innovation characteristics in East and West Germany (in German) can be downloaded here [pdf, 1 mb] de.

Printer-friendly version (in German). [pdf, 1020 kb] de

Online Forum Screenshot: Prof. Fritsch

27 May 2020
Michael Fritsch was an invited speaker in the online forum on "Entrepreneurial Recovery from COVID-19" which was organized by the Kauffman Foundation, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum. Michael Fritsch gave a talk entitled "The Impact of SARS-CoV-2 on Entrepreneurship and Small Businesses".

1 July 2020
Michael Wyrwich met with several officials from different South Korean ministries. The meeting took place in Naumburg/Saale and Michael Wyrwich was interviewed about the role of entrepreneurship and innovation during the East German transformation process. The interview also touched on several other issues related to the reunification process, such as the integration and conversion of the military industry, the implementation of drug regulations and drug policy, and the potential of the tourism sector to promote development in the North Korean regions in the event of reunification.
24 June 2020
Michael Fritsch gave a presentation "Lessons from German reunification for US policymakers in addressing regional imbalances" at the virtual "2020 Summer Residence Week for Entrepreneurship Scholars Oxford".
17 June 2020
Michael Wyrwich gave an online lecture about the privatization of socialist enterprises and the role of entrepreneurship in the economic transformation process in East Germany and potential implications for Korea. The lecture was addressed to South Korean public officials and took place within the framework of a further education program organized by the Institute of Korea Studies at Free University of Berlin and the government of South Korea. The slides of the presentation can be found here [pdf, 766 kb] de.
16 June 2020
Michael Fritsch published an essay in the issue "United after three decades?" of the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Baden-Württemberg. In his article "Economically united? Economic differences between East and West Germany thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall" he gives an overview of the reasons for the development gap between East and West Germany since the Second World War. The booklet (available only in Germany) can be downloaded free of charge here.
14 January 2020
Michael Wyrwich gave a TV interview on regional differences of innovation activity in East and West Germany. For details in German please visit, the main MOD-Block homepage.

There is also an English version published in the blog series of the VINCI expertisecentrum of the University of Groningen. The blog highlights implications of our project research beyond the German context. See here.
12 November 2019
The paper "The effect of entrepreneurship on economic development - an empirical analysis using regional entrepreneurship culture" by Michael Fritsch and Michael Wyrwich is part of a collection of highly cited articles showcasing impressive body of research from the Journal of Economic Geography. The article is free to read until the end of December 2019.
11 November 2019
The article "Historical and Institutional Determinants of Universities' Role in Fostering Entrepreneurship" by Maria Kristalova and Michael Wyrwich (joint with Alexander Chepurenko from the Higher School of Economics Moscow) was accepted for publication at Foresight and STI Governance.
6 November 2019
Michael Wyrwich was appointed as new editor at "Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal".
30 October 2019
On 22 November 2019, Michael Fritsch, Michael Wyrwich and Maria Kristalova will participate at the Long Night of the Science, organized by the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. They will present results of the project "MOD-Block DDR" to the general public. See here. All guests are welcome to visit!
30 October 2019
Michael Wyrwich will give a keynote talk at the 4th CEnSE Urban and Regional Economics Workshop, November 14-15, 2019 in Gothenburg (Sweden).
30 October 2019
Michael Fritsch is co-organizer of a workshop in Rzeszow, Poland, on "Entrepreneurship in a regional perspective. Function of institutions, innovation, history and LGUs support". The workshop will take place on November 7/8, 2019. Michael Fritsch will present the paper "One Transition Story does not fit them all: The tale of long-term trajectories in two distinct East German transition regions" (with Michael Wyrwich).
30 October 2019
Michael Fritsch and Michael Wyrwich will present their results on "Regional concentration of innovation activities - Empirical evidence and potential explanations" at the workshop "Making sense of dicverse spatialities of innovation" on November 25, 2019 at the Leibniz-Institute for Regional Geography (IfL), Leipzig, Germany.
15 October 2019
An article co-authored by Michael Wyrwich was chosen for the Article Selection in Celebration of 50 Years of European Economic Review as one of the most cited articles between 2015-2019.

The titel of the paper is "Industry structure, entrepreneurship, and culture: An empirical analysis using historical coalfields" (with Michael Stuetzer, Martin Obschonka, David B. Audretsch, P. J. Rentfrow, L. Shaw-Taylor, M. Coombes and M. Satchell), European Economic Review, 2016, Vol. 86, 52-72.
20 September 2019
Michael Fritsch and Michael Wyrwich achived high ranks in the recently released output ranking economists working or born in the German speaking countries Germany, Austria, and Switzerland ( Michael Fritsch was on position 30 (top 5%) in the lifetime ranking according to the Source Normalized Impact Factor (SNIP). Michael Wyrwich was in the top 5% young economist ranking (U40-years).
16 September 2019
A new publication by Michael Fritsch, Alina Sorgner and Michael Wyrwich "Types of institutions an well-being of self-employed and paid employees in Europe" came out in Small Business Economics.
4 September 2019
New publication: Jutta Günther, Maria Kristalova and Udo Ludwig "The R&D sector under conditions of an economic crises - experiences from European Eocnomies", in Journal of Ecolutionary Economics.
27-30 August 2019
Michael Fritsch, Maria Kristalova and Michael Wyrwich participated at the 59th ERSA Congress in Lyon, France and presented results of their research. Moreover, Michael Fritsch and Michael Wyrwich organized Special Sessions on "Historical roots of regional performance" and on "Regional Entrepreneurship Policy".
29 August 2019
A new publication by Michael Wyrwich "Migration restrictions and long-term regional development: Evidence from large-scale explusions of Germans after World War II", in Journal of Economic Geography.

This article is also featured as key research paper in the field of economic history.
9 August 2019
A new publication by Michael Fritsch, Mirko Titze and Matthias Piontek "Identifying cooperation for innovation - a comparison of data sources" came out in Industry and Innovation.
5 August 2019
A new publication by Michael Fritsch, Muhamed Kudic and Andreas Pyka "Evolution and co-evolution of regional innovation processes" appeared in Regional Studies.
5 August 2019
New pubilication by Uwe Cantner, Eve Dettmann, Alexander Giebler, Jutta Guenther and Maria Kristalova "The impact of innovation and innovation subsidies on economic development in German regions", in Regional Studies.
23 July 2019
A new publication by Michael Fritsch, Alina Sorgner and Michael Wyrwich "Self-employment and well-being across institutional contexts" appeared online in the Journal of Business Venturing.
19 July 2019
New publication by Martin Obschonka, Michael Wyrwich, Michael Fritsch, Samuel Gosling, Peter Rentfrow and Jeff Potter "Von unterkühlten Norddeutschen, gemütlichen Süddeutschen und aufgeschlossenen Großstädtern: Regionale Persönlichkeitsunterschiede in Deutschland", in Psychologische Rundschau.
1 June 2019
A new publication by Michael Wyrwich "New KIBS on the bloc: The role of local manufacturing for start-up activity in knowledge-intensive business services", in Regional Studies.
8 April 2019
A new publication by Michael Frtsch, Martin Obschonka and Michael Wyrwich "Historical roots of entrepreneurship-facilitating culture and innovation activity: an analysis for German regions" just appeared in Regional Studies. 
27 March 2019
New publication by Maximilian Goethner and Michael Wyrwich "Cross-faculty proximity and academic entrepreneurship: the role of business schools", in Journal of Technology Transfer. 
26 March 2019
A new publication by Michael Fritsch and Sandra Kublina "Persistence and change of regional new business formation in the national league table" appeared in Journal of Ecolutionary Economics.
7 March 2019
Michael Frisch gave a keynote talk entitled "Regional Trajectories of Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, and Growth" at the UITM Rzeszow in Poland.
13 February 2019
The publication by Michael Wyrwich "Historical and current spatial differences in female labour force participation: Evidence from Germany." appeared in a regular issue of Papers in Regional Science.
6 February 2019
Michael Fritsch gave a keynote talk entitled "Regional Trajectories of Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, and Growth" at the ACERE-Conference in Sydney, Australia.
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