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The basic institutions and legal frames of a market economy were established quite quickly after the regime change in East-Central Europe, including Hungary. But there has been a much slower change in the behaviour of economic actors. The purpose of the research was to show the extent to which the competitive attitude and the cooperative behaviour both essential to market economies have developed in the nearly two decades since the regime change.* Are the actors in the economy capable of a positive response to the appearance of foreign competitors, or has the old, anti-competitive attitude still been prevailing? How is the behaviour of the competitors influenced by state intervention? The answers to these questions are based on 71 semi-structured interviews and on their comparison to the data of some international surveys. In the paper we were searching for links between the picture developing from the interviews and the age of the interviewees, the market position and the size of their firms.

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