Income Growth in German Households: East Germany Falls Behind
AbstractFollowing the enormous growth in household incomes in the former East Germany during the first half of the 1990s (which was based, in particular, on meteoric wage rises, accompanying pension adjustments, and the increase in receipt of social welfare benefits), east German incomes subsequently expanded only moderately. Income growth was not as strong as in west Germany, largely because total earned income expanded only marginally. This feeble growth was due exclusively to the weak employment trend. While the income growth in households with an earned income was lower from the mid-1990s onward than it had been previously, it nonetheless kept pace with the trend for average earned income in west German working households. The adjustment of east German wages to the west German level continued, albeit at an increasingly slow pace. A growing number of east German households are dependent on social transfers, and these transfers account for an increasingly large share of household income. There is little evidence of a similar trend in west Germany, given that employment growth is somewhat more favorable in this part of the country. Moreover, the share of east German households in receipt of old-age pensions has increased at a stronger rate than in west Germany. In 2002, social security benefits and statutory pensions accounted for almost 40% of total net household income in east Germany, compared with only just over a quarter of net household income in west Germany. Not only has the share of pensioner households increased in east Germany - as it also has in the western part of the country - but the structure of households has also undergone a general transformation within a relatively short period of time. Shortly after reunification, east German households had more members than west German households, on average, whereas now they have fewer. In particular, the share of families with children has declined, while the share of single parents has remained unchanged. As a result of this decline in average household size, since the mid-1990s east Germany has fallen only slightly behind west Germany with respect to household income weighted by household composition.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Weekly Report.
Volume (Year): 1 (2005)
Issue (Month): 15 ()
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Brück, Tilman & Peters, Heiko, 2009.
"20 years of German unification: Evidence on income convergence and heterogeneity,"
03/2009, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung.
- Tilman Brück & Heiko Peters, 2009. "20 Years of German Unification: Evidence on Income Convergence and Heterogeneity," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 925, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Tilman Brück & Heiko Peters, 2009. "20 Years of German Unification: Evidence on Income Convergence and Heterogeneity," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 229, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
- Brück, Tilman & Peters, Heiko, 2009. "20 Years of German Unification: Evidence on Income Convergence and Heterogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 4454, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.