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What ever happened to Germany? Is the decline of the former european key currency country caused by structural sclerosis or by macroeconomic mismanagement?

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  • Eckhard Hein
  • Achim Truger

Abstract

This paper challenges the institutional sclerosis view of the German crisis according to which rigid labour markets and generous welfare state institutions have driven Germany into its position as 'Europe's sick man'. In general, the view is not convincing, because the underlying hypotheses about the effects of labour market regulation and welfare state institutions on employment and growth cannot unambiguously be derived from modern labour market theory and are at least partially at odds with accepted empirical findings. In particular, the explanation is unconvincing, because in international comparison Germany's labour market and welfare state institutions are simply not as sclerotic as often supposed. In most of the aggregate indicators for structural rigidities Germany is not worse than the average OECD or EU country. Moreover, there is a macroeconomic explanation focusing on the combined effects of restrictive and pro-cyclical monetary, fiscal and wage policies in Germany that is broadly consistent with modern macroeconomic theory and is supported by empirical data.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Review of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 3-28

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Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:19:y:2005:i:1:p:3-28

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Related research

Keywords: Labour market institutions; macroeconomic policy; employment determination; Germany; European Monetary Union;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2004. "Macroeconomic co-ordination as an economic policy concept - opportunities and obstacles in the EMU," Macroeconomics 0408011, EconWPA.
  2. Ines Perez-Soba Aguilar & Elena Marquez de la Cruz & Ana Rosa Martinez-Canete & Alfonso Palacio-Vera, 2006. "Capital Stock and Unemployment: Searching for the Missing Link," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_475, Levy Economics Institute.
  3. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2006. "Germany's post-2000 stagnation in the European context - a lesson in macroeconomic mismanagement," IMK Working Paper 03-2006, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  4. Hein, Eckhard & Schulten, Thorsten, 2004. "Unemployment, Wages and Collective Bargaining in the European Union," WSI Discussion Papers 128, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
  5. Hein, Eckhard & Truger, Achim, 2010. "Finance-dominated capitalism in crisis – the case for a Global Keynesian New Deal," MPRA Paper 21175, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Truger, Achim & Will, Henner, 2012. "The German 'debt brake': A shining example for European fiscal policy?," IPE Working Papers 15/2012, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
  7. Eckhard Hein & Thorsten Schulten & Achim Truger, 2004. "Wage trends and deflation risks in Germany and Europe," Macroeconomics 0412008, EconWPA.
  8. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2006. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Performance in the Euro area - Lessons for the Future," IMK Working Paper 07-2006, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  9. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2005. "Macroeconomic policies, wage developments, and Germany's stagnation," IMK Working Paper 01-2005, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  10. Till van Treeck, 2008. "The political economy debate on ‘financialisation’ – a macroeconomic perspective," IMK Working Paper 01-2008, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  11. Eckhard Hein & Lena Vogel, 2007. "Distribution and growth reconsidered - empirical results for Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA," IMK Working Paper 03-2007, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  12. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2006. "Monetary policy, macroeconomic policy mix and economic performance in the Euro area," IMK Working Paper 06-2006, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.

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