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Distribution Dynamics of Regional GDP per Employee in Unifi ed Germany

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Author Info

  • Sebastian Vollmer

    (Harvard University & University of Hannover)

  • Hajo Holzmann

    (University of Marburg)

  • Florian Ketterer

    (University of Marburg)

  • Stephan Klasen

    (University of Göttingen)

Abstract

We investigate to what extent convergence in production levels per worker has been achieved in Germany since unification. To this end, we model the distribution of GDP per employee across German districts using two-component normal mixtures. While in the first year after unification, the two component distributions were clearly separated and bimodal, corresponding to the East and West German districts, respectively, in the following years they started to merge showing only one mode. Still, using the recently developed EM-Test for homogeneity in normal mixtures,the hypothesis of just a single normal component for the whole distribution is clearly rejected for all years. A Posterior analysis shows that about half of the East German districts were assigned to the richer component in 2006, thus catching up to levels of the West. The growth rate of a mover district is about one percentage point higher than the growth rate of a non-mover district which had the same initial level of GDP per employee.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Courant Research Centre PEG in its series Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers with number 55.

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Date of creation: 31 Dec 2010
Date of revision: 26 Sep 2011
Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:055

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Keywords: Regional convergence; distribution dynamics; mixture models; Germany; unification;

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References

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  1. Quah, Danny, 1993. " Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 427-43, December.
  2. Hajo Holzmann & Sebastian Vollmer, 2008. "A likelihood ratio test for bimodality in two-component mixtures with application to regional income distribution in the EU," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer, vol. 92(1), pages 57-69, February.
  3. Burda, Michael C., 2008. "What kind of shock was it? Regional integration and structural change in Germany after unification," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 557-567, December.
  4. Paapaa, Richard & van Dijk, Herman K., 1998. "Distribution and mobility of wealth of nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1269-1293, July.
  5. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
  6. Sebastian Vollmer & Hajo Holzmann & Florian Schwaiger, 2013. "Peak vs Components," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 352-364, 05.
  7. Roberta Colavecchio & Declan Curran & Michael Funke, 2009. "Drifting together or falling apart? The empirics of regional economic growth in post-unification Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(9), pages 1087-1098.
  8. Harald Uhlig, 2007. "Regional Labor Markets, Network Externalities and Migration: The Case of German Reunification," Kiel Working Papers 1311, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  9. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Convergence across States and Regions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 107-182.
  10. Bianchi, Marco, 1997. "Testing for Convergence: Evidence from Non-parametric Multimodality Tests," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(4), pages 393-409, July-Aug..
  11. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "History versus Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 651-67, May.
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  13. Harald Uhlig, 2008. "The Slow Decline of East Germany," NBER Working Papers 14553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Andreas Schäfer & Thomas Steger, 2010. "History, Expectations, and Public Policy: Economic Development in Eastern Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 3184, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen & Helga Hessenius, 1991. "East Germany in from the Cold: The Economic Aftermath of Currency Union," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 1-106.
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Cited by:
  1. Steger, Thomas & Schäfer, Andreas, 2012. "Journey into the Unknown? Economic Consequences of Factor Market Integration under Increasing Returns to Scale," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62062, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  2. Volker Grossmann & Thomas Steger, 2013. "Konvergieren die Einkommen zwischen Ost- und Westdeutschland? Das deutsch-deutsche Experiment aus wachstumsökonomischer Sicht," ifo Dresden berichtet, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 20(02), pages 29-32, 04.

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