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Trade and Unemployment in Germany: An Empirical Exploration and Some Theory

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  • Martin Klein

    (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg)

  • Tobias Weirowski

    (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg)

Abstract

This paper investigates the link between unemployment and external trade in Germany, using data on unemployment, international trade and economic activity for the 16 German federal states (Länder). With panel data econometrics we show that international trade as measured by state-wise trade shares have a significant negative impact on state-wise unemployment rates. We discuss to what extent this reflects mercantilist tendencies embedded in the political economy of the Federal Republic. There is no clear evidence in favor of simple mercantilism. We suggest three alternative explanations, linked to the structural rigidities of the German labor market, government involvement in the education and training system and certain labor market policies which provide government-subsidized unemployment insurance benefitting (mainly) export industries.

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File URL: http://pubdb.wiwi.uni-jena.de/pdf/wp_hlj24-2011.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena in its series Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series with number 2011-24.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hlj:hljwrp:24-2011

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Web page: http://www.gfinm.de

Related research

Keywords: International trade; panel study;

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References

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  1. Maurice J.G. Bun & Jan F. Kiviet, 2002. "On the Diminishing Returns of Higher-order Terms in Asymptotic Expansions of Bias," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-099/4, Tinbergen Institute, revised 24 Oct 2002.
  2. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2005. "Basar-Ökonomie Deutschland - Exportweltmeister oder Schusslicht?," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 58(06), pages 03-42, 03.
  4. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  5. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  6. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  7. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
  8. Sergio Cesaratto, 2010. "Europe, German Mercantilism and the Current Crisis," Department of Economics University of Siena 595, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
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