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What kind of shock was it? Regional Integration and Structural Change in Germany after Unification

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  • Michael C. Burda

Abstract

Eastern Germany’s recovery from the “unification shock” has been characterized by deep structural change – with apparent repercussions for the West as well – and an integration process involving both capital deepening (extensive and intensive investment) and labor thinning (net out-migration). I propose a constant-returns neoclassical model of economic integration which can account for these facts. Adjustment costs determine dynamics and steady state regional distribution of production factors. The model also explains persistent wage and capital rate-of-return differentials along the equilibrium path. Under competitive conditions, observed factor price differentials contain information on those adjustment costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1306.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1306

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Keywords: German reunification; regional integration; costs of adjustment; capital mobility; migration;

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References

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  1. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1999. "EU Enlargement, Migration, and Lessons from German Unification," CESifo Working Paper Series 182, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2006. "The Caring Hand that Cripples: The East German Labour Market after Reunification," CEPR Discussion Papers 5656, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. John Driffill & Marcus Miller, 2003. "No Credit for Transition: European Institutions and German Unemployment," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(1), pages 41-60, February.
  5. Snower, Dennis J. & Merkl, Christian, 2006. "The Caring Hand that Cripples: The East German Labor Market After Reunification (Detailed Version)," IZA Discussion Papers 2066, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. J.Peter Neary, 2001. "Of Hype and Hyperbolas: Introducing the New Economic Geography," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 536-561, June.
  7. Bachmann, Ronald & Burda, Michael C, 2007. "Sectoral Transformation, Turbulence, and Labour Market Dynamics in Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 6226, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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. Burda, Michael C. & Fuchs-Schündeln, Nikola & Buch, Claudia M. & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2006. "Factor reallocation in eastern Germany after reunification," Munich Reprints in Economics 19974, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Andrew B. Abel, 2001. "On the Invariance of the Rate of Return to Convex Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 8649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Robert J. Barro, 2012. "Inflation and Economic Growth," CEMA Working Papers 568, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  12. Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "From Reunification to Economic Integration: Productivity and the Labor Market in Eastern Germany," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 1-92.
  13. Lilien, David M, 1982. "Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 777-93, August.
  14. Michael C. Burda, 2006. "Factor Reallocation in Eastern Germany after Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 368-374, May.
  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.
  16. Richard Rogerson, 2005. "Sectoral Shocks, Specific Human Capital and Displaced Workers," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(1), pages 89-105, January.
  17. Eichengreen, Barry, 1990. "One Money for Europe? Lessons from the US Currency Union," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6ks1k831, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  18. Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln, 2005. "Adjustment to a Large Shock - Do Households Smooth Low Frequency Consumption?," 2005 Meeting Papers 517, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Harald Uhlig, 2006. "Regional Labor Markets, Network Externalities and Migration: The Case of German Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 383-387, May.
  2. Andreas Schäfer & Thomas Steger, 2010. "History, Expectations, and Public Policy: Economic Development in Eastern Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 3184, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Juan Carlos Martinez Oliva, 2009. "Riunificazione intertedesca e politiche per la convergenza," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 14, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  4. Sebastian Vollmer & Hajo Holzmann & Florian Ketterer & Stephan Klasen, 2013. "Distribution dynamics of regional GDP per employee in unified Germany," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 491-509, April.
  5. Orlowski, Robert & Riphahn, Regina T., 2008. "The East German Wage Structure after Transition," IZA Discussion Papers 3861, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Krkoska, Libor & Robeck, Katrin, 2008. "Business environment and enterprise behaviour in East Germany compared to West Germany and Central Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 568-583, December.

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