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The Slow Decline of East Germany

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  • Harald Uhlig

Abstract

Fifteen years after German reunification, the facts about slow regional convergence have born out the prediction of Barro (1991), except that migration out of East Germany has not slowed down. I document that in particular the 18-29 year old are leaving East Germany, and that the emigration has accelerated in recent years. I document that low wages, high unemployment and increasing reliance on social security persist across wide regions of East Germany together with these migration patterns. To understand these patterns, I use an extension of the standard labor search model introduced in Uhlig (2006, 2008) by allowing for migration and network externalities. In that theory, two equilibria can result: one with a high networking rate, high average labor productivity, low unemployment and no emigration ("West Germany'') and one with a low networking rate, low average labor productivity, high unemployment and a constant rate of emigration ("East Germany''). The model does not imply any obviously sound policies to move from the weakly networked equilibrium to the highly networked equilibrium.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14553.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14553

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  1. Richard Rogerson & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2004. "Search-Theoretic Models of the Labor Market-A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Harald Uhlig, 2006. "Regional Labor Markets, Network Externalities and Migration: The Case of German Reunification," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-004, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Julia Jauer & Thomas Liebig & John P. Martin & Patrick Puhani, 2014. "Migration as an Adjustment Mechanism in the Crisis? A Comparison of Europe and the United States," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 155, OECD Publishing.
  3. Benjamin Wirth, 2013. "Ranking German regions using interregional migration - What does internal migration tells us about regional well-being?," ERSA conference papers ersa13p1254, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Zier, Patrick, 2013. "Econometric impact assessment of the Common Agricultural Policy in East German agriculture," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Central and Eastern Europe, Leib­niz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO), volume 71, number 71.
  5. Spies, Julia, 2010. "Network and border effects: Where do foreign multinationals locate in Germany?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 20-32, January.
  6. Petrick, Martin & Zier, Patrick, 2010. "Cap Impacts On Labour Use In East German Agriculture," 50st Annual Conference, Braunschweig, Germany, September 29-October 1, 2010 93962, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
  7. Petrick, Martin & Zier, Patrick, 2012. "Common Agricultural Policy effects on dynamic labour use in agriculture," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 671-678.
  8. van Hoorn, André & Maseland, Robbert, 2010. "Cultural differences between East and West Germany after 1991: Communist values versus economic performance?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 791-804, December.

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