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The German-Czech Border Region after the Fall of the Iron Curtain : Effects on the Labour Market

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  • Moritz, Michael
  • Gröger, Margit

Abstract

Using the IAB Employment Sample (IABS) covering 1980-2001 we investigate what impact the fall of the Iron Curtain has had on the skill structure of employment and wages in the western German districts neighbouring the Czech Republic. The introduction of free trade in this region, which has one of the world´s largest spatial wage differentials, can be seen as a natural experiment. We presume that changes in skill and wage structures are particularly apparent in the regions situated immediately on the open border. Distinguishing three skill categories we obtain unexpected results. Though we observe a general shift from low-skilled jobs towards skilled jobs and a convergence trend of border regions towards the national average, we do not find a special effect for the period after the opening of the border, neither concerning the skill structure nor the wage differentials. -- Unter Verwendung von Daten der IAB-Regionalstichprobe (IABS) untersuchen wir, ob nach dem Fall des Eisernen Vorhangs Qualifizierungstrends und Lohnentwicklung in den bayerischen Grenzregionen zu Tschechien signifikante Unterschiede im Vergleich mit der Entwicklung auf aggregierter staatlicher Ebene aufweisen. Der Trend zu höherer Qualifizierung sowie der Trend zu höheren relativen Löhnen für besser Qualifizierte sollten dort überdurchschnittlich messbar sein. Unsere Resultate können einen speziellen Grenzöffnungseffekt jedoch weder bei der Qualifikationsstruktur noch bei der relativen Lohnentwicklung in der Grenzregion feststellen.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 48.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:faulre:48

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Web page: http://www.arbeitsmarkt.wiso.uni-erlangen.de/english-version/
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Related research

Keywords: border regions; international trade; employment; wage inequality;

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References

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  1. Annekatrin Niebuhr, 2008. "The impact of EU enlargement on European border regions," International Journal of Public Policy, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(3/4), pages 163-186.
  2. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-92, June.
  3. Barjak, Franz & Heimpold, Gerhard, 1999. "Development Problems and Policies at the German Border with Poland," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa136, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Niebuhr, Annekatrin, 2006. "Spatial Effects of European Integration: Do Border Regions Benefit above Average?," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 36(3), pages 254-78.
  5. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Borjas, George J & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Foreign Competition, Market Power, and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1075-1110, November.
  7. Airola, Jim & Juhn, Chinhui, 2005. "Wage Inequality in Post-Reform Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 1525, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Hirsch, Boris, 2007. "Joan Robinson Meets Harold Hotelling : A Dyopsonistic Explanation of the Gender Pay Gap," Discussion Papers 51, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.

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