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How efficient is the East German economy? An exploration with microdata


  • Michael Funke
  • Jörg Rahn


The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the efficiency of the East German economy at the firm level using an unbalanced panel over the transition period 1994 to 1998. We adopt a translog stochastic frontier model to estimate technical efficiency in eastern and western Germany. The results indicate that firms in eastern Germany are significantly less efficient than firms in western Germany. The paper also examines some of the possible correlates of regional variations in firm-level efficiency.
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Suggested Citation

  • Michael Funke & Jörg Rahn, 2002. "How efficient is the East German economy? An exploration with microdata," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 10(1), pages 201-223, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:10:y:2002:i:1:p:201-223

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    11. Oulton, Nicholas, 1998. "Competition and the Dispersion of Labour Productivity amongst UK Companies," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 23-38, January.
    12. Hughes Hallett, A J & Ma, Yue, 1993. "East Germany, West Germany, and Their Mezzogiorno Problem: A Parable for European Economic Integration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(417), pages 416-428, March.
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    16. Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-332.
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    Cited by:

    1. Claro, Sebastian, 2006. "Supporting inefficient firms with capital subsidies: China and Germany in the 1990s," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 377-401, June.
    2. Giovanni Peri & Dieter Urban, 2002. "The Veblen-Gerschenkron Effect of FDI in Mezzogiorno and East Germany," Development Working Papers 164, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    3. Oleg Badunenko & Michael Fritsch & Andreas Stephan, 2006. "What Determines the Technical Efficiency of a Firm? The Importance of Industry, Location, and Size," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft (Expired!) 33/2006, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    4. Jaan Masso & Almas Heshmati, 2004. "The optimality and overuse of labour in Estonian manufacturing enterprises," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(4), pages 683-720, December.
    5. Jan Kluge & Michael Weber, 2015. "Decomposing the German East-West wage gap," ifo Working Paper Series 205, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    6. Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola & Izem, Rima, 2012. "Explaining the low labor productivity in East Germany – A spatial analysis," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-21.
    7. Hlavac, Marek, 2010. "Freedom as the key to prosperity: Lessons from the world's growth miracles and economic disasters," MPRA Paper 25563, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Sebastián Claro, 2004. "Vertical and Horizontal Dimensions of Trade Liberalization," Documentos de Trabajo 265, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    9. Astrid Cullmann & Christian von Hirschhausen, 2007. "From Transition to Competition: Dynamic Efficiency Analysis of Polish Electricity Distribution Companies," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 716, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Kalyuzhnova, Yelena & Vagliasindi, Maria, 2006. "Capacity utilization of the Kazakhstani firms and the Russian financial crisis: A panel data analysis," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 231-248, October.
    11. Bezat, Agnieszka, 2011. "Estimation of technical efficiency by application of the SFA method for panel data," Problems of World Agriculture / Problemy Rolnictwa Światowego, Wydział Nauk Ekonomicznych, Uniwersytet Warszawski, vol. 11(26).
    12. Alexander Schiersch, 2013. "Firm size and efficiency in the German mechanical engineering industry," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 335-350, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity


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