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Wages in the East German Transition Process: Facts and Explanations

  • Wolfgang Franz
  • Viktor Steiner

We analyze wage developments in the East German transition process both at the macro- and at the microeconomic level. At the macroeconomic level, we draw special attention to the important distinction between product and consumption wages, describe the development of various wage measures, labor productivity and unit labor costs in East Germany in relation to West Germany, and relate these developments to the system of collective wage bargaining. At the microeconomic level, we describe changes in the distribution of hourly wages between 1990 and 1997 and analyze the economic factors determining these changes by way of empirical wage functions estimated on the basis of the Socio-Economic Panel for East Germany. The paper also draws some conclusions on the likely future course of the East-West German wage convergence process. Copyright Verein fü Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2000.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 1 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (08)
Pages: 241-269

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:1:y:2000:i:3:p:241-269
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  1. Edward J. Bird & Johannes Schwarze & Gert Wagner, 1994. "Wage effects of the move toward free markets in East Germany," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(3), pages 390-400, April.
  2. Hauser, Richard & Fabig, Holger, 1999. "Labor Earnings and Household Income Mobility in Reunified Germany: A Comparison of the Eastern and Western States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(3), pages 303-24, September.
  3. Burda, Michael C & Funke, Michael, 1991. "German Trade Unions After Unification: Third Degree Wage Discriminating Monopolists?," CEPR Discussion Papers 573, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Kraus, Florian & Puhani, Patrick A. & Steiner, Viktor, 1997. "Employment Effects of Publicly Financed Training Programs The East German Experience," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-33, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  6. Jennifer Hunt, 1997. "The Transition in East Germany: When is a Ten Point Fall in the Gender Wage Gap Bad News?," NBER Working Papers 6167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Steiner, Viktor & Wagner, Kersten, 1997. "East West German wage convergence - How far have we got?," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-25, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "Post-Unification Wage Growth in East Germany," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 190-195, February.
  9. Kraus, Florian & Puhani, Patrick A. & Steiner, Viktor, 1998. "Do public works programs work? Some unpleasant results from the East German experience," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-07, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  10. Hunt, Jennifer, 1999. "Determinants of Non-Employment and Unemployment Durations in East Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 2182, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Licht, Georg & Steiner, Viktor, 1992. "Where have all the workers gone? Employment termination in East Germany after unification," ZEW Discussion Papers 92-12, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, October.
  13. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Franz, Wolfgang, 1999. "Industry-level wage bargaining : a partial rehabilitation ; the German experience," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-33, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. Alan B. Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1995. "A Comparative Analysis of East and West German Labor Markets: Before and After Unification," NBER Chapters, in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 405-446 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Sinn, Gerlinde & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1992. "Kaltstart. Volkswirtschaftliche Aspekte der Deutschen Vereinigung," Monograph, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, edition 2, number urn:isbn:9783161459429, May.
  16. Wolfgang Scheremet, 1995. "Tarifpolitik in Ostdeutschland: Ausstieg aus dem Lohnverhandlungsmodell der Bundesrepublik Deutschland?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 113, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  17. Michael C. Burda & Christoph M. Schmitd, 1997. "Getting Behind the East-West [German] Wage Differential: Theory and Evidence," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 105, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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