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Labor Market Effects of Economic Integration: The Impact of Re-Unification in German Border Regions

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  • Thiess Buettner
  • Johannes Rincke

Abstract

This paper exploits the significant reduction in impediments to labor mobility in the process of German re-unification in order to identify labor supply shocks in the West German labor market. The focus is on the quasi-experiment of the border removal in the regions situated at the German-German border that faced a massive increase of cross-border labor supply. The results indicate that despite a gain in employment, the border removal was accompanied by a decline in wages and an increase in unemployment relative to other West German regions. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Thiess Buettner & Johannes Rincke, 2007. "Labor Market Effects of Economic Integration: The Impact of Re-Unification in German Border Regions," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8, pages 536-560, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:8:y:2007:i::p:536-560
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Angrist, Joshua D. & Krueger, Alan B., 1999. "Empirical strategies in labor economics," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1277-1366 Elsevier.
    2. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
    3. Rachel M. Friedberg & Jennifer Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
    4. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:bla:germec:v:8:y:2007:i:4:p:536-560 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Thiess Buettner & Johannes Rincke, 2007. "Labor Market Effects of Economic Integration: The Impact of Re-Unification in German Border Regions," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8, pages 536-560, November.
    7. Boeri, Tito & Brücker, Herbert, 2001. "Eastern Enlargement and EU-Labour-Markets: Perceptions, Challenges and Opportunities," IZA Discussion Papers 256, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Friedman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "How Much Do Immigration and Trade Affect Labor Market Outcomes?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 1-90.
    9. Thiess Buettner, 1999. "The effect of unemployment, aggregate wages, and spatial contiguity on local wages: An investigation with German district level data," Papers in Regional Science, Springer;Regional Science Association International, vol. 78(1), pages 47-67.
    10. Hanson, Gordon H, 1997. "Increasing Returns, Trade and the Regional Structure of Wages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 113-133, January.
    11. Randall Filer, 1992. "The Effect of Immigrant Arrivals on Migratory Patterns of Native Workers," NBER Chapters,in: Immigration and the Work Force: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 245-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Baltagi, Badi H. & Blien, Uwe, 1998. "The German wage curve: evidence from the IAB employment sample," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 135-142, November.
    13. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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