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Das deutsche Rätsel: Warum wir Exportweltmeister und Schlusslicht zugleich sind


  • Hans-Werner Sinn


The article advances the hypothesis that Germany is unable to increase its gains from trade despite increasing trading volumes. High and rigid German wages largely result from the minimum wage constraint imposed by a welfare state that offers generous replacement incomes. Confronted by low-wage competition from post-communist countries, Germany overspecializes in capital intensive goods, which creates a pathological export boom in terms of added value produced in exports. In addition, the country overspecializes in downstream activities, which implies that export quantities grow faster than value added. The reasons which induce extremely high exports are the same as those which cause unemployment to rise and the economy to stagnate. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik und Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Hans-Werner Sinn, 2006. "Das deutsche Rätsel: Warum wir Exportweltmeister und Schlusslicht zugleich sind," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(1), pages 1-18, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:perwir:v:7:y:2006:i:1:p:1-18

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2005. "Basar-Ökonomie Deutschland - Exportweltmeister oder Schusslicht?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 58(06), pages 03-42, March.
    2. Davis, Donald R, 1998. "Does European Unemployment Prop Up American Wages? National Labor Markets and Global Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 478-494, June.
    3. Richard A. Brecher, 1974. "Minimum Wage Rates and the Pure Theory of International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(1), pages 98-116.
    4. Hans-Werner Sinn & Christian Holzner & Wolfgang Meister & Wolfgang Ochel & Martin Werding, 2002. "Aktivierende Sozialhilfe - Ein Weg zu mehr Beschäftigung und Wachstum," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 55(09), pages 03-52, May.
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