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Trends in East-West German Migration from 1989 to 2002

  • Frank Heiland

    (Florida State University)

The purpose of this article is to show recent trends in regional migration from East to West Germany by combining data from the Statistisches Bundesamt from 1991 to 2002 with data from the Zentrales Einwohnerregister der DDR from 1989 to 1990. We document that annual gross outmigration rates peaked at the time of the Reunification, fell sharply thereafter, but rose steadily from the 1997 until 2001 to reach levels obtained prior to the Reunification. While Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Brandenburg experienced less outmigration before the Reunification compared to Thueringen, Sachsen, and Sachsen-Anhalt, they are the regions that have experienced the highest pace of outmigration since then. With the exception of the increasing popularity of the Berlin region, the distribution of East to West migrants across West Germany is fairly stable over time: migrants continue to favor the large industrial provinces of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bayern, Nordrhein-Westfalen, and Niedersachsen.

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Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

Volume (Year): 11 (2004)
Issue (Month): 7 (September)
Pages: 173-194

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Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:11:y:2004:i:7
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  1. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2002. "Germany’s Economic Unification: An Assessment after Ten Years," Munich Reprints in Economics 19643, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Ashok Parikh & Michiel Van Leuvensteijn, 2002. "Internal Migration in Regions of Germany: A Panel Data Analysis," Economics Working Papers 012, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
  3. Franz, Wolfgang & Steiner, Viktor, 1999. "Wages in the East German transition process: facts and explanations," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-40, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen & Helga Hessenius, 1991. "East Germany in from the Cold: The Economic Aftermath of Currency Union," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 1-106.
  5. Jennifer Hunt, 2000. "Why Do People Still Live in East Germany?," NBER Working Papers 7564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
  7. Burda, Michael C, 1993. "The Determinants of East-West German Migration: Some First Results," CEPR Discussion Papers 764, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Burda, Michael C. & Härdle, Wolfgang & Müller, Marlene & Werwatz, Axel, 1997. "Semiparametric analysis of German East-West migration intentions: Facts and theory," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1998,3, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
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