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Zur Angleichung von Einkommen und Lebensqualität im vereinigten Deutschland


  • Jan Goebel
  • Roland Habich
  • Peter Krause


The idea governing the transition to a market economy in East Germany-in contrast to other Eastern European countries-was that of using socio-political measures to raise East German living conditions to the higher West German standards. And indeed, the rising living standard and subjective evaluation criteria provide evidence of significant progress towards convergence over the course of the 1990s. In the second half of that decade, however, process slowed gradually, and does not appear likely to accelerate again in the near future, to close the remaining gap between East and West Germany in income differences and subjective evaluations of life satisfaction. There has been significant progress toward convergence in the overall perception of a "unified" German society with regard to subjective class identification, evaluations of justice, and perceptions of conflicts, but there still remain considerable differences in particular areas. Der Übergang zur Marktwirtschaft erfolgte in Ostdeutschland im Unterschied zu anderen osteuropäischen Staaten unter dem Primat der sozialpolitischen Angleichung der Lebensbedingungen an das höhere Wohlstandsniveau der westlichen Bundesländer. Bezüglich der Wohlstandsentwicklung wie auch der subjektiven Bewertungsmaßstäbe lassen sich im Verlauf der 90er Jahre hierbei deutliche Angleichungsfortschritte aufzeigen. In der zweiten Hälfte der 90er Jahre hat sich dieser Angleichungsprozess immer weiter verlangsamt. Für die noch verbleibenden Differenzen zwischen Ost- und Westdeutschland sind sowohl hinsichtlich der Einkommensunterschiede als auch der Zufriedenheitseinschätzungen derzeit keine weiteren schnellen Angleichungen absehbar. Auch die Wahrnehmung der "gemeinsamen" deutschen Gesellschaft bezüglich der subjektiven Schichteinstufung, der Gerechtigkeitseinschätzung und in der Wahrnehmung von Konflikten weist so im Ganzen zwar deutliche Angleichungsfortschritte auf, unterscheidet sich in Teilen aber noch erheblich.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Goebel & Roland Habich & Peter Krause, 2009. "Zur Angleichung von Einkommen und Lebensqualität im vereinigten Deutschland," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 78(2), pages 122-145.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:78-2-8

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    Cited by:

    1. Brück, Tilman & Peters, Heiko, 2009. "20 Years of German Unification: Evidence on Income Convergence and Heterogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 4454, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Sebastian Baumeister & Georg Schomerus & Carsten-Oliver Schmidt & Franz Möckel & Neeltje den Berg & Wolfgang Hoffmann & Henry Völzke & Hans Grabe, 2015. "Change in depressive symptoms and mental health-related quality of life in northeast Germany between 1997–2001 and 2008–2012," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(1), pages 33-39, January.
    3. Alm Bastian & Engel Dirk & Weyh Antje, 2014. "Does Switching to a Western German Employer Still Pay Off?: An Analysis for Eastern Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 234(5), pages 546-571, October.
    4. Denis Gerstorf & Gert G. Wagner, 2010. "Lebenszufriedenheit am Ende des Lebens in Ost- und Westdeutschland: die DDR wirft einen langen Schatten," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 320, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    5. Jörg Dittmann, 2009. "Unsicherheit in Zeiten gesellschaftlicher Transformation: zur Entwicklung und Dynamik von Sorgen in der Bevölkerung in Deutschland," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 243, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

    More about this item


    German unification; quality of life; economic well-being; social indicators;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty


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