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Zwei deutsche Lastenausgleiche: eine kritische Würdigung

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  • Richard Hauser

Abstract

This paper analyses and compares the first and the second program of burden sharing (Lastenausgleich): which were enacted after the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany 1948/49, and after the reunification of Germany 1990, respectively. The first program of burden sharing, firstly, aimed at redistribution from population groups which were less affected by war damages to those which were more affected or had completely lost their property and livelihood. Secondly, it should help to integrate about 14 million people who until 1985 had reached the Federal Republic as refugees from the former German Eastern regions and from the German Democratic Republic into the West German society. The second program of burden sharing also served as compensation for war damages and expropriations in the former German Democratic Republic as well as to improve the living standard and the economic strength of the new regions of Germany. Both programs were enormous social achievements. Relative to the respective gross national product of West Germany the second program that is still going on required even more financial means that the first one. Both programs were based on the principle of solidarity, but the second one showed a stronger restorative tendency than the first one. This is mainly due to the restitution of property in real terms without a special contribution to the costs of the program. In diesem Beitrag werden der erste Lastenausgleich, der im Zusammenhang mit der Gründung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1948/1949 stattfand, und der - nicht so benannte - zweite Lastenausgleich nach der deutschen Wiedervereinigung 1990 analysiert und verglichen. Beim ersten Lastenausgleich ging es einerseits um einen solidarischen Ausgleich der Kriegsschäden zwischen stärker und weniger stark betroffenen Bevölkerungsgruppen und andererseits um die Integration von etwa 14 Millionen Menschen, die bis 1985 als Vertriebene, Umsiedler und Spätaussiedler in die Bundesrepublik gekommen waren. Mit dem zweiten Lastenausgleich sollten ebenfalls Kriegs- und Sozialisierungsverluste entschädigt und teils befristete, teils dauerhafte Hilfen zur Angleichung der Wirtschaftskraft und der Lebensverhältnisse zwischen den alten und den neuen Bundesländern gewährt werden. Im Verhältnis zum jeweiligen Bruttoinlandsprodukt Westdeutschlands bewegte der erste Lastenausgleich deutlich geringere Mittelvolumina als der zweite. Obwohl beide Lastenausgleiche mit großen Umverteilungsvorgängen verbunden waren, zeigten sich doch deutliche Unterschiede. Der erste Lastenausgleich war sowohl auf der Aufbringungsseite als auch auf der Leistungsseite viel stärker vom Solidaritätsprinzip geprägt als der zweite. Dies gilt insbesondere für die Naturalrestitution von Grundvermögen und Unternehmen. Dementsprechend war die restaurative Tendenz des ersten Lastenausgleichs weit geringer als jene des zweiten.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Hauser, 2011. "Zwei deutsche Lastenausgleiche: eine kritische Würdigung," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 80(4), pages 103-122.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:80-4-6
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    File URL: http://ejournals.duncker-humblot.de/doi/pdfplus/10.3790/vjh.80.4.103
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard V. Burkhauser & Philip Giles & Dean R. Lillard & Johannes Schwarze, 2005. "Until Death Do Us Part: An Analysis of the Economic Well-Being of Widows in Four Countries," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 60(5), pages 238-246.
    2. Jan Goebel & Markus M. Grabka, 2011. "Zur Entwicklung der Altersarmut in Deutschland," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 78(25), pages 3-16.
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    Keywords

    Redistribution; welfare; burden sharing;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution

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