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Industrielle Entwicklung: Deutschland und Frankreich driften auseinander

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  • Karl Brenke

Abstract

The significance of the manufacturing sector for the economies of both the European Union and the euro area has declined dramatically over the past ten years. However, development varied between the individual member states, which is particularly evident in a comparison between Germany and France. The manufacturing industry in Germany was able to maintain its position within the national economy, halting the structural change towards the service sector. Conversely, there has been rapid deindustrialization in France: here, value added from the manufacturing sector as a percentage of the overall economy is now even lower than in eastern Germany. Within the German industrial sector, the manufacture of technically complex goods has continued to gain ground. In France, on the other hand, the production of such goods has always been relatively insignificant and, over the last decade, has become even less important. The gap between these two countries is also widening with regard to wage development as well as price competitiveness: in Germany, wage growth has lagged behind increases in production, whereas in France salaries have increased at a much faster pace than production. German manufacturing was, therefore, able to expand substantially into foreign markets, while the French industrial sector is the poorest performing in the EU. If national currencies had been retained, the ramifications of such diverging developments would have been mitigated through exchange rate adjustments. Meanwhile, a currency union requires responsible policies-this also applies to wage development. In der Europäischen Union wie in der Eurozone hat die volkswirtschaftliche Bedeutung der Industrie in den vergangenen zehn Jahren deutlich abgenommen. In den einzelnen Mitgliedsstaaten verlief die Entwicklung allerdings unterschiedlich, wie sich insbesondere an einem Vergleich von Deutschland und Frankreich zeigen lässt. In Deutschland konnte das verarbeitende Gewerbe seine Position innerhalb der Volkswirtschaft gut behaupten, sodass sich der Strukturwandel hin zu den Dienstleistungen nicht weiter fortsetzte. In Frankreich kam es dagegen zu einer rasanten De-Industrialisierung; der Anteil der Industrie an der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Wertschöpfung ist dort inzwischen geringer als in Ostdeutschland. In der deutschen Industrie hat die Herstellung technisch komplexer Güter weiter an Bedeutung gewonnen. In Frankreich hatte die Produktion dieser Güter schon früher einen relativ geringen Stellenwert, und im letzten Jahrzehnt ist er noch gesunken. Ein Auseinanderdriften zeigt sich auch bei der Lohnentwicklung und damit bei der preislichen Wettbewerbsfähigkeit: In der Deutschland blieben die Löhne hinter dem Produktionsanstieg zurück, in Frankreich eilten sie ihm dagegen voraus. Entsprechend konnte die deutsche Industrie kräftig auf den Auslandsmärkten expandieren, während die französische beim Exportwachstum das Schlusslicht innerhalb der EU trägt. Beim Fortbestehen nationaler Währungen wären die Folgen der divergierenden Entwicklungen durch Wechselkursanpassungen abgefedert worden, eine Währungsunion erfordert hingegen eine verantwortungsvolle Politik - auch bei der Lohnentwicklung.

Suggested Citation

  • Karl Brenke, 2012. "Industrielle Entwicklung: Deutschland und Frankreich driften auseinander," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 79(48), pages 3-14.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwob:79-48-1
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.412246.de/12-48-1.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Homburg, Stefan & Houben, Henriette & Maiterth, Ralf, 2007. "Rechtsform und Finanzierung nach der Unternehmensteuerreform 2008," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 376-381.
    2. Homburg, Stefan & Houben, Henriette & Maiterth, Ralf, 2008. "Optimale Eigenfinanzierung der Personenunternehmen nach der Unternehmensteuerreform 2008/2009," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 29-47.
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    Keywords

    Manufacturing; comparison Germany and France;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General

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