East Germany, West Germany, and Their Mezzogiorno Problem: A Parable for European Economic Integration
Economic and monetary reunification in Germany has proved to be more expensive than previously thought--and not jus t for the Germans. If a "Mezzogiorno problem" of continuing fiscal transfers to the East, and possible migration flows westwards, are t o be avoided, then there has to be convergence in productivity levels. This paper analyzes possible convergence paths, and the policy regim es which accelerate convergence. The intention is to illustrate the (albeit less extreme) problems facing a European monetary union of asymmetric and incompletely converged economies. Working from first principles, or with the aid of an econometric model, shows that convergence sufficient to avoid a Mezzogiorno problem is likely to b e slow: perhaps 30-40 years in the German case, despite very fast grow th in the East. Second, it is not clear that the process is incentive compatible: a very substantial part of the servicing and subsidizing costs have to be paid by other (non-German) economies in the union, without any obvious compensating benefits. Third, to reduce the need for continuing transfers actually requires a policy which promotes price and wage flexibility in the depressed region. That appears to run counter to the current market integration within Europe. Such "unpleasant arithmetic" is an important contribution to the monetary union debate because without it, the smooth running of a union of incompletely converged economies will certainly be compromised. Copyright 1993 by Royal Economic Society.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 103 (1993)
Issue (Month): 417 (March)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 2 Dean Trench Street, Westminster, SW1P 3HE|
Phone: +44 20 3137 6301
Web page: http://www.res.org.uk/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.blackwellpublishers.co.uk/asp/journal.asp?ref=0013-0133|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:103:y:1993:i:417:p:416-28. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.