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Total factor productivity convergence in German states since reunification: Evidence and explanations

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  • Burda, Michael C.
  • Severgnini, Battista

Abstract

A quarter-century after reunification, labor productivity in the states of eastern Germany continues to lag systematically behind the West. Persistent gaps in total factor productivity (TFP) are the proximate cause; conventional and capital-free measurements confirm a sharp slowdown in TFP growth after 1995. Strikingly, eastern capital intensity, especially in industry, exceeds values in the West, casting doubt on the embodied technology hypothesis. TFP growth is negatively associated with rates of investment expenditures. The stubborn East-West TFP gap is best explained by low concentration of managers, low startup intensity and the distribution of firm size in the East rather than R&D activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Burda, Michael C. & Severgnini, Battista, 2018. "Total factor productivity convergence in German states since reunification: Evidence and explanations," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 192-211.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:1:p:192-211
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2017.04.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael C. Burda & Mark Weder, 2017. "The Economics of German Unification after Twenty-five Years: Lessons for Korea," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2017-009, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    2. Wim Naudé & Paula Nagler, 2018. "Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Productivity in Germany, 1871-2015," SPRU Working Paper Series 2018-02, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Development accounting; Productivity; Regional convergence; German reunification;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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