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Gunnar Myrdal and the Persistence of Germany's Regional Inequality


  • John Hall
  • Udo Ludwig


This paper seeks to establish that contributions to regional theory advanced by Gunnar Myrdal exhibit high levels of explanatory power when clarifying challenges facing Germany's eastern region since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Myrdal's evolutionary institutionalist contribution is contrasted with the "convergence hypothesis" advanced by R. Barro and X. Sala-i-Martin. Challenged is their prediction that Germany's eastern region would experience relatively higher annual rates of per capita output growth, and that levels of per capita output would converge between the eastern and western regions over time. Myrdal's approach is argued superior as it allows for considering backwash and spread effects within a framework of circular and cumulative causation, emerging between Germany's western and eastern regions.

Suggested Citation

  • John Hall & Udo Ludwig, 2009. "Gunnar Myrdal and the Persistence of Germany's Regional Inequality," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(2), pages 345-352.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:43:y:2009:i:2:p:345-352
    DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624430207

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    Cited by:

    1. Blum, Ulrich, 2011. "An Economic Life in Vain − Path Dependence and East Germany’s Pre- and Post-Unification Economic Stagnation," IWH Discussion Papers 10/2011, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    2. Blum, Ulrich, 2011. "Can Korea Learn from German Unification?," IWH Discussion Papers 3/2011, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).

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