IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Economic Impact of Social Ties: Evidence from German Reunification

  • Konrad B. Burchardi
  • Tarek A. Hassan

We use the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 to show that personal relationships which individuals maintain for noneconomic reasons can be an important determinant of regional economic growth. We show that West German households who had social ties to East Germany in 1989 experienced a persistent rise in their personal incomes after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Moreover, the presence of these households significantly affects economic performance at the regional level: it increases the returns to entrepreneurial activity, the share of households who become entrepreneurs, and the likelihood that firms based within a given West German region invest in East Germany. As a result, West German regions that (for idiosyncratic reasons) have a high concentration of households with social ties to the East exhibit substantially higher growth in income per capita in the early 1990s. A one standard deviation rise in the share of households with social ties to East Germany in 1989 is associated with a 4.7 percentage point rise in income per capita over six years. We interpret our findings as evidence of a causal link between social ties and regional economic development. JEL Codes: O10, O43, J61, L14, F20. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

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.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/qje/qjt009
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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.

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 128 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 1219-1271

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:128:y:2013:i:3:p:1219-1271
Contact details of provider:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. David Card, 1990. "The impact of the Mariel boatlift on the Miami labor market," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 245-257, January.
  2. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, 01.
  3. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1998. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," Working papers 98-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Stephen Redding & Daniel M. Sturm, 2005. "The Costs of Remoteness: Evidence from German Division and Reunification," CEP Discussion Papers dp0688, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm & Nikolaus Wolf, 2012. "The Economics of Density: Evidence from the Berlin Wall," SERC Discussion Papers 0118, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  7. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2002. "Bones, Bombs, and Break Points: The Geography of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1269-1289, December.
  8. Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel, 2014. "Children of War: The Long-Run Effects of Large-Scale Physical Destruction and Warfare on Children," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(3), pages 634-662.
  9. Markus Mobius & Adam Szeidl, 2007. "Trust and Social Collateral," NBER Working Papers 13126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
  11. David Atkin, 2013. "Trade, Tastes and Nutrition in India," Working Papers id:5548, eSocialSciences.
  12. Chaney, Thomas, 2011. "The Network Structure of International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 8240, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Rachel M. Friedberg, 2001. "The Impact Of Mass Migration On The Israeli Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1373-1408, November.
  14. Stefan Dercon & Joachim De Weerdt, 2002. "Risk-sharing Networks and Insurance against illness," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2002-16, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  15. Daron Acemoglu & Tarek A. Hassan & James A. Robinson, 2010. "Social Structure and Development: A Legacy of the Holocaust in Russia," NBER Working Papers 16083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Lauren Cohen & Andrea Frazzini & Christopher Malloy, 2008. "The Small World of Investing: Board Connections and Mutual Fund Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 951-979, October.
  17. Attila Ambrus & Markus Mobius & Adam Szeidl, 2014. "Consumption Risk-Sharing in Social Networks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 149-82, January.
  18. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  20. Edward Miguel & Gerard Roland, 2006. "The Long Run Impact of Bombing Vietnam," NBER Working Papers 11954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Camelia M. Kuhnen, 2009. "Business Networks, Corporate Governance, and Contracting in the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(5), pages 2185-2220, October.
  22. James E. Rauch, 1996. "Networks versus Markets in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 5617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen & Marc Schramm, 2002. "The Strategic Bombing of German Cities during World War II and its Impact on City Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 808, CESifo Group Munich.
  24. Matt Jackson, 2003. "The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality," Theory workshop papers 658612000000000032, UCLA Department of Economics.
  25. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 1999. "Ethnic Chinese Networks in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1095-1131, August.
  27. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
  28. Lori A. Beaman, 2012. "Social Networks and the Dynamics of Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from Refugees Resettled in the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 128-161.
  29. Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1991. "Group Lending, Repayment Incentives And Social Collateral," Papers 152, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  30. Yael V. Hochberg & Alexander Ljungqvist & Yang Lu, 2007. "Whom You Know Matters: Venture Capital Networks and Investment Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(1), pages 251-301, 02.
  31. Claudia Martínez Alvear & Dean Yang, 2007. "Remittances and Poverty in Migrants’ Home Areas: Evidence from the Philippines," Working Papers wp257, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
  32. Anderson, T. W. & Hsiao, Cheng, 1982. "Formulation and estimation of dynamic models using panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-82, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. SOEP based publications

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:128:y:2013:i:3:p:1219-1271. 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: (Oxford University Press)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.