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Minimum Wages And Employment: The Case Of German Unification


  • Bernhard Heitger


Analysis in terms of the two-sector open economy shows that in bringing the market economy to East Germany, West Germany seems to have disregarded important fundamentals. Premature formation of a currency union led to a substantial real appreciation of the East German currency. Premature implementation of the West German system of wage bargaining resulted in inappropriate minimum wage schedules. Both measures made East German production possibilities and employment decline. [E24, P23]

Suggested Citation

  • Bernhard Heitger, 2001. "Minimum Wages And Employment: The Case Of German Unification," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 1-15.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intecj:v:17:y:2001:i:1:p:1-15 DOI: 10.1080/10168730300080001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1993. "The End of the German Miracle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 881-885, June.
    2. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1995. "Staggering along: wages policy and investment support in East Germany," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 3(4), pages 403-426, December.
    3. Marcus Noland & Sherman Robinson & Ligang Liu, 1999. "The economics of korean unification," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 255-299.
    4. John Kennan, 1995. "The Elusive Effects of Minimum Wages," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1950-1965, December.
    5. Gerlinde Sinn & Hans-Werner Sinn, 1994. "Jumpstart: The Economic Unification of Germany," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262691728, July.
    6. Richard A. Brecher, 1974. "Minimum Wage Rates and the Pure Theory of International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(1), pages 98-116.
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    Cited by:

    1. Snower, Dennis J. & Merkl, Christian, 2006. "The Caring Hand that Cripples: The East German Labor Market After Reunification (Detailed Version)," IZA Discussion Papers 2066, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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