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Urban Shrinkage in Eastern Germany

Author

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  • Florian W. Bartholomae
  • Chang Woon Nam
  • Alina Schoenberg

Abstract

This paper questions the widely applied parallelism of demographic and economic development in characterizing urban shrinkage in Germany, and argues that the usage of population change as a single indicator leads to incorrect policy recommendations for combating urban shrinkage. As the cases of several Ruhr cities (Essen, Gelsenkirchen and Dortmund) and East German cities (Erfurt, Rostock and Magdeburg) prove, urban economic growth can also be achieved thanks to the substantial presence of modern industries and business services, and despite declines in population size. The serious shrinkage of Halle, Cottbus and Schwerin is primarily due to failures in the post-industrial transformation process. Recent policy measures strongly oriented towards slowing the downsizing process of population (via urban regeneration measures to hinder suburbanisation and low core urban density) do not address this major problem effectively. More active industrial policy measures are required in these East German shrinking cities to create a competitive manufacturing sector (endowed with new high-tech firms) and to boost its growth interdependence with modern local services.

Suggested Citation

  • Florian W. Bartholomae & Chang Woon Nam & Alina Schoenberg, 2015. "Urban Shrinkage in Eastern Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 5200, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5200
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp5200.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Tom Hudepohl & Ryan van Lamoen & Nander de Vette, 2019. "Quantitative easing and exuberance in stock markets: Evidence from the euro area," DNB Working Papers 660, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    3. Kauffmann, Albrecht, 2015. "Wie lässt sich die Bevölkerungsentwicklung von Städten korrekt ermitteln? Eine Methode zur Bereinigung amtlicher Daten um die Effekte von Gebietsänderungen am Beispiel von Ostdeutschland," IWH Online 5/2015, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    urban shrinkage; East Germany; post-industrial transformation; parallelism of demographic and economic development; smart growth; modern industries and services;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • H76 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other Expenditure Categories

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