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East German Unemployment from a Macroeconomic Perspective

  • Rubart, Jens
  • Semmler, Willi

When reviewing the literature concerning the development of the Eastern German economy, a too rigid labor market and its respective institutions are considered as the main source of the persistent high unemployment rates and the slow economic performance. However, when important macroeconomic variables are considered a significant decline in investment in new technologies is observed. In addition, we find evidences that the decline in investment might be affected by the steady migration of young and skilled workers to West Germany. The decline in the proportion of skilled workers induces firms not to invest in Eastern Germany which leads to a general decline in job creating activities irrespective rigid labor markets and generous social benefits. In the recent paper we employ a rather standard Dynamic General Equilibrium model in order to study the effects of a decline in the proportion of skilled workers as well as the impacts of increasing benefit payments. Furthermore, we assume equilibrium unemployment due to search and matching frictions on the labor market. This approach enables us further to consider job creating activities of the firms. We show that an emigration shock of skilled- workers is capable to reproduce the findings for the decline in economic activity. This effect is strengthened by assuming generous social benefit payments.

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Paper provided by Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL) in its series Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics with number 35712.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Publication status: Published in Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics . 187 (2007-09)
Handle: RePEc:dar:ddpeco:35712
Note: for complete metadata visit http://tubiblio.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/35712/
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  1. Kluve, Jochen & Schaffner, Sandra & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2006. "Labor Force Status Dynamics in the German Labor Market: Individual Heterogeneity and Cyclical Sensitivity," Technical Reports 2006,20, Technische Universität Dortmund, Sonderforschungsbereich 475: Komplexitätsreduktion in multivariaten Datenstrukturen.
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  9. Canova, Fabio & Ravn, Morten O, 1998. "The Macroeconomic Effects of German Unification: Real Adjustments and the Welfare State," CEPR Discussion Papers 2038, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Jens Rubart, 2006. "Dismissal Protection or Wage Flexibility," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 406, Society for Computational Economics.
  11. Juillard, Michel, 1996. "Dynare : a program for the resolution and simulation of dynamic models with forward variables through the use of a relaxation algorithm," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9602, CEPREMAP.
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  13. Merkl, Christian & Snower, Dennis J., 2006. "The Caring Hand that Cripples: The East German Labour Market after Reunification," CEPR Discussion Papers 5656, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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