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The East-West gradient in spatial population development within Germany: temporary GDR legacy vs. longstanding spatial disparities

  • Sebastian Klüsener

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Emilio Zagheni

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

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    Since the unification of Germany in 1990, the former communist eastern part of the country has experienced substantial levels of population decline and outmigration. These trends are largely attributable to East-West differences in economic development (May 2007). In this article, we explore the question of whether the recent decline in population is a temporary phenomenon related to the period of transition, or whether long-term geographical factors also affect spatial population trends in Germany. In particular, we investigate to what extent East-West differences are related to the fact that parts of western Germany belong to the European dorsal (or Blue Banana arc), which has long been the most important area of economic activity in Europe (Brunet 1989). Our findings show that an East-West gradient in spatial population trends has existed since the late 19th century. This suggests that long-term geographical factors are relevant for understanding trends in Germany’s spatial population development.

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2013-013.pdf
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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/cgi-bin/publications/paper.plx?pubid=5328
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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2013-013.

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    Length: 25 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2013-013
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    1. Stephen Redding & Daniel M. Sturm, 2005. "The costs of remoteness: evidence from German division and reunification," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3691, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
    3. Greenwood, Michael J, 1975. "Research on Internal Migration in the United States: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 397-433, June.
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