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What kind of shock was it? Regional Integration and Structural Change in Germany after Unification

Eastern Germany’s recovery from the "unification shock" has been characterized by deep structural change – with apparent repercussions for the West as well – and an integration process involving both capital deepening (extensive and intensive investment) and labor thinning (net out-migration). I propose a constant-returns neoclassical model of economic integration which can account for these facts. Adjustment costs determine dynamics and steady state regional distribution of production factors. The model also explains persistent wage and capital rate-of-return differentials along the equilibrium path. Under competitive conditions, observed factor price differentials contain information on those adjustment costs.

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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2006-087.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2006-087
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  1. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen & Helga Hessenius, 1991. "East Germany in from the Cold: The Economic Aftermath of Currency Union," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 1-106.
  3. Harald Uhlig, 2006. "Regional Labor Markets, Network Externalities and Migration: The Case of German Reunification," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-004, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  4. Bachmann, Ronald & Burda, Michael C., 2008. "Sectoral Transformation, Turbulence, and Labor Market Dynamics in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3324, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Barry Eichengreen., 1990. "One Money for Europe? Lessons from the US Currency Union," Economics Working Papers 90-132, University of California at Berkeley.
  6. Michael C. Burda, 2006. "Factor Reallocation in Eastern Germany after Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 368-374, May.
  7. Andrew B. Abel, 2002. "On the Invariance of the Rate of Return to Convex Adjustment Costs," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(3), pages 586-601, July.
  8. J. Peter Neary, 2000. "Of Hype and Hyperbolas - Introducing the new Economic Geography," Working Papers 200019, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  9. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2000. "EU Enlargement, Migration, and Lessons from German Unification," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(3), pages 299-314, 08.
  10. 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).
  11. Lilien, David M, 1982. "Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 777-93, August.
  12. Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "From Reunification to Economic Integration: Productivity and the Labor Market in Eastern Germany," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 1-92.
  13. Dennis J. Snower & Christian Merkl, 2006. "The Caring Hand that Cripples: The East German Labor Market after Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 375-382, May.
  14. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
  15. Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln, 2005. "Adjustment to a Large Shock - Do Households Smooth Low Frequency Consumption?," 2005 Meeting Papers 517, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. John Driffill & Marcus Miller, 2003. "No Credit for Transition: European Institutions and German Unemployment," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(1), pages 41-60, February.
  17. Richard Rogerson, 2005. "Sectoral Shocks, Specific Human Capital and Displaced Workers," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(1), pages 89-105, January.
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