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

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  • Michael C. Burda

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael C. Burda, 2006. "What kind of shock was it? Regional Integration and Structural Change in Germany after Unification," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-087, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2006-087
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    Cited by:

    1. Klaus Abberger & Biswa Nath Bhattacharyay & Chang Woon Nam & Gernot Nerb & Siegfried Schönherr, 2014. "How Can the Crisis Vulnerability of Emerging Economies Be Reduced?," ifo Forschungsberichte, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 65, October.
    2. Robert Orlowski & Regina T. Riphahn, 2009. "The East German wage structure after transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 17(4), pages 629-659, October.
    3. Harald Uhlig, 2006. "Regional Labor Markets, Network Externalities and Migration: The Case of German Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 383-387, May.
    4. Hennighausen, Tanja, 2015. "Exposure to television and individual beliefs: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 956-980.
    5. Sebastian Vollmer & Hajo Holzmann & Florian Ketterer & Stephan Klasen, 2013. "Distribution dynamics of regional GDP per employee in unified Germany," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 491-509, April.
    6. Andreas Schäfer & Thomas Steger, 2010. "History, Expectations, and Public Policy: Economic Development in Eastern Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 3184, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Böhm, Sebastian, 2015. "Regional economic integration and factor mobility in unified Germany," FSES Working Papers 463, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    8. Topalli, Margerita & Ivanaj, Silvester, 2016. "Mapping the evolution of the impact of economic transition on Central and Eastern European enterprises: A co-word analysis," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 744-759.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    German Reunification; Regional Integration; Costs of Adjustment; Capital Mobility; Migration;

    JEL classification:

    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • P23 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Factor and Product Markets; Industry Studies; Population

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