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Skills, Wages, and Employment in East and West Germany


  • Michael Funke
  • Felix FitzRoy


Disaggregated data from 30 two-digit manufacturing industries in the east and west parts of unified Germany are used to estimate employment for three skill categories of blue collar workers. Employment elasticities are uniformly higher in the east, and for unskilled labor. The former result contradicts union claims that wages had little relevance for east German job losses, while the latter confirms the capital-skill complementarity hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Funke & Felix FitzRoy, 1995. "Skills, Wages, and Employment in East and West Germany," IMF Working Papers 95/4, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:95/4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bresson, G & Kramarz, F & Sevestre, P, 1992. "Heterogeneous Labor and the Dynamics of Aggregate Labor Demand: Some Estimations Using Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 153-168.
    2. Michael Burda & Michael Funke, 1993. "German trade unions after unification — Third degree wage discriminating monopolists?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 129(3), pages 537-560, September.
    3. Colin Lawrence & Robert Z. Lawrence, 1985. "Manufacturing Wage Dispersion: An End Game Interpretation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 16(1), pages 47-116.
    4. Stephen Nickell & D Nicolitsas, 1994. "Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0219, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    6. Tinsley, P A, 1971. "A Variable Adjustment Model of Labor Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 12(3), pages 482-510, October.
    7. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    8. Anderson, T. W. & Hsiao, Cheng, 1982. "Formulation and estimation of dynamic models using panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-82, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frondel, Manuel & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2003. "Rejecting capital-skill complementarity at all costs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 15-21, July.
    2. Kölling, Arnd & Schank, Thorsten, 2002. "Skill-biased technological change, international trade and the wage structure," Discussion Papers 14, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    3. Lichter, Andreas & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2015. "The own-wage elasticity of labor demand: A meta-regression analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 94-119.
    4. Koebel, Bertrand M. & Falk, Martin, 1999. "Curvature conditions and substitution pattern among capital, energy, materials and heterogeneous labour," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-06, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Jacobi, Lena & Schaffner, Sandra, 2008. "Does Marginal Employment Substitute Regular Employment? – A Heterogeneous Dynamic Labor Demand Approach for Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 56, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Carsten Ochsen, 2006. "Zukunft der Arbeit und Arbeit der Zukunft in Deutschland," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(2), pages 173-193, May.
    7. Sebastián Claro, 2004. "Vertical and Horizontal Dimensions of Trade Liberalization," Documentos de Trabajo 265, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    8. Jung, Sven, 2013. "Employment Adjustment in German Firms," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79696, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. 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).
    10. Falk, Martin & Koebel, Bertrand M., 1997. "The Demand of Heterogeneous Labour in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-28, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. Martin Falk & Bertrand Koebel, 2001. "A dynamic heterogeneous labour demand model for German manufacturing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(3), pages 339-348.
    12. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:38:i:2/3:p:165-179 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Sebastián Claro, 2002. "On the Costs and Effectiveness of Tarjeting State Employment: Germany in the 1990s and China in the 2000s," Documentos de Trabajo 218, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    14. repec:zbw:rwirep:0056 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Hetze, Pascal, 2006. "Bridging the technology-gap in economic transition, the J-curve of growth and unemployment," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 66, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    16. Claro, Sebastian, 2006. "Supporting inefficient firms with capital subsidies: China and Germany in the 1990s," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 377-401, June.
    17. Schank, Thorsten, 2003. "Die Beschäftigung von Un- und Angelernten : eine Analyse mit dem Linked Employer-Employee Datensatz des IAB (Employment of unskilled and semi-skilled workers * an analysis based on the IAB Linked Empl," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 36(3), pages 257-270.
    18. Bonin, Holger, 2005. "Tarifpolitik, Entgeltflexibilität und Beschäftigung in Ostdeutschland (Colletive bargaining policy, wage flexibility and employment in eastern Germany)," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 38(2/3), pages 165-179.
    19. Lena Jacobi & Sandra Schaffner, 2008. "Does Marginal Employment Substitute Regular Employment? – A Heterogeneous Dynamic Labor Demand Approach for Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 0056, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    20. Jung, Sven, 2012. "Employment adjustment in German firms," Discussion Papers 80, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    21. repec:iab:iabmit:v:36:i:3:p:257-270 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Boll, Christina & Hüning, Hendrik & Leppin, Julian & Puckelwald, Johannes, 2015. "Potential effects of a statutory minimum wage on the gender pay gap: A simulation-based study for Germany," HWWI Research Papers 163, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    23. Lücke, Matthias, 1999. "Sectoral value added prices, TFP growth, and the low-skilled wage in high-income countries," Kiel Working Papers 923, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).


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