IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp2066.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Caring Hand that Cripples: The East German Labor Market After Reunification (Detailed Version)

Author

Listed:
  • Snower, Dennis J.

    () (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

  • Merkl, Christian

    () (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

Abstract

The East German labor market has hardly made any progress since German reunification, despite massive migration flows and support from the West. We argue that East Germany is in trouble precisely because of the support it has received. This paper explores the phenomenon of "the caring hand that cripples," arising from bargaining by proxy, the adoption of the West German welfare system and the associated employment persistence. Even the steady decrease of labor cost (normalized by productivity) since the beginning of the nineties did not help to kick start the East. We suggest that labor force participants fell into "traps," concerning low skills, ageing of the workforce, labor-saving capital and skills, capital underutilization, and unemployment arising from the decline of the tradable sector.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2066
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp2066.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Felix Fitzroy & Michael Funke, 1998. "Skills, Wages and Employment in East and West Germany," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(5), pages 459-467.
    2. Franz, Wolfgang & Konig, Heinz, 1986. "The Nature and Causes of Unemployment in the Federal Republic of Germany since the 1970s: An Empirical Investigation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages 219-244, Supplemen.
    3. Herbert Brücker & Parvati Trübswetter, 2007. "Do the best go west? An analysis of the self-selection of employed East-West migrants in Germany," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 371-395, September.
    4. Michael C. Burda & Wolfgang Härdle & Marlene Müller & Axel Werwatz, 1998. "Semiparametric analysis of German East-West migration intentions: facts and theory," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 525-541.
    5. David T. Coe & Dennis J. Snower, 1997. "Policy Complementarities: The Case for Fundamental Labor Market Reform," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 1-35, March.
    6. Jennifer Hunt, 2000. "Why Do People Still Live in East Germany?," NBER Working Papers 7564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Henning Klodt, 2000. "Industrial Policy and the East German Productivity Puzzle," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(3), pages 315-333, August.
    8. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1995. "Staggering along: wages policy and investment support in East Germany," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 3(4), pages 403-426, December.
    9. Burda, Michael C., 1993. "The determinants of East-West German migration: Some first results," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 452-461, April.
    10. Heitger, Bernhard, 2001. "Minimum Wages and Employment: The Case of German Unification," Kiel Working Papers 1045, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    11. Christian Grund, 2006. "Severance payments for dismissed employees in Germany," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 49-71, July.
    12. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2003. "Labour Demand in Germany: An Assessment of Non- Wage Labour Costs," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 154, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    13. Black,Stanley W., 2008. "Europe's Economy Looks East," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521088237, October.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2002. "Germany's Economic Unification: An Assessment after Ten Years," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 113-128, February.
    18. Fuchs, Johann & Weber, Brigitte, 2005. "Neuschätzung der Stillen Reserve und des Erwerbspersonenpotenzials für Ostdeutschland (einschl. Berlin-Ost)," IAB-Forschungsbericht 200518, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    19. Flaig, Gebhard & Steiner, Viktor, 1989. "Stability and Dynamic Properties of Labour Demand in West German Manufacturing," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 51(4), pages 395-412, November.
    20. Lehmann, Harald & Ludwig, Udo & Ragnitz, Joachim, 2005. "Originäre Wirtschaftskraft der neuen Länder noch schwächer als bislang angenommen," Wirtschaft im Wandel, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), vol. 11(5), pages 134-145.
    21. Bonin, Holger & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "The Post-Unification German Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 185, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. Schroeder, Wolfgang, 2000. "Industrielle Beziehungen in Ostdeutschland: Zwischen Eigensinn und Paternalismus," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Institutions and Social Change FS III 00-203, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    23. Bernhard Heitger, 2001. "Minimum Wages And Employment: The Case Of German Unification," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 1-15.
    24. Ralf A. Wilke, 2005. "New Extimates of the Duration and Risk of Unemployment for West-Germany," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 125(2), pages 207-237.
    25. Schnabel, Claus, 2005. "Gewerkschaften und Arbeitgeberverbände: Organisationsgrade, Tarifbindung und Einflüsse auf Löhne und Beschäftigung," Discussion Papers 34, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    26. Riphahn, Regina T. & Thalmaier, Anja & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen für Geringqualifizierte," IZA Research Reports 2, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    German unification; labor markets; labor market traps;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2066. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.