Explaining the East German Productivity Gap ; The Role of Human Capital
The paper concentrates on the question whether the low level of productivity in East Germany can be explained by deficits in the stock of human capital. It is shown that figures on “formal” qualifications yield a too optimistic view on human capital endowments; in fact, the effective stock on human capital in East Germany is lower than in West Germany when differences in job activities are taken into account. One reason is the dominance of non human capitalintensive industries as a consequence of locational decisions in the past. Another reason is a low human capital intensity within the different branches which is a consequence of specialization within affiliated firms. In the next years human capital endowment of the East German economy will further deteriorate as a result of selective migration and unfavorable educational attendance of the younger cohorts. This impedes a fast convergence in productivity between East and West Germany.
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