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'A Nation of Poets and Thinkers' - Less So with Eastern Enlargement? Austria and Germany

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  • Marin, Dalia

Abstract

Many people in the European Union fear that Eastern Enlargement will lead to major job losses. More recently, these fears about job losses have extended to high skill labor and IT jobs. The paper examines with new firm level data whether these fears are justified for the two neighboring countries of Eastern Enlargement Austria and Germany. We find that Eastern Enlargement leads to surprising small job losses, because jobs in Eastern Europe do not compete with jobs in Austria and Germany. Low cost jobs of affiliates in Eastern Europe help Austrian and German firms to stay competitive in an increasingly competitive environment. However, we also find that multinational firms in Austria and Germany are outsourcing the most skill intensive activities to Eastern Europe taking advantage of cheap abundant skilled labor in Eastern Europe. We find that the firms' outsourcing activities to Eastern Europe are a response to a human capital scarcity in Austria and Germany which has become particularly severe in the 1990s. Corporations' outsourcing of skill intensive firm activity to Eastern Europe has helped to ease the human capital crisis in both countries. We find that high skilled jobs transferred to Eastern Europe account for 10 percent of Germany's and 48 percent of Austria's supply of university graduates in the 1990s. We then discuss what can be done to address the skill exodus to Eastern Europe. We show that R&D subsidies do not work in economies with a skill crisis and we suggest to liberalize the movement of high skill labor with Eastern Enlargement.

Suggested Citation

  • Marin, Dalia, 2004. "'A Nation of Poets and Thinkers' - Less So with Eastern Enlargement? Austria and Germany," Discussion Papers in Economics 329, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:329
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    capital; intra-firm trade; multinationals and jobs; out-sourcing to Eastern Europe; R&D policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • P33 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - International Trade, Finance, Investment, Relations, and Aid

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