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Internal Migration, Regional Labour Market Dynamics and Implications for German East-West Disparities – Results from a Panel VAR

  • Björn Alecke
  • Timo Mitze

    ()

  • Gerhard Untiedt

This paper analyses the causal linkages between regional labour market variables and internal migration flows among German states between 1991–2006. We adopt a Panel VAR approach to identify the feedback effects among the variables and analyse the dynamic properties of the system through impulseresponse functions.We also use the model to track the evolution of the particular East-West migration since re-unification aiming to shed more light on the East German “empirical puzzle”, characterized by lower migration responses than expected from the regional labour market position relative to the West. We indeed get evidence for such a puzzle throughout the mid-1990s, which is likely to be caused by huge West-East income transfers, a fast exogenously driven wage convergence and the possibility of East-West commuting. However, we also observe an inversion of this relationship for later periods:That is, along with a second wave of East-West movements around 2001 net flows out of East Germany were much higher than expected after controlling for its weak labour market and macroeconomic performance. Since this second wave is also accompanied by a gradual fading out of economic distortions, this supports the view of “repressed” migration flows for that period.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0096.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0096
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  1. Christian Dreger & Georg Erber & Daniela Glocker, 2008. "Regional Measures of Human Capital in the European Union," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 137, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Carlo Devillanova & Walter García-Fontes, 2004. "Migration across Spanish provinces: evidence from the social security records (1978-1992)," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 28(3), pages 461-487, September.
  3. Stefano Fachin, 2007. "Long-run trends in internal migrations in italy: a study in panel cointegration with dependent units," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 401-428.
  4. Bonin, Holger & Eichhorst, Werner & Florman, Christer & Hansen, Mette Okkels & Skiöld, Lena & Stuhler, Jan & Tatsiramos, Konstantinos & Thomasen, Henrik & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2008. "Report No. 19: Geographic Mobility in the European Union: Optimising its Economic and Social Benefits," IZA Research Reports 19, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Baltagi, Badi H. & Blien, Uwe, 1998. "The German wage curve: evidence from the IAB employment sample," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 135-142, November.
  6. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  7. repec:zbw:rwirep:0083 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Michael Binder & Cheng Hsiao & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2000. "Estimation and Inference In Short Panel Vector Autoregressions with Unit Roots And Cointegration," CESifo Working Paper Series 374, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Etzo, Ivan, 2008. "Internal migration: a review of the literature," MPRA Paper 8783, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Mark D. Partridge & Dan S. Rickman, 2006. "An SVAR Model of Fluctuations in U.S. Migration Flows and State Labor Market Dynamics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 958–980, April.
  11. Salvatore, Dominick, 1980. "A simultaneous equations model of internal migration with dynamic policy simulations and forecasting : Italy, 1952-1976," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 231-246, April.
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