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


  • Marin, Dalia


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. I 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, I 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. I 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. I 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. I then discuss what can be done to address the skill exodus to Eastern Europe. I show that R&D subsidies do not work in economies with a skill crisis and I 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 Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 77, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:77

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2012. "Globalization and the empowerment of talent," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 209-223.
    2. Marin, Dalia, 1995. "Learning and Dynamic Comparative Advantage: Lessons from Austria's Post-war Pattern of Growth for Eastern Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1116, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 2000. "The theory of endowment, intra-industry and multi-national trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-234, December.
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    8. S. Lael Brainard, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Multinational Corporations and Trade with a Trade-Off Between Proximity and Concentration," NBER Working Papers 4269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Braconier, Henrik & Ekholm, Karolina, 2000. "Swedish Multinationals and Competition from High- and Low-Wage Locations," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 448-461, August.
    10. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
    11. Fersterer, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "Are Austrian returns to education falling over time?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 73-89, February.
    12. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Expansion Strategies of U.S. Multinational Firms," BEA Papers 0012, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    13. Brainard, S Lael, 1997. "An Empirical Assessment of the Proximity-Concentration Trade-off between Multinational Sales and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 520-544, September.
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    17. Bourguignon, Francois & Coyle, Diane & Fernàndez, Raquel & Giavazzi, Francesco & Marin, Dalia & O’Rourke, Kevin & Portes, Richard & Seabright, Paul & Venables, Anthony & Verdier, Thierry & Winters, L., . "Making Sense of Globalization: A Guide to the Economic Issues," Monographs in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics, number 20240, Jul-Dec.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vrh, Nataša, 2015. "Pay-off to Participation in Global Value Chains: How Much are New EU Member States Lagging behind the Rest of EU Countries in Terms of Domestic Value Added in Exports?," MPRA Paper 67805, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ingo Geishecker & Holger Görg & Jakob Roland Munch, "undated". "Do Labour Market Institutions Matter? Micro-level Wage Effects of International Outsourcing in Three European Countries," Discussion Papers 07/42, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    3. Hübler, Michael, 2007. "A simple model of outsourcing with Cournot competition," Kiel Working Papers 1320, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Sandrine LEVASSEUR, 2010. "International outsourcing over the business cycle: some intuition for Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 1, pages 165-185, December.
    5. Sascha O. Becker & Karolina Ekholm & Robert Jäckle & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2005. "Location Choice and Employment Decisions: A Comparison of German and Swedish Multinationals," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 141(4), pages 693-731, December.
    6. Cesare Imbriani & Rosanna Pittiglio & Filippo Reganati, 2014. "Affiliates and parent employment through foreign direct investment: a study case of substitutability or complementarity," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 619-638, December.
    7. Schäffler, Johannes & Hecht, Veronika & Moritz, Michael, 2014. "Regional determinants of German FDI in the Czech Republic : evidence from a gravity model approach," IAB Discussion Paper 201403, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    8. Assar Lindbeck, 2006. "Sustainable social spending," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 13(4), pages 303-324, August.
    9. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Davide Castellani & Anne-Célia Disdier, 2006. "How Does Investing in Cheap Labour Countries Affect Performance at Home? France and Italy," Development Working Papers 215, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    10. A. Arrighetti & A. Ninni & E. Breda & R. Cappariello & M. Clemens & D. Schumacher, 2012. "Competitiveness in manufacturing. Germany vs. Italy – a comparison," Economics Department Working Papers 2012-EP01, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
    11. Hecht, Veronika, 2015. "Location choice of German multinationals in the Czech Republic : the importance of agglomeration economies," IAB Discussion Paper 201519, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    12. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/693 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Guillaume Daudin & Sandrine Levasseur, 2005. "Appendix 8 : Measuring the effect of international relocations on French economy," Working Papers hal-01073900, HAL.
    14. Schäffler, Johannes, 2016. "German Direct Investments in the Czech Republic – Employment Effects on German Multinational Enterprises," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145526, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. Friebel, Guido & Heinz, Matthias, 2014. "Media slant against foreign owners: Downsizing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 97-106.
    16. Roman Stöllinger, 2016. "Structural change and global value chains in the EU," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 43(4), pages 801-829, November.
    17. International Monetary Fund, 2004. "Czech Republic; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 04/265, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item


    human capital; intra-firm trade; multinationals and jobs; out-sourcing to Eastern Europe; R&D policy;

    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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