East Joins West: Child welfare and market reforms in the 'special case' of the former GDR
The collapse of communism in East Germany took place alongside unification with its democratic neighbour, West Germany. This made the East German experience of the ‘transition’ - from the planned to the free-market economy - unique among that of the post-socialist states. On the one hand, unification allowed East Germans to benefit from the resource and human capital of one of the world’s richest countries. On the other, the sudden bringing-together of two populations geared to different standards of living had a negative psychological impact among the poorer Easterners. This paper looks at how such specifics of the East German experience have influenced the development of policies and services for the country’s children.