IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/upf/upfgen/442.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The macroeconomic effects of German unification: Real adjustments and the welfare state

Author

Listed:
  • Fabio Canova
  • Morten O. Ravn

Abstract

We study the effects of German unification in a model with capital accumulation, skill differences and a welfare state. We argue that this event is similar to a mass migration of low-skilled agents holding no capital into a foreign country. Absent a welfare state, we observe an investment boom, depressed output and employment conditions. Capital owners and high-skilled agents are willing to give up to 4% of per-capita consumption to favor unification. When a welfare state exists the investment boom disappears and the recession is prolonged. Now, with unification, capital owners and high-skilled agents lose 4% of per-capita consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio Canova & Morten O. Ravn, 2000. "The macroeconomic effects of German unification: Real adjustments and the welfare state," Economics Working Papers 442, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:442
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econ-papers.upf.edu/papers/442.pdf
    File Function: Whole Paper
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Morten O. Ravn & Fabio Canova, 1997. "Crossing the Rio Grande: Migrations, business cycles and the welfare state," Economics Working Papers 248, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Dec 1997.
    2. Finn E. Kydland, 1993. "Business cycles and aggregate labor-market fluctuations," Working Papers (Old Series) 9312, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    3. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1991. "The consumption of stockholders and nonstockholders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 97-112, March.
    4. Schrettl, Wolfram, 1992. "Transition with Insurance: German Unification Reconsidered," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 144-155, Spring.
    5. Calvo, Guillermo A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1988. "Optimal Time-Consistent Fiscal Policy with Finite Lifetimes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 411-432, March.
    6. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Hughes Hallett, A J & Ma, Yue, 1993. "East Germany, West Germany, and Their Mezzogiorno Problem: A Parable for European Economic Integration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(417), pages 416-428, March.
    8. Driffill, John & Marcus Miller, 1998. "No Credit for Transition:Efficiency Wages, the Maastricht Treaty and German Unemployment," CSGR Working papers series 04/98, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick.
    9. Benhabib, Jess, 1996. "On the political economy of immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1737-1743, December.
    10. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 2004. "The evolution of modern educational systems: Technical vs. general education, distributional conflict, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 559-582, April.
    11. Kydland, Finn E., 1984. "Labor-force heterogeneity and the business cycle," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 173-208, January.
    12. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1995. "Resisting Migration: Wage Rigidity and Income Distribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 312-316, May.
    13. Andrea Boltho & Wendy Carlin & Pasquale Scaramozzino, 1999. "Will East Germany become a new Mezzogiorno?," Chapters, in: John Adams & Francesco Pigliaru (ed.), Economic Growth and Change, chapter 13, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Canova, Fabio & Marrinan, Jane, 1998. "Sources and propagation of international output cycles: Common shocks or transmission?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 133-166, October.
    15. Cardia, Emanuela, 1991. "The dynamics of a small open economy in response to monetary, fiscal, and productivity shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 411-434, December.
    16. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen & Helga Hessenius, 1991. "East Germany in from the Cold: The Economic Aftermath of Currency Union," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 1-106.
    17. Hall, Robert E & Mishkin, Frederic S, 1982. "The Sensitivity of Consumption to Transitory Income: Estimates from Panel Data on Households," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 461-481, March.
    18. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1986. "Fiscal Policies in the World Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 564-594, June.
    19. Gerlinde Sinn & Hans-Werner Sinn, 1994. "Jumpstart: The Economic Unification of Germany," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262691728, December.
    20. Wendy Carlin & David Soskice, 1997. "Shocks to the System: the German Political Economy Under Stress," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 159(1), pages 57-76, January.
    21. Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1993. "Working in the Market, Working at Home, and the Acquisition of Skills: A General-Equilibrium Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 893-907, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Leena Rudanko, 2011. "Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Risk in a Frictional Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2823-2843, October.
    2. Guvenen, Fatih, 2006. "Reconciling conflicting evidence on the elasticity of intertemporal substitution: A macroeconomic perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1451-1472, October.
    3. Smolny Werner, 2009. "Wage Adjustment, Competitiveness and Unemployment – East Germany after Unification," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(2-3), pages 130-145, April.
    4. Hughes Hallett, A. & Ma, Y. & Melitz, J., 1996. "Unification and the policy predicament in Germany," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 519-544, October.
    5. Smolny, Werner, 2010. "Dynamic adjustment and long-run equilibria: Panel data estimates for the East German states," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1223-1229, September.
    6. van Wincoop, Eric, 1995. "Regional risksharing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1545-1567, October.
    7. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño Ortín, 2007. "Rational Underdevelopment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(1), pages 1-24, March.
    8. Gao, Xiaodan & Hnatkovska, Viktoria & Marmer, Vadim, 2014. "Limited participation in international business cycle models: A formal evaluation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 255-272.
    9. Ray Barrell & Dirk Willem Te Velde, 2000. "Catching‐up of East German Labour Productivity in the 1990s," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(3), pages 271-297, August.
    10. Matthew D. Shapiro & Joel Slemrod, 2003. "Consumer Response to Tax Rebates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 381-396, March.
    11. Keller, Wolfgang, 2000. "From socialist showcase to Mezzogiorno? Lessons on the role of technical change from East Germany's post-World War II growth performance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 485-514, December.
    12. Alessandro Bucciol, 2007. "Life-Cycle Models, Economic Puzzles and Temptation Preferences," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 66(1), pages 115-144, March.
    13. Paus, Eva A., 1998. "Structural adjustment and manufacturing sector competitiveness: Lessons from post-unification East Germany," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(10), pages 1839-1857, October.
    14. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Pierre Villa, 1994. "La réunification allemande du point de vue de la politique économique," Working Papers 1994-09, CEPII research center.
    15. Elmendorf, Douglas W. & Gregory Mankiw, N., 1999. "Government debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 25, pages 1615-1669, Elsevier.
    16. Kris Jacobs, 2001. "Estimating Nonseparable Preference Specifications for Asset Market Participants," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-12, CIRANO.
    17. Susanne Prantl & Alexandra Spitz‐Oener, 2009. "How does entry regulation influence entry into self‐employment and occupational mobility?1," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 17(4), pages 769-802, October.
    18. Rendon Sílvio, 2006. "Job Search And Asset Accumulation Under Borrowing Constraints ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 233-263, February.
    19. Mertens, Matthias & Müller, Steffen, 2020. "The East-West German gap in revenue productivity: Just a tale of output prices?," IWH Discussion Papers 14/2020, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    20. Isoré, Marlène & Szczerbowicz, Urszula, 2017. "Disaster risk and preference shifts in a New Keynesian model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 97-125.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unification; redistribution; tax distortions; welfare;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:442. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.upf.edu/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.upf.edu/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.