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Extent and Evolution of the Productivity Gap in Eastern Germany

  • Czarnitzki, Dirk

Since the German re?unification in 1990, Eastern Germany is a transition economy. After a phase of catching up of productivity with respect to Western Germany from 1991 to 1996, the growth rates in the producing sector have dropped below the Western German ones since 1997. This study investigates whether this macroeconomic picture holds at the microeconomic level. For the special case of Eastern Germany, I suggest to identify productivity gaps by a comparison with Western Germany as a ?productivity benchmark?. Applying an econometric matching procedure allows to study the productivity gap at the firm level in detail. Besides labor and capital, other factors like innovation or firm ownership are taken into account. The macroeconomic facts are broadly confirmed: a significant gap still remains in recent years. Moreover innovators in Eastern Germany perform worse than their Western German pendants and firms owned by Western German or foreign companies perform better than Eastern German owned ones.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 03-25.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:1019
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  1. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1719, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2000. "Market Value and Patent Citations: A First Look," NBER Working Papers 7741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Ma, Yue & Melitz, Jacques, 1994. "Unification and the Policy Predicament in Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 956, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Bronwyn H. Hall., 1999. "Innovation and Market Value," Economics Working Papers E99-265, University of California at Berkeley.
  5. Almus, Matthias & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2001. "The effects of public R&D subsidies on firms' innovation activities: the case of Eastern Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-10, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2003. "The Laggard of Europe (CESifo Forum Vol. 4, Special Issue No. 1)," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 4(SPECIALIS), pages 01-32, October.
  7. Henning Klodt, 2000. "Industrial Policy and the East German Productivity Puzzle," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(3), pages 315-333, 08.
  8. Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "From Reunification to Economic Integration: Productivity and the Labor Market in Eastern Germany," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 1-92.
  9. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  10. Fritsch, Michael & Mallok, Jörn, 1994. "Die Arbeitsproduktivität des industriellen Mittelstandes in Ostdeutschland : Stand und Entwicklungsperspektiven," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 27(1), pages 53-59.
  11. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
  12. Vera Dietrich, 1997. "Kapitalausstattung und Produktivitätsrückstand im ostdeutschen Unternehmenssektor," Wirtschaft im Wandel, Halle Institute for Economic Research, vol. 3(7), pages 5-9.
  13. Richard Blundell & Stephen Bond, 2000. "GMM Estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 321-340.
  14. Jacqueline Rothfels, 1997. "Die ostdeutsche Wirtschaftsstruktur und die Produktivitätslücke," Wirtschaft im Wandel, Halle Institute for Economic Research, vol. 3(13), pages 15-21.
  15. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
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