21 years old and a little bit more realistic?
East Germany`s development in the market economy shows ambiguous results. Although the re-structured economy proved itself to be growth orientated, the sustainable growth lead over the West German economy was attained only in the first half of the 1990s. Later on the catching up became smaller and smaller. Moreover employment recovered for the first time in the last upsw-ing before the global economic and financial crisis after the tremendous losses of jobs in the transitional period. Last but not least, as a result of low birth rates and emigration the shrinking number of inhabitants in East Germany could not be stopped. In the final analysis, long lasting repercussions of the inherited structures from GDR times are responsible for the backwardness of this region as well as the way of the economic transition in East Germany and regional differences in the settlements. Against this background the accomplishment of equal living standards in the eastern and western part of Germany should not be assessed in the light of medium per capita measures, but specified by comparisons between commensurable regions.