Comparable types of regions in East and West Germany show disparities – East German urban agglomerations have difficulties!
A discussion about the reform of regional policy in Germany and in the EU is ongoing. Against this background the article investigates the regional disparities between similar types of regions in East and West Germany after reunification. The findings do not only show a general East-West gap of economic welfare and of their determinants but also a visible spatial differentiation. It shows that the East German agglomerations have disadvantages in the field of interregional competition. They are worse endowed with crucial growth determinants compared with their West German counterparts, whereas the East-West differences for urbanized regions (where the population density is medium-sized) and rural regions are smaller. The disadvantages stated suggest a stronger concentration of regional policy in favour of these agglomerated spaces targeted on improving the locational attractiveness and strengthening their function as driving forces of the economic catch-up process in East Germany.