Economic convergence across German regions in light of empirical findings

This paper challenges the convergence hypothesis advanced by R. Barro and X. Sala-i-Martin as it is applied to explain the forces behind, patterns exhibited by and time line for German regional convergence. Exposed in some detail are the spurious neoclassical and marginalist assumptions, purporting that 'automatic' forces would indeed bring about a convergence in per capita incomes between two German regions. A trend exhibiting slow growth in per capita income in Germany's eastern region renders a Beta coefficient so low as to rule out convergence altogether. In addition, capital fails to move between German regions in the pattern assumed by the convergence hypothesis.

29. March 2006

Authors Udo Ludwig John B. Hall

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