Is East Germany Catching Up? A Time Series Perspective

This article assesses whether the economy of East Germany is catching up with the West German region in terms of welfare. While the primary measure for convergence and catching up is per capita output, we also look at other macroeconomic indicators such as unemployment rates, wage rates and production levels in the manufacturing sector. In contrast to existing studies of convergence between regions of the reunified Germany, our approach is based purely upon the time series dimension and is thus directly focused on the catching up process in East Germany as a region. Our testing set-up includes standard ADF unit root tests as well as unit root tests that endogenously allow for a break in the deterministic component of the process. We find evidence of catching up for East Germany for most of the indicators. However, the convergence speed is slow, and thus it can be expected that the catching up process will take further decades until the regional gap is closed.

01. June 2010

Authors Bernd Aumann Rolf Scheufele

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