Long-Term Growth Projections for Eastern Germany
Recent research comes to the conclusion that the eastern part of Germany not only heavily de-pends on its western counterpart, but that it essentially is dying a slow death. Arguments for this point of view reach from deindustrialisation and the lack of Headquarters of national and international Corporations to the rapidly aging society. The study at hand assumes that economic development in a specific region does not only de-pend on the quantity and quality of its factors of production, but also on the overall conditions in the national economy a region is connected to. The analysis uses a framework in which the regional production factors are limited to the population and its development. Just as produc-tion, output is restricted to the value added of the region. Since data is only available for the ten years between 1995 - 2005, a panel econometric approach was chosen. For this purpose, the 97 spatial planning regions of Germany (Raumordnungsregionen) were divided into four groups according to their economic growth; slightly surprising, nine regions from Central Germany and Brandenburg fall into the top two groups. The estimation results show that both economic growth in Germany as a whole as well as increases in the regional number of inhabitants positively influence regional value added. Fur-thermore, the impact of national growth is largest in the group with the highest regional value added and lowest in the group with the smallest regional output. On the other hand, lagged values of regional growth have the greatest impact in the low growth group and the smallest impact in the high growth group. The main result of the study is that regional economic growth will not necessarily stop when the population is shrinking. After 2020, though, the growth rates of the gross domestic prod-uct will decrease. At the same time, the growth disparities between the different regions will not decline, a process aided by the demographic developments in Germany.