On the presence of important growth factors in German regions along the border with Poland
The German regions bordering on Poland are regarded as economically weak. Prior to the EU enlargement there was great uncertainty about the economic prospects of these regions. Against this background this contribution tries to shed some light on this debate about the future of the border regions. The empirical research shows two different findings: Firstly, the border space is not a homogeneous one. Rather, certain sub-regions show strengths – for instance the university towns in terms of the availability of human capital and of service industries. Other districts are remarkable for their great share of employees in the manufacturing sector as well as for their exceptionally high industrial investment. Secondly, the border regions show an endowment with essential growth determinants which is often below East Germany as a whole. But this is the case in many other East German regions too. The East-West disparities turn out to be much more serious than the intra-East German disparities.