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Social Distress and Economic Integration

We analyze whether social distress from income comparisons affects attitudes towards the integration of economies. Using Germany’s division as natural experiment, we find that East Germans’ feelings of relative deprivation with respect to better-off West Germans led to significantly more support for the upcoming German re-unification.

19. June 2016

Authors Lutz Schneider

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cover_DP_2016-21.jpg

Social Distress and Economic Integration

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 21, 2016

Abstract

We analyze whether social distress from income comparisons affects attitudes towards the integration of economies. Using Germany’s division as natural experiment, we find that East Germans’ feelings of relative deprivation with respect to better-off West Germans led to significantly more support for the upcoming German re-unification.

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