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Suburban Municipalities on Trial – Analysing the Sustainability of Socioeconomic Structures at the Example of the Municipality Schkopau

This article analyses socio-economic criteria of municipalities next to large cities. In a case study, we examine the municipality Schkopau in the south of Saxony-Anhalt. We ask if the fusion of smaller communes to this “new” municipality created in 2004 was rational in terms of sustainable socio-economic structures. Hence, we use the criteria of satellite towns developed by Boustedt. We show that the criterion of political independence is assured by law. Meanwhile, the criteria independence of culture and urban development are not completely fulfilled. Due to the high density of industrial enterprises, the municipality has high tax revenue and therefore a strong financial basis. Also, the criterion of the minimum population figure is implemented. Based on the specific results of the satellite town criteria, we could not find definite results for the municipality Schkopau, they are rather ambivalent. This result is partly caused by the strong interactions within the functional area of the provinces Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Due to the high dynamic of the structural change, we also point out the necessity to enhance the criteria for sustainable socio-economic structures of local and regional municipalities.

23. July 2008

Authors Sabine Döhler Alexander Kubis

Also in this issue

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Aktuelle Trends: Renditeanstieg in Ostdeutschland zum Stillstand gekommen

Hans-Ulrich Brautzsch

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 7, 2008

Abstract

In den Unternehmen des Verarbeitenden Gewerbes Ostdeutschlands betrug die Rendite im Jahr 2006 – aktuellere Daten liegen nicht vor – im Durchschnitt 3,9%, in Westdeutschland lag sie bei 3,2%. Damit stieg sie in der ostdeutschen Industrie das dritte Jahr in Folge nicht weiter an, während die westdeutsche Branche den Rückstand verkürzen konnte. Dies ergab eine im Auftrag des IWH durchgeführte Sonderauswertung der Kostenstrukturen, die jährlich vom Statistischen Bundesamt bei einer repräsentativen Stichprobe von west- und ostdeutschen Unternehmen mit 20 und mehr Beschäftigten erhoben wurden.

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Editorial

Ulrich Blum

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 7, 2008

Abstract

Das Steuersystem einer liberalen Demokratie will im Gegensatz zu dem einer paternalistischen Demokratie möglichst wenig in die Entscheidungsfreiheit des Individuums eingreifen. Wie problematisch dies nämlich sein kann, enthüllt die Tabaksteuer, eine von Bismarck ersonnene Luxussteuer, die inzwischen aus Gesundheitsgründen zur Lenkungssteuer entwickelt wurde. Was aber, wenn Bürger nicht umsteuern? In unteren sozialen Schichten werden oft wichtige Ausgaben verdrängt, beispielsweise bei der Erziehung der Kinder. Infolge solcher – zunächst nicht gewollter – Folgen sollte der Staat mit Lenkungssteuern vorsichtig umgehen. In der Energiepolitik in Deutschland finden zunehmende Lenkungseingriffe statt, wie das Kumulieren von Verbrauchs- und Produktsteuern sowie Energieabgaben zur Subventionierung bestimmter Einspeisungen zeigt – ergänzt um Umweltlizenzen.

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Parenting Benefit – A New Risk for Companies

Nicole Nulsch Henry Dannenberg

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 7, 2008

Abstract

One of the aims of the new parenting benefit – introduced by the German government in January 2007 – is to motivate fathers to take parental leave in order to take care of their young children. Until now, the effects of the parenting benefit have been discussed predominantly from the viewpoint of family policy. In contrast, this paper analyses how companies are affected by the new law. In 2007, the number of fathers who stayed at home to spend more time with their children increased significantly. More than half of the working applicants were already fathers. In the past, it was easy for companies to reduce their risk of losing an important employee due to the birth of a child as companies rather hired men than women. But this strategy will be less important in the future. It is expected that the risk-environment of companies will change because of a larger group of fathers taking parental leave. Such a changed risk-environment could increase the career opportunities of women and might reduce the gender wage gap. However, it is also expected that the overall risk of companies increases. Assumed that companies need equity to cover risks, an increase of the overall risk reduces investment opportunities if it is not possible to increase equity in the same way. This could influence the current economic development negatively.

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IWH-Bauumfrage im Juni 2008: Tiefbau im Abwind, Ausbau im Aufwind

Brigitte Loose

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 7, 2008

Abstract

Die Geschäftslage bewerten die 300 vom IWH befragten ostdeutschen Bauunternehmen im Juni per saldo besser als in der vorangegangenen Umfrage im April. Anders als sonst im Frühsommer fehlt es dieser Aufwärtsbewegung aber an Schubkraft, sodass die Geschäftslage unter Ausschluss der Saisoneffekte auf dem Niveau vom April verbleibt. Die Geschäftsaussichten bis zum Jahresende werden sowohl gegenüber dem Vorjahr als auch gegenüber der Umfrage im April schlechter bewertet. Diese Gesamtkonstellation ist im Wesentlichen der verhaltenen Stimmung im Bauhauptgewerbe geschuldet, während sich das Geschäftsklima im Ausbaugewerbe im Aufwind befindet.

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Business Cycle Forecast, Summer 2008: Price Hikes and Financial Crisis Cloud Growth Prospects

Arbeitskreis Konjunktur

in: Wirtschaft im Wandel, No. 7, 2008

Abstract

In the summer of 2008 the turmoil on financial markets and that on the markets for energy dim the prospects for the world economy. The acceleration of the oil price hike during the first half of the year has led to an increase in expected inflation and to higher interest rates on capital markets, while stock prices are going down. At the same time, the financial crisis is far from over, and banks in the US and in Western Europe continue in their efforts to consolidate their balance sheets. Thus, the expansion of credit supply will be scarcer in the next quarters. All this means that demand will slow in the developed economies during the next quarters. However, the massive fiscal stimulus will help the US economy to stabilize, and the world economy still benefits from the high growth dynamics in the emerging markets economies. All in all, the developed economies will not reach their potential growth rate before the second half of 2009. In Germany, the upswing comes to a temporary halt during summer of this year. Slowing foreign demand and the oil price hike induce firms to postpone investments, and private consumption, the soft spot of the upswing in Germany, is still sluggish due to high inflation rates that impair purchasing power. For the end of 2008, chances are good that growth in Germany accelerates again, because German exporters are still penetrating emerging markets as competitiveness does not diminish. All in all, the German economy will grow by 2.3% in 2008 (mainly due to the very high dynamics at the beginning of the year) and by 1.3% in 2009. A main risk of this forecast is that monetary policy fails in easing the high inflationary pressures. As to fiscal policy, efforts to reach sustainable public finances should not weaken.

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