Can Korea Learn from German Unification?
IWH Discussion Papers,
We first analyze pre-unification similarities and differences between the two Germanys and the two Koreas in terms of demographic, social, political and economic status. An important issue is the degree of international openness. “Stone-age” type communism of North Korea and the seclusion of the population prevented inner-Korean contacts and contacts with rest of the world. This may create enormous adjustment costs if institutions, especially informal institutions, change. We go on by showing how transition and integration interact in a potential unification process based on the World Bank Revised Minimum Standard Model (RMSM) and on the Salter-Swan-Meade model. In doing so, we relate the macro and external impacts on an open economy to its macro-sectoral structural dynamics. The findings suggest that it is of utmost importance to relate microeconomic policies to the macroeconomic ties and side conditions for both parts of the country. Evidence from Germany suggests that the biggest general error in unification was neglecting these limits, especially limitations to policy instruments. Econometric analysis supports these findings. In the empirical part, we consider unification as an “investment” and track down the (by-and-large immediate to medium-term) costs and the (by-and-large long-term) benefits of retooling a retarded communist economy. We conclude that, from a South-Korean
perspective, the Korean unification will become relatively much more expensive than the German unification and, thus, not only economic, but to a much larger degree political considerations must include the tying of neighboring countries into the convergence process. We finally provide, 62 years after Germany’s division and 20 years after unification, an outlook on the strength of economic inertia in order to show that it may take much more than a generation to compensate the damage inflicted by the communist system.
State Aid in the Enlarged European Union. An Overview
Jens Hölscher, Nicole Nulsch, Johannes Stephan
In the early phase of transition that started with the 1990s, Central and Eastern European Countries pursued economic restructuring of the enterprise sector that involved massive injections of state support. Also foreign investment from the West and facilitation of the development of a market economy involved massive injections of state support. With their accession to the European Union (EU), levels and forms of state aid came under critical review by the European Commission. This inquiry investigates whether the integration of the new member states operates on a level playing field with respect to state aid. Quantitative and qualitative analysis is relied upon to answer this key, as well as other, related questions. Findings suggest that in recent years a level playing field across the EU has indeed emerged. State aid in the new EU member countries is rather handled more strictly than laxer compared to the ‘old’ EU countries.
Evaluationsbericht: Das Internet strategisch richtig nutzen
Albrecht Kauffmann, P. J. J. Welfens, M. Vogelsang
Diskussionsbeiträge des Europäischen Instituts für Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen (EIIW), Universität Potsdam, Nr. 79,
Using the internet and internetbased services is now common among medium and large firms in Germany. However, for smaller firms (SMEs) the use of internet application is a new challenge to which they still have to respond – this is crucial for remaining competitive. The project Adapt2 “Using the Internet in an adaquate and strategic way“ looks into the effects of SMEs' basic steps towards the internet. We focus on adequacy of government promotion of SME activities – specifically firms from the sector producing machinery and equipment are analysed. The project was led by ZENIT GmbH, Mülheim a.d. Ruhr; the whole project also involved participation of the European Institute for International Economic Relations (EIIW). As part of a broader evaluation EIIW also conducted surveys – both focussing on firms involved in the project and in other firms from the same sector. It turned out that specific measures of support indeed were helpful for SMEs; obviously, there is additional need for further practical support and research.