12.12.2019 • 24/2019
Global economy slowly gains momentum – but Germany still stuck in a downturn
In 2020, the global economy is likely to benefit from the recent thaw in trade disputes. Germany’s manufacturing sector, however, will recover only slowly. “In 2020, the German economy will probably grow at a rate of 1.1%, and adjusted for the unusually high number of working days the growth rate will only be 0.7%”, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and vice president at Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). With an estimated growth rate of 1.3%, production in East Germany will outpace total German production growth.
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Industrial Cores in East Germany and Its Interaction with the Surrounding Territories—Findings from Four Case Studies
List Forum für Wirtschafts- und Finanzpolitik,
Subject to this article is how four cases of so called industrial cores have developed in East Germany since 1990. Industrial cores represent former state-owned firms which were regarded as economically viable by the Treuhand. But there was no chance to privatize them in the short run. The case studies show the development prior to and after privatization. A special focus is laid on the interaction between the respective firm and its spatial environment. To sum up: All four firms are still existent. They provide competitive goods and services. Nonetheless, the interaction with the surrounding region differs from case to case. There were spin-offs in all cases. Organizational units previously belonging to the former state owned firms were split up, and became independent firms. In addition, new firms were established. Partly the establishment of new firms was supported directly by—de facto—structural policy measures implemented by the core firms. Partly the new establishments were simply cases of co-location resulting from a prospering regional environment. Taking the four cases, urban areas obviously formed a particularly fertile economic environment.
East Germany Three Decades After the Wall Came Down: What has Been Achieved and What Should Economic Policy Do?
The persistent difference in productivity between East and West Germany not only results from the relative absence of large firms based in the East as many believe. Companies of all sizes exhibit an East-West productivity gap. The gap is larger in urban regions. Scarcity of skilled labour has emerged as the new barrier to business development. In order to boost productivity, economic policy should avoid additional subsidies that are conditional on creating jobs. Additionally, the potential of East German urban areas should be better explored. Mitigating the shortage in qualified workers requires in-migration of skilled labour from abroad, supported by an open mindset and environment.
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