Is the 'Central German Metropolitan Region' Spatially Integrated? An Empirical Assessment of Commuting Relations
The 'Central German Metropolitan Region' is a network of cities and their surroundings, located in the three East-German states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. It was founded to bring the bundled strengths of these cities into an inter-municipal cooperation, for making use of the possible advantages of a polycentric region. As theory claims, a precondition for gains from polycentricity is spatial integration of the region. In particular, markets for high skilled labour should be integrated. To assess how this precondition is fulfilled in Central Germany, in the framework of a doubly constrained gravity model the commuting relations between the functional regions of the (until 2013) 11 core cities of the network are analysed. In particular for higher educated employees, the results display that commuting relations are determined not only by distance, but also by the state borders that cross the area.
26.11.2015 • 43/2015
Political lendings of German Savings Banks
A recent paper of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) suggests that German local politicians take advantage of their influence on the credit decisions of German savings banks. “German savings banks on average increase the supply of commercial loans by €7.6 million in the year of a local election”, says IWH president Reint E. Gropp. Loans that the savings banks generate during election years also perform worse and lead to lower interest income. The results suggest that local politicians take advantage of savings banks to further their chances of re-election.
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Coordination between Municipalities and Local Non-Municipal Public Units (NMPUs) for Supporting Urban Economic Development: Theoretical Analysis and Empirical Evidence for the Example of Universities in Germany
Koordination raumwirksamer Politik: Mehr Effizienz und Wirksamkeit von Politik durch abgestimmte Arbeitsteilung,
In many European cities, policymakers are trying to change the local paths of economic development to head in new directions, e.g. by trying to become a location for Non-Municipal Public Units (NMPUs), like federal special agencies, state museums, military bases, universities or publicly funded research institutes. But as the competencies for such local NMPUs are allocated to higher levels of government, the municipal level has no direct formal institutional responsibilities for influencing their location. Once a NMPU has chosen a certain location, support from the municipality may, however, stabilize the NMPU. There are some categories of NMPUs that should have considerable interest in local conditions, as determined by the municipal level. This paper first theoretically categorizes NMPUs with regard to their importance for the urban economy, with regard to the importance of local conditions for the performance of NMPUs and with regard to their degree of fiscal autonomy. It is shown that universities are one example of NMPUs where the relevance of coordinating activities with the municipalities is fairly high. The benefits of universities for local economic development have often been discussed. From the point of view of universities, their capacity to attract human capital depends on factors which may be influenced by the municipalities. This means that there is a reciprocal relationship between municipalities and universities; coordination by cooperation between the partners could be useful for both – but in practice there is often a lack of cooperation. Information policy is one relevant field for coordination: the city should highlight publicly the advantages of local universities; the universities should highlight the advantages of their city. As information policy is a field for which empirical data is available, the empirical part of the paper presents results from an analysis based on the internet presentations of selected cities and universities. It is shown that in most cities the level of coordination in this field is so far quite low. One possible way to achieve a higher degree of coordination could be to introduce fiscal incentives for cities.
The Development of Cities and Municipalities in Central and Eastern Europe: Introduction for a Special Issue of 'Urban Research and Practice'
Urban Research & Practice, Vol. 7 (3),
Since the 1990s, local governments in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries have been confronted by completely new structures and developments. This came after more than 40 years (or even longer in the case of the former Soviet Union) under a socialist regime and behind an iron curtain which isolated them from the non-socialist world. A lack of resources had led to an underinvestment in the refurbishment of older buildings, while relatively cheap ‘prefabricated’ housing had been built, not only in the outskirts of cities, but also within city centres. A lack of resources had also resulted in the fact that the socialist regimes were generally unable to replace old buildings with ‘modern’ ones; hence, there is a very rich heritage of historical monuments in many of these cities today. The centrally planned economies and the development of urban structures (including the shifts of population between cities and regions) were determined by ideology, political rationality and the integration of all CEE countries into the production schemes of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and its division of labour by location. The sudden introduction of a market economy, private property, democratic rules, local autonomy for cities and municipalities and access to the global economy and society may be seen as a kind of ‘natural experiment’. How would these new conditions shape the national systems of cities and municipalities? Which cities would shrink and which would grow? How would the relationship between core cities and their surrounding municipalities develop? And what would happen within these cities and with their built environment?
Können altindustrielle Städte zu “Hot Spots“ der Kreativwirtschaft werden? Das Beispiel der Medienwirtschaft in Halle
F. Amey und J. Ringel (Hrsg.), Hotspots der Stadtentwicklung. Methoden, Praxis und Perspektiven der gemanagten Stadt,
In recent years, creative industries are more and more regarded as important drivers for local economic development. Especially media industry is often seen as a branch with a high potential for those cities where traditional industries have collapsed. Also the city of Halle has tried to stimulate economic activities in the field of media industry. This had been rather successful in several sections of media industry. But the set of locational factors in Halle is not really in favor for media industry. Therefore the potentials for future development are probably limited.
4th Halle Forum on Urban Economic Growth: „The Development of Cities in Central and Eastern Europe“
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Das Halle Forum on Urban Economic Growth findet seit 2006 im zweijährigen Rhythmus am IWH statt. Die Tagung vom 29. und 30. November 2012 befasste sich mit Problemen der Entwicklung mittel- und osteuropäischer Städte. Thematisch umfassten die Vorträge ein breites Spektrum, in dessen Mitte die Frage nach der Wirkung formeller und informeller Institutionen auf die Stadtentwicklung stand. Sie verstand sich damit gleichzeitig als Auftaktveranstaltung des multinational angelegten IWH-Projekts „The Economic Re-positioning of Post-socialist Cities (RePoCit) – Institutional Settings, Local Strategies and Urban Economic Growth“.
Gemeindegröße, Verwaltungsform und Effizienz der kommunalen Leistungserstellung – Das Beispiel Sachsen-Anhalt
Municipality Size, Institutions and Efficiency of Municipal Service Provision: The Case of Saxony-Anhalt In this contribution we analyze the determinants of the efficiency of municipal service provision using the example of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. The focus lies on the effects of municipality size, institutional setting and spatial or demographic factors. We perform a non-parametric efficiency estimation (Data Envelopment Analysis and the Convex-order-m approach by Daraio and Simar). In contrast to previous studies, we choose the aggregate budget of municipal associations as the object of our analysis since important competences are settled at the joint administrative level. The results show that municipal associations do not necessarily have to be less efficient than independent municipalities. Furthermore, the results for scale efficiency indicate that most municipalities of Saxony-Anhalt had a sufficiently efficient “firm size” in 2004. Moreover, demographic factors and settlement structures have a significant effect on the technical efficiency of towns and municipalities: While a higher population density might be, to some extent, efficiency-enhancing, an increasing share of senior citizens or population growth might have the opposite effect. The integration of spatial interdependencies in efficiency estimations is a complex problem that has only been solved insufficiently yet. However, the estimation results for Moran’s I show mostly statistically significant but, nevertheless, only little or moderate relationships between the single inputs and outputs. Hence, there is no cause for concern about a substantial bias in the results if we neglect spatial interrelationships in our calculation. Furthermore, we found no evidence that the surrounding municipalities benefit from their proximity to core cities by increased efficiency.
Cities and Regions in Locational Competition – New Tendencies, Effects and Policy Consequences
Forschungs- und Sitzungsberichte der ARL, Bd. 238,
Due to ongoing globalisation tendencies and the increasing intensity of exchanges of information, goods and services, competition between regions seems likely to continue to intensify. Numerous changes in framework conditions also give rise to new approaches to planning and management. These range from various types of competition to questions relating to new strategies for regional and urban development policy. This volume uses various different issues to trace, order and specify the multiple dimensions and underlying causes of structural changes in competition between locations, supported by cross-sectional studies primarily based on existing investigations. As empirical proof of the concrete consequences of changed competitive conditions is largely lacking in the existing literature, explorative case-studies of chosen cities and regions are also used to investigate the extent to which changes expected to arise from new structures of locational competition can be verified and how the political actors responsible have reacted thus far.