German Unification: Macroeconomic Consequences for the Country
F. Heinemann, U. Klüh, S. Watzka (eds): Monetary Policy, Financial Crises, and the Macroeconomy. Springer,
This paper shows basic macroeconomic consequences of the German unification for the country in time series spanning from 20 years before the event until 25 years thereafter. Essential findings can well be explained by elementary economic theory. Moreover, it is shown that the German economy had been off steady state already before unification in important aspects. In particular, a steep increase in the current account balance during the 1980s suggests that globalization strongly affected the German economy at that time. While unification stopped the trend to an ever more open economy and to a rising trade surplus for about 10 years, the fall of the iron curtain eventually even increased this trend in the long run.
Economic Transition in Unified Germany and Implications for Korea
H.-G. Jeong and G. Heimpold (eds.): Economic Transition in Unified Germany and Implications for Korea. Policy References 17-13. Sejong: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy,
The reunification of Germany, which marked the end of the Cold War in the 20th century, is regarded as one of the most exemplary cases of social integration in human history. Nearly three decades after the German reunification, the economic and social shocks that occurred at the beginning of the reunification process have largely been resolved. Moreover, the unified Germany has grown into one of the most advanced economies in the world.
The unification process that Germany underwent may not necessarily be the way that the Republic of Korea would choose. However, the economic and social exchanges between East and West Germany prior to unification, and the cooperation in a myriad of policies based on these exchanges, served as the crucial foundation for unification. The case of Germany will surely help us find a better way for the re-unification of the Korean Peninsula.
In this context, this is the first edition of a joint research which provides diverse insights on social and economic issues during the process of unification. It consists of nine chapters whose main topics include policies on macroeconomic stabilization, the privatization of state-owned enterprises in East Germany, labor policies and the migration of labor, integration of the social safety nets of the North and South, and securing finances for reunification. To start with, the first part covers macroeconomic stabilization measures, which include policies implemented by the federal government of Germany to overcome macroeconomic shocks directly after the reunification. There was a temporary setback in the economy at the initial phase of reunification as the investment per GDP went down and the level of fiscal debt escalated, reverting to its original trend prior to the reunification. While it appears the momentum for growth was compromised by reunification from the perspective of growth rate of real GDP, this state did not last long and benefits have outpaced the costs since 2000.
In the section which examines the privatization of state-owned enterprises in East Germany, an analysis was conducted on the modernization of industrial infrastructure of East German firms. There was a surge in investment in East German area at the beginning stages but this was focused on a specific group of firms. Most of the firms were privatized through unofficial channels, with a third of these conducted in a management buy-out (MBO) process that was highly effective. Further analysis of a firm called Jenoptik, which was successfully bailed out, is incorporated as to draw implications of its accomplishments.
In the section on migration, we examine how the gap between the unemployment rates in the West and East have narrowed as the population flow shifted from the West to East. Consequently, there was no significant deviation in terms of the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) per capita in each state of East Germany. However, as the labor market stabilized in East Germany and population flows have weakened, the deviation will become larger. Meanwhile, if we make a prediction about the movement of population between the North and the South, which show a remarkable difference in their economic circumstances, a radical reunification process such as Germany’s case would force 7% of the population of the North to move towards the South. Upon reunification, the estimated unemployment rate in North Korea would remain at least 30% for the time being. In order to reduce the initial unemployment rate, it is crucial to design a program that trains the unemployed and to build a system that predicts changes in labor demand.
It seems nearly impossible to apply the social safety nets of the South to the North, as there is a systemic difference in ideologies. Taking steps toward integration would be the most suitable option in the case of the Koreas. We propose to build a sound groundwork for stabilizing the interest rates and exchange rates, maintain stable fiscal policies, raise momentum for economic growth and make sure people understand the means required to financially support the North in order to reduce the gap between the two.
This book was jointly organized and edited by Dr. Hyung-gon Jeong of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP) and Dr. Gerhard Heimpold of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). We believe that this report, which examines numerous social and economic agendas that emerged during the reunification of Germany, will provide truly important reference for both Koreas. It is also our view that it will serve as a stepping-stone to establish policies in regard to South-North exchanges across numerous sectors prior to discussions of reunification. KIEP will continue to work with IWH and contribute its expertise to the establishment of grounds for unification policies.
EFN Report Autumn 2015: Economic Outlook for the Euro Area in 2015 and 2016
European Forecasting Network Reports,
For the end of this year and for 2016, chances are good that production in advanced economies will continue to expand a bit faster than at trend rates, while growth dynamics in emerging markets economies will not strengthen or even continue to decrease.
Since autumn 2014, production in the euro area expands at an annualized rate of about 1.5%. The recovery appears to be broad based, with contributions from private consumption, exports, and investment into fixed capital, although it fell back in the second quarter after a strong increase at the beginning of the year. From a regional perspective, the recovery is as well quite broad based: production is expanding in almost every country, surprisingly and according to official data, including Greece.
Structural impediments still limit the ability of the euro area economy to grow strongly: firms and, in particular, private households are only slowly reducing their heavy debt burdens.
According to our forecasts, the euro area GDP will grow by 1.6% in 2015 and by 1.9% in 2016. The high increase in the number of refugees in 2015 will, in principle, positively affect private as well as public consumption, but the effect should be below 0.1 percentage points relative to GDP.
Our inflation forecast for 2015 is 0.1%. For 2016, we expect that inflation will increase to 1.3%, which is still below the ECB’s target of 2%.
Macroeconomic Policy Formation in Africa - General Issues
African Development Perspectives Yearbook, Vol. 16,
In Volume 16 with the title “Macroeconomic Policy Formation in Africa - General Issues“ new macroeconomic policy frameworks for Africa are discussed. Emphasis is on macroeconomic policies focusing on sustainable and inclusive growth, especially by considering the employment targeting of macroeconomic policy frameworks in Africa. The responses of the macroeconomic policymakers in Africa to the Euro crisis and to the recent globalization trends are reviewed and analyzed. The role of macroeconomic policies for generating sustainable and inclusive growth is also discussed. In Volume 16 also the economics of the “Arab Spring“ countries is analyzed, by focusing on the socioeconomic conditions and the economic policy factors that have led to the “Arab Spring“ events. Highlighted are the cases of Egypt and Tunisia, and the new strategic and policy frameworks in these countries after the democratic changes. An agenda for comprehensive policy reforms for the Arab countries in Africa is presented. In forthcoming Volume 17 with the title “Macroeconomic Policy Formation in Africa - Country Cases“ macroeconomic policies in African post-conflict countries and in the ECOWAS region are considered. Volume 17 contains also a section with Book Reviews and Book Notes.
Geoadditive Models for Regional Count Data: An Application to Industrial Location
ERSA conference papers,
We propose a geoadditive negative binomial model (Geo-NB-GAM) for regional count data which allows us to simultaneously address some important methodological issues, such as spatial clustering, nonlinearities and overdispersion. We apply this model to study location determinants of inward greenfield investments occurred over the 2003-2007 period in 249 European regions. The inclusion of a geoadditive component (a smooth spatial trend surface) permits us to control for spatial unobserved heterogeneity which induces spatial clustering. Allowing for nonlinearities reveals, in line with theoretical predictions, that the positive effect of agglomeration economies fades as the density of economic activities reaches some limit value. However, no matter how dense the economic activity becomes, our results suggest that congestion costs would never overcome positive agglomeration externalities.