Economic convergence across German regions in light of empirical findings
Cambridge Journal of Economics,
This paper challenges the convergence hypothesis advanced by R. Barro and X. Sala-i-Martin as it is applied to explain the forces behind, patterns exhibited by and time line for German regional convergence. Exposed in some detail are the spurious neoclassical and marginalist assumptions, purporting that 'automatic' forces would indeed bring about a convergence in per capita incomes between two German regions. A trend exhibiting slow growth in per capita income in Germany's eastern region renders a Beta coefficient so low as to rule out convergence altogether. In addition, capital fails to move between German regions in the pattern assumed by the convergence hypothesis.
Economic Capability of East German Regions: Results of a Cluster Analysis
This paper analyses the economic capability of East German regions compared with West German regions. Based on new growth theory and new economic geography, and using relevant empirical literature, regions are clustered according to a set of growth factors. The clustering results find little evidence that the economic capability of East German regions is already comparable with West German regions. Economic disadvantages are particularly rooted in lower technical progress, a lack of entrepreneurship, lower business and industrial concentration, and a loss of human capital. However, there are a few East German regions with a high economic capability, but even those suffer from economic disadvantages such as lower technical progress, lower industrial activity and a poorer regional accessibility.
Analysis of statements made in favour of and against the adoption of competition law in developing and transition economies
The paper is concerned with documenting and assessing statements made by policymakers, opinion formers, and other stakeholders in favour and against the adoption of competition laws with particular reference to transition and developing countries which have not yet enacted these kind of laws. For example, claims that competition enforcement might reduce the inflow of foreign direct investment, or that other policies are successfully used as substitutes for competition law, are assessed. In a first step, the method of generalized analysis structures the list of statements around core issues of common features to make them accessible to further interpretation and assessment. The paper shows that some claims are in fact country or region specific, and specific to the development level of the respective countries. In a second step, the core issues are assessed according to economic and legal criteria. Since the analysis focuses on transition and developing countries, the criteria for economic assessment are predominantly economic growth and development issues, but also include the economic coherency of a set of claims submitted by stakeholders in a given country. The criteria for legal assessment include whether claims are problematic in light of WTO-principles, or are even born out of a political objective which is incompatible with the spirit, if not the letter of WTO-rules.
A Study of the Competitiveness of Regions based on a Cluster Analysis: The Example of East Germany
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper examines whether some East German regions have already achieved the same economic capability as the regions in West Germany, so that they are on a competitive basis with the West German regions and are able to reach the same economic level in the long run. If this is not the case, it is important to know more about the reasons for the economic weakness of the East German regions twelve years after unification.
The study is based on a cluster analysis. Criteria for the cluster formation are several economic indicators, which provide information about the economic capability of regions. The choice of the indicators is based on a review of results of the theoretical and empirical literature on the new growth theory and new economic geography.
The results show that most of the East German regions have not yet reached the economic capability and competitiveness of their West German counterparts so that they - from the viewpoint of the new growth theory and the new economic geography - are not in the position to reach the same economic level. According to these theories economic disadvantages are most notably the consequences of less technical progress, a lack of entrepreneurship and fewer business concentration. Under these points it is especially noteworthy that young well educated people leave these East German regions so that human capital might will turn into a bottle-neck in the near future. Only a few regions in East Germany - those with important agglomerations - are comparable to West German regions that are characterised by average capability and competitiveness, but not to those with above average economic capability and competitiveness. Even those more advanced East German regions still suffer from a slower technical progress.
There are important policy implications based on these results: regional policy in East Germany was not able to assist raising all regions to a sufficient level of competitiveness. It may be more effective to concentrate the regional policy efforts on a selection of important agglomerations. This has also strong implications for the EU regional policy assuming that the accession countries will have similar problems in catching up to the economic level of the EU as have the East German regions.