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Eastern Germany Since Unification: Wage Subsidies Remain a Better Way

David Begg and Richard Portes ()

No 730, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: In Spring 1991, we argued that the centrepiece of German policy towards unification should be a universal, temporary wage subsidy in Eastern Germany and the elimination of all other subsidies. Subsequent events have strengthened the analytical case for and practical importance of this policy. This paper describes the performance of the Eastern German economy since unification, the reasons behind it, and the principal policy responses. It then identifies the specific market failures attributable to unification and shows that the various current policy interventions are poorly targeted. Finally, the paper sets out our proposal, explains why it minimizes distortions, and deals with common objections to a wage subsidy.

Keywords: Germany; Labour Mobility; Migration; Wage Subsidies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J30 J61 O52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1992-09
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Journal Article: Eastern Germany since unification: wage subsidies remain a better way (1993) Downloads
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