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Kapitalausstattung ostdeutscher Arbeitsplätze: Rückstand nicht überbewerten

By Joachim Ragnitz

Abstract

New jobs depend heavily on productive investment. As nearly 800 bio DM were invested in the East German enterprise sector since 1990, most existing jobs can be regarded potentially competitive now. However, capital intensity is still much lower than in West Germany and reaches a level of only 75 per cent. In manufacturing, however, capital intensity is only slightly lower than in the old Laender. There are mainly two reasons for the low capital intensity in the aggregate: The dominance of small firms producing regularly with a small capital stock per employee, and lower wages in East Germany compared with West Germany: Although capital prices are distorted by high subsidies, factor price relations favour labor to capital. This leads to the conclusion that low capital intensity reflects an optimum; convergence is therefore not necessarily to occur.

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