Post-Unification Wage Growth in East Germany
NBER Working Paper No. 6878
Following monetary union with west Germany in June 1990, the median real monthly wage of prime age east German workers rose by 83% in six years. I use the German Socio-Economic Panel data to investigate the determinants of this wage growth and some of its implications. For the 1990-1991 period I find that the biggest gainers were low-wage workers generally, and women and the less educated specifically. In the 1991-1996 period the biggest gainers were women and the better educated. Job changing rates were high; a majority of workers had changed jobs by 1996. The return to job changing, particularly changing to a job in the west, was high in 1990-1991 but fell greatly in the later period, so that overall only 18% of wage growth was due to job changing within the east, and 7% to east-west job changing.