29 years after the Wall fell: Why is eastern Germany still lagging behind western Germany?

 

Nov. 9, 1989 was a historical turning point. This week, we look back and forward, bringing you different perspectives on the 29th anniversary of the fall of the Wall.

Though total employment in Germany has reached an all-time high, eastern Germany continues to lag behind western Germany. One reason for this, says Alexander Kritikos, Research Director at the German Institute for Economic Research, is that the eastern states lack large industries and companies.

We ask Kritikos, who is also a Professor of Economics at the University of Potsdam, about the relationship between the demographics and economies of the eastern and western states and how the divisions play out in politics. In looking back to the fall of the Wall, we also ask Kritikos whether or not it was a realistic goal that eastern Germany might quickly catch up to western Germany.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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