SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Boltho, Andrea, Carlin, Wendy and Scaramozzino, Pasquale (2018) 'Why East Germany Did Not Become a New Mezzogiorno.' Journal of Comparative Economics, 46 (1). pp. 308-325.

Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

Download (1MB) | Preview


Economic integration is generally thought to favour convergence in the economic performance of previously separated regions; but this is far from universally true, as the experience of the members of the Eurozone testifies. The paper considers the two sharply contrasting cases of East and West German convergence following reunification and the enduring poverty of the Italian Mezzogiorno since Italian unification a century and a half ago. In both countries, political integration delivers much higher consumption in the lagging relative to the leading region than of per capita GDP. Consumption convergence can be supported by transfers but ‘production’ convergence ultimately requires catch-up in the production of tradeables. The paper demonstrates the radically different performance of the tradeable sector in the two cases, and suggests that this may be the result of differences in labour market flexibility, in investment performance and in the social norms required for the production of complex manufacturing.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Convergence, Tradeables, Labour market flexibility, Institutional quality
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Finance & Management
ISSN: 01475967
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2017 11:43

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item