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July 1, 2013
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The findings of the latest Pew Research Center survey paint an impressive picture of the economic divergences within the euro area. The share of respondents in Germany assessing the current situation as “good”, for instance, has risen from 63% in 2007 to 75% currently, while this share has slumped heavily in all other European countries included in the survey. German companies have made particular use of the opening up of eastern Europe and the emerging markets to establish global production chains and thereby strengthen their competitive position. Policymakers should therefore do their utmost to reduce the impediments to the international division of labour. Has the east German housing market turned the corner? We find positive price-income relations in growing towns and – somewhat surprisingly – a negative relationship in shrinking towns. Our forecasts indicate a further differentiation among towns in east Germany in the years ahead. The following economic reasons may explain the finding: higher cost per capita of infrastructure in growing towns, path dependency of building costs and domestic migration. [more]