The first two years of German unification proved a sobering experience as general euphoria gave way to the realization that raising east Germany’s productivity an living standards would take longer and cost far more than expected. In this book, the authors argue that policymakers were so preoccupied with fiscal problems that they ignored east Germany’s anemic production, inflated employment, and decayed infrastructure. Politicians were unwilling to confront constituents with the economic and human costs of restructuring east Germany’s economy and society. The authors maintain that policy is still dominate by the idea that the east will catch up quickly. They urge adoption of hard-headed medium-term strategies so that west and east can grow closer and enjoy economic growth.
The book includes an extensive chronology of economic and political events and resulting policies.