New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Aura Reggiani and Peter Nijkamp
Chapter 12: Evolution of Regional Employment in Germany: Forecasts 2001 to 2010
12. Evolution of Regional Employment in Germany: A Forecast 2001 to 2010 Franz-Josef Bade 12.1 INTRODUCTION Theoretically, regional policy like other areas of politics should principally be based on explicit estimations of the future perspectives of regions. Actually, in Germany, as in many other countries, it is just the opposite. One of the few exceptions is the coordination of regional policy by the ‘Gemeinschaftsaufgabe “Verbesserung der regionalen Wirtschaftsstruktur”’. This institution is a joint committee of the federal state and the 16 states (Länder) and has the task of coordinating the rules of regional assistance in order to avoid an unfair competition between rich and poor states and to prevent collusive behaviour of firms applying for regional subsidies. Among other things, this coordination is achieved through the definition of those areas where subsidies for firms are possible. The selection of the assisted areas is based on a few indicators, one of which is a forecast of regional employment change. In this chapter, we report how these forecasts are made, what their main results are, and last, but not least, how reliable the results have been in the past. Since the current forecast 2001–10 is the most recent of a series of forecasts,1 it offers not only the possibility of ex post control but, perhaps more importantly, it also allows us to learn from the errors made in the previous estimations. In the following, we first give a short outline of the forecast methodology. As the approach consists...
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