After the hustle and bustle of the capital city, our train passed through the countryside. Small family farms with goats abutted a busy railway. Our destination also lay in between the pastoral and the modern—the Hungarian city of Kecskemét is host to not only a new factory that produces the latest Mercedes cars, but also …Read More

How mobile are workers in the euro currency area? Everyone directly or indirectly involved in devising, designing, and implementing the single European currency had to deal with this question in great depth, with good reason. According to Robert Mundell, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, one of the elementary characteristics of an optimum currency …Read More

Alexander Reisenbichler

Alexander Reisenbichler is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the George Washington University, where his research centers on the political economy of housing, financial, and labor markets in advanced economies. His dissertation investigates the political economy of homeownership in the United States and Germany from a comparative, historical perspective. For this research, he has …Read More

The recent vote by workers in a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee to decline representation by the United Auto Workers union (UAW) highlights the differences in labor policies between the United States and Germany. With American union membership on the decline, this was the first time that the UAW attempted to represent workers in a …Read More

Transferring institutions across borders is a perilous undertaking. Germans should know this better than most. The wholesale transfer from east to west of the Federal Republic’s institutions was a painful process. Some institutions and practices that did and do flourish in western Germany never quite took in the east. With this in mind, Volkswagen’s effort …Read More

We have recently added a new valuable study to our bookshelf: Holding the Shop Together (Cornell University Press, 2013) is a study on German industrial relations in the postwar era by Stephen Silvia, associate professor at American University and a former fellow here at the institute. Silvia’s book explores the evolution of the particular way …Read More

Criticism of German domestic economic policy has reached unprecedented intensity in recent weeks.  The United States Department of Treasury and the European Commission have both called out Germany for its substantial current account surpluses and asked German policymakers to take steps to restore balance. Superficial commentary has explained Germany’s large surplus as a product of …Read More

In recent history, the German economic engine has repeatedly delivered national success. Today, Germany is not only keeping up with its strong economic performance domestically, but is also leading the restoration of European economic competitiveness. Its path to success, however, has come under fire, especially since the beginning of the euro zone economic crisis. On both sides of the Atlantic, there are criticisms of some of the characteristics of the German economic model, including relatively low labor cost and an export-oriented approach to growth. Dr. Stephen Silvia and Peter Rashish presented their expertise on Germany’s economic and trade policy, with Dr. Silvia looking specifically at the industrial relations and the labor unions in Germany.

Improving youth unemployment has always been a priority for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration. On July 3, 2013, the Chancellor called a summit with 18 fellow European leaders and 28 labor ministers to discuss the issue, and the result was a promise of a “youth guarantee” that would pump €8 billion toward programs and funds …Read More

The German Job Miracle continues in 2012: With the number of job vacancies increasing by 4 percent, there were more than a million positions to be filled. While some economic experts argue whether the German labor market is suffering from a significant talent shortage, small and medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees have been …Read More

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