City Talks: What can German reunification teach the UK about levelling up?


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The UK Government will soon publish a plan for levelling up the country and bridging its long-standing geographic divides.

The UK is not the first country to have to grapple with this challenge; when Germany reunified in 1990, productivity in the former East was was just 60% of that in the West and people in cities such as Leipzig and Dresden were less prosperous than those in Frankfurt or Munich.

Over the last three decades the German Federal Government has worked to close this gap and, though it still exists, prosperity and economic productivity in the former East Germany has now almost caught up with the West.

What did the Federal Government do to achieve this? And what lessons can the German experience offer the UK’s own levelling up agenda? To discuss this Andrew Carter is joined by:

  • Dr Matthias Brachert, Economist at the Centre for Evidence-based Policy Advice, part of IWH Halle, which provides independent economic research.
  • Dr Benjamin Klement, Research Fellow at Fraunhofer Leipzig, the Centre for International Management and the Knowledge Economy. It conducts interdisciplinary socio-economic research.
  • Prof Felix Roesl, Professor of Urban and Regional Economics at the University of Braunschweig and former Economist at IFO Dresden, which conducts economic research on the former East German federal states.

103 episodes