The Political Economy of East German Privatization
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In the case of East Germany, the interplay of institutions and circumstances led to a large-firm bias. The unitary business and labor organizations that were extended into the East could not accommodate the divergent interests of new members and so failed to lobby on their behalf for industrial assistance. While societal actors remained relatively passive, state actors intervened on behalf of select firms. The primacy of certain state actors but not others in these interventions as well as their primary policy agendas, derived from the institutional contours of the German polity. First, the constitution of a federal agency to privatize 13,000 firms singly and under severe time pressure prompted agency officials to give priority to large firms in the interest of expediency. Second, the dominance of the executive branch enabled Chancellor Kohl to help his supporters in the chemical industry and at Carl Zeiss Jena as well as troubled firms of national significance, such as the shipyards and the giant steel mill EKO-Stahl. Third, the federal structure of the government gave Lander officials significant resources to support big employers in their state, especially those from regionally dominant industries.
State Assistance in Privatizing East German Industry Business and Labor Groups The Treuhandanstalt The Dominance of the Executive Branch Federalism and the Five New Lander Conclusion References Index
Shows how the political economy of east German privatization was to work in theory as well as how it actually unfolded.