East german economic transition

This CESifo Area Conference is designed to bring together CESifo members to present and discuss their ongoing research, and to stimulate interaction and co-operation between them. All CESifo research ntework members are invtied to submit their papers, which may deal with any topic within the broad domain of Applied Microeconomics (industrial organisation, experimental and behavioural economics, market regulation, banking and finance, auctions). The keynote lecture will be delivered by Antonio Cabrales (University College London). Please refer to the full call for papers for further details. Details

The summer of 1987 saw West Berlin host a series of open air concerts close to the Berlin Wall. Artists including David Bowie , The Eurythmics and Genesis appeared to large crowds in front of the Reichstag . On the other side of the Wall, thousands of East German fans tried to get as close to the Wall as possible to hear the music coming from the West. They were met with heavy resistance from the guards policing the border, which led to clashes between border guards and young East Germans. Realising that suppressing popular music in the aftermath of the riot would only inflame tensions, the SED attempted to win back the support of East German youths. The following year a series of concerts were organised in East Berlin, designed to counter performances from Michael Jackson and Pink Floyd that were taking place close to the Wall in the West. In East Berlin, Western stars, such as Big Country , Bryan Adams and Marillion performed alongside East German bands like City . On 19 July 1988, Bruce Springsteen performed the biggest rock concert in the history of the GDR in front of 160,000 people.  During the concert Springsteen told the crowd ‘It’s nice to be in East Berlin. I’m not for or against a government. I came to play rock ‘n’ roll for you, in the hope that one day all barriers will be torn down’. Springsteen’s words reflected the mood of young people in the crowd, sparking wild cheering and celebrations.

Over 90 percent of the GDR’s productive assets were owned by the country’s citizens collectively, while in West Germany productive assets remained privately owned, concentrated in a few hands. [16] Because the GDR’s economy was almost entirely publicly owned and the leadership was socialist, the economic surplus that people produced on the job went into a social fund to make the lives of everyone better rather than into the pockets of shareholders, bondholders, landowners and bankers. [17] Out of the social fund came subsidies for food, clothing, rent, public transportation, as well as cultural, social and recreational activities. Wages weren’t as high as in the West, but a growing number of essential goods and services were free or virtually free. Rents, for example, were very low. As a consequence, there were no evictions and there was no homelessness. Education was free through university, and university students received stipends to cover living expenses. Healthcare was also free. Childcare was highly subsidized.

East german economic transition

east german economic transition

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