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Technology and economic performance in the German economy

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Germany remains Europe's largest and most diversified source of new technology, but still lags in the fastest growing areas of today's high technology. After World War II, West-German technology policy sought to rebuild the institutions which had supported Germany's leadership in the high-tech industries of the early twentieth century - automobiles, machinery, electrical engineering, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Increasingly, however, those institutions are seen as failing to respond to new technological stimuli. In addition, Germany's bank-centered capital and inflexible labor markets have long constrained the opportunities of innovative firms for equity-based growth and the incentives for academic brains to set up in private business. Promising changes in technology policy and capital market conditions can be observed only since the mid-1990s.

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Horst Siebert, Michael Stolpe

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