Industrial Competitive Development in Three Regions in the Federal Republic of Germany: The Case of Kassel, Bonn, and Duisburg
Horst Albach and Hermann Tengler
Do regional differences exist in West Germany in terms of economic and industrial development? We suggest there are strong differences. This chapter examines these differences and the influences of regional conditions as they relate to the structure and site of industrial development in the Federal Republic of Germany. The following regions are discussed: Kassel, representative of a sparsely populated, rural area; the region of Bonn, an overcrowded region with its predominant service industry; and the region of Duisburg, an old, highly industrialized, overcrowded region. It is argued that the determinants of industrial development are multifaceted; however, many factors have shifted-- surprisingly enough--in favor of the rural regions. Still, in the future it will be difficult for the rural regions to keep pace with the development of the industrial overcrowded regions. This essay takes an economic approach in comparing the industrial development of these three West German regions.
There is reason to believe that high industrial density is no longer considered an obstacle to regional growth as it was in the past. In order to support growth, governmental economic policy must be more substantive and positive than in the past, when such policies focused on obstacles to growth rather than on developmental incentives. We also identify those industries that are flourishing and those that are not in each region. Interview results from industry executives are also presented to support these findings. Economists, industrialists, and entrepreneurs may find these results interesting and useful.
Regional problems cannot be characterized in the Federal Republic of Germany as they are in most other Western industrial countries, that