The Impact of New Technologies and the Development of Service Industries in the Federal Republic of Germany

  • Gerhard Fels
Conference paper


West Germany’s industrial structure is subject to rapid change. The pressure for restructuring increased strongly in the early seventies when the economy was faced with an abrupt real revaluation of the D-Mark, the first oil price shock, and growing competition from developing countries. On the domestic side private business was faced with a labour cost jump and with an extension of government activity and of social security legislation. In addition, populist movements emerged fighting power plants, airports and other large transportation projects. The service sector is traditionally highly regulated. Increasing concern about the environment and about the social side-effects of new technologies has created further bureaucratic impediments to innovation. Under these circumstances the structural challenge generated friction in terms of sluggish growth and unemployment. The expansion of technologically sophisticated industries and modern services could not proceed as rapidly as in the United States or in Japan. Similar to other European countries, West Germany fell victim to a disease which today is called ‘Eurosclerosis’.


Service Sector Venture Capital Federal Republic Average Annual Growth Rate German Economy 
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  1. 2.
    See: iwd No.34 (Informationsdienst des Instituts der deutschen Wirtschaft, Köln), 23 August 1984, p.3.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

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  • Gerhard Fels

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