Graduation Year

Fall 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Hilary Appel

Rights Information

© 2012 Saraid L. Donnelly


This paper looks at the struggles faced by German policymakers in the years following reunification. East Germany struggled with an immediate transformation from a planned economy to a social market economy, while West Germany sent billions of Deutsche Marks to its eastern states. Because of the unequal nature of these two countries, policymakers had to decide on what they would place more emphasis: social benefits for the East or economic protection for the West. The West German state-level, Federal Government and the East German governments struggled in finding multilaterally beneficial policies. This paper looks at the four key issues of reunification: currency conversion, transfer payments, re-privatization, and unemployment. In following the German Basic Law, the policies pursued in terms of these issues tended to place more emphasis on eastern social benefits.