Economics consequences of the fall of the Berlin Wall

Ref: 10003199


Single and joint honours first year Economics students who are enrolled on Introduction to Macroeconomics (ECON1542) are eligible to participate in this opportunity. Applications from students enrolled on ECON2545, ECON2542 and ECON3535  will also be considered. The maximum number of places on this opportunity is 50 and the minimum the trip will go ahead with is 10. DMU staff will be accompanying the group.


The trip will allow students to appreciate the economic importance of the historic fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1989 the economic cost of incorporating the East Germany economy into the West German economic model (wage rates/ productivity levels etc) is often modelled as an Internal Shock in the Open Economy Macroeconomics. The consequence of this was a major factor behind the collapse of the Exchange Rate mechanism system of pegged exchange rates operating at the time. However subsequently the unification resulted in a stronger more cohesive German economy.

The experience will allow students to appreciate the importance of economic integration that arose from the unification of East and West Germany both economically and socially. This will allow students to discuss and reflect on the current move towards isolation of the UK from Europe with the move to Brexit at this time. The learning outcomes of the opportunity will be:

  • An ability to apply economic theory to analyse the benefits and costs of a variety of aspects of European integration.
  • Apply an understanding of economics to explain current events, and to inform opinion on key European issues
  • Discuss and analyse key themes and events in economic history, utilising suitable analytical tools and concepts

Academic activities and visits will include:

A visit to the site of The Berlin Wall Memorial

The Berlin Wall Memorial is the central memorial site of German division, located in the middle of the capital. Situated at the historic site on Bernauer Strasse, it extends along 1.4 kilometers of the former border strip. Students will see how the citizens of East Germany GDR were prevented from fleeing to the west. They will visit the Memorial (an outside exhibition) and The Documentation and Visitors Centre, detailing economic and historic information. The guided tour will cost £5 per person.

Central Berlin train station and The Brandenburg Gate

The central train station in Berlin links the East with the West of the city, via lines S-Bahn lines S5, S7 and S75.  The U55 U-Bahn line connects the station to the government district and leads directly to the Brandenburg Gate. Students will see how infrastructure has aided the economic connectivity of the two parts of Berlin. From here students will go to the Brandenburg Gate now a symbol of unity. It will be interesting for students to see how this unity has been played out from an economic dimension, as is part of days 2 activities. Students will be required to purchase a travel card (£5) to participate.

Appreciating the economic differences 25 years later

Students will search for and locate two shopping centres, one in the Old West Berlin, one in the old East Berlin. They will undertake a comparative analysis of the range of products and pricing structure to determine if any discernible differences exist between the pricing and product ranges in the two regions.

Students will be requested to complete a comparative journal of their findings. Students will be able to apply their economic understanding of market structures and varying competition/pricing strategies.

Cultural activities

A visit to the DDR museum to better understand life in East Germany is a recommended activity to understand the effect of integration between the west and east, and importantly what what life was like in East Germany. This will also  foster a greater understanding of life in the communist system, and allow an appreciation of how economic and social life has changed since reunification. Other optional cultural activities include the Berlin TV Tower (£12), Nineties Berlin Multimedia Exhibition £10) and the Black Box Cold War (£2).

Travel and accommodation

Travel and accommodation will be booked by the faculty for this opportunity, and students will be expected to pay the remaining amount following confirmation of their place. The #DMUglobal bursary will be deducted from the cost of the trip.

Contact details

Visa information

In order to participate in this trip, you are responsible for ensuring that you meet German immigration requirements. EU nationals will not require a visa to travel to another EU country. Non-EU nationals will require a visa to travel to Germany and are responsible for obtaining a Schengen visa. Further information related to obtaining a visa can be found here.

The #DMUglobal team can provide visa support letters as required, and proof of enrolment can be obtained from the Student Gateway. You must ensure that you apply for your Schengen visa as soon as you have been formally accepted to this opportunity by #DMUglobal. You are responsible for checking processing times and meeting all application requirements in order to ensure that you receive your visa prior to departure. Be aware that immigration decisions are made by individual embassies.

Key Information

  • Departure date: Wednesday 22 April 2020
  • Return date: Saturday 25 April 2020
  • Estimated cost of travel, accommodation and transfers: £275
  • Students will also be required to pay for: UK and in-country transfers, food & drink, cultural activities, and visa (if applicable)
  • #DMUglobal bursary: £150
  • Deadline for application: Monday 4 November 2019 9am