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On point that was not discussed here with regards to the US is whether the negative homeowner's equity has reduced the labor mobility. As a large share of the homeowner are still burdened by negative equity from their homes they cannot act in a flexible way as it was typical for the US labor market in the past but are stuck in their houses. An other factor is also that in Germany the financial sector was not so dominant as in the US and the structural adjusments in Germany may be delayed due to the still high share of government supported financial institutions. So probably the german numbers are also overstating the situation.
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Aug 9, 2010