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Barriers to Internationalization: Firm-Level Evidence from Germany

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Abstract

Exporters and multinationals are larger and more productive than their domestic counterparts. In addition to productivity, financial constraints and labor market constraints might constitute barriers to entry into foreign markets. We present new empirical evidence on the extensive and intensive margin of exports and FDI based on detailed micro-level data of German firms. Our paper has three main findings. First, in line with earlier literature, we find a positive impact of firm size and productivity on firms’ international activities. Second, small firms suffer more frequently from financial constraints than bigger firms, but financial conditions have no strong effect on internationalization. Third, labor market constraints constitute a more severe barrier to foreign activities than financial constraints. Being covered by collective bargaining particularly impedes international activities.

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File URL: http://www.iaw.edu/RePEc/iaw/pdf/iaw_dp_52.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW) in its series IAW Discussion Papers with number 52.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iaw:iawdip:52

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Keywords: foreign direct investment; exports; firm heterogeneity; productivity; financial constraints; labor market constraints;

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  1. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2008. "Globalization and Labor Market Outcomes: Wage Bargaining, Search Frictions, and Firm Heterogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 3363, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Bee Yan Aw & Mark J. Roberts & Daniel Yi Xu, 2009. "R&D Investment, Exporting, and Productivity Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 14670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. George, Rejie & Kabir, Rezaul & Qian, Jing, 2011. "Investment-cash flow sensitivity and financing constraints: New evidence from Indian business group firms," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 69-88, April.
  4. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  5. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2007. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," NBER Working Papers 12927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jun Du & Sourafel Girma, 2007. "Finance and Firm Export in China," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 37-54, 02.
  7. Kalina Manova, 2008. "Credit Constraints, Heterogeneous Firms, and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 14531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Greenaway, David & Guariglia, Alessandra & Kneller, Richard, 2007. "Financial factors and exporting decisions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 377-395, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2011. "Country Size, International Trade, and Aggregate Fluctuations in Granular Economies," NBER Working Papers 17335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Georg H. Strasser, 2011. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through and Credit Constraints: Firms Price to Market as Long as They Can," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 788, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 13 Feb 2012.
  3. Askenazy, Philippe & Caldera, Aida & Gaulier, Guillaume & Irac, Delphine, 2011. "Financial Constraints and Foreign Market Entries or Exits: Firm Level Evidence from France," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1112, CEPREMAP.
  4. Li Junjiang & Hou Lei & Zhang Jiarui, 2011. "Capital endowment, credit constraint and FDI: Analysis based on heterogeneous firms," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 55-75, March.
  5. Christian Arndt & Claudia M. Buch & Anselm Mattes, 2009. "Firm-Specific Factor Market Constraints and FDI: Evidence from Germany," Development Working Papers 269, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.

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