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From Estimation Results to Stylized Facts: Twelve Recommendations for Empirical Research in International Activities of Heterogeneous Firms

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  • Wagner, Joachim

    ()
    (Leuphana University Lüneburg)

Abstract

Heterogeneous firms are at the heart of both the New New International Trade Theory and the Micro-econometrics of International Firm Activities. One important aim of micro-econometric studies is to uncover stylized facts that hold over space and time, and that can both inspire theoretical models that are based on “realistic” assumptions, and inform policy debates in an evidence-based way. Which results from the thousands of empirical estimates reported in the literature on the micro-econometrics of international firm activities do we consider as convincing? Based on my own experience from the last twenty years I use the opportunity of this lecture to make twelve recommendations that, hopefully, will help to find the right way on the thorny road from estimation results to stylized facts. I will deal with the following topics: comparisons of means vs. comparisons of distributions; extremely different firms, or outliers; unobserved heterogeneity; simultaneous occurrence of differences across quantiles, outliers, and unobserved heterogeneity; heterogeneous effects of international firm activities on firm performance; replication; within-study replication by international research teams; meta-analysis; and talking to practitioners.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5175.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: De Economist, 2011, 159 (4), 389-412
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5175

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Keywords: international firm activities; heterogeneous firms; stylized facts; robust statistics; replication; meta anaysis;

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Cited by:
  1. Wagner, Joachim, 2013. "Credit constraints and exports: A survey of empirical studies using firm level data," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies 334, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  2. Joachim Wagner, 2011. "Productivity and International Firm Activities: What do we know?," Working Paper Series in Economics, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics 194, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  3. John P. Weche Geluebcke, 2011. "Foreign Ownership and Firm Performance in German Services: First Evidence based on Official Statistics," Working Paper Series in Economics, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics 213, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  4. Hernandez, Pedro J., 2013. "A Note on the Link between Firm Size and Exports," MPRA Paper 56726, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. John P. Weche Geluebcke, 2011. "The Performance of Foreign Affiliates in German Manufacturing: Evidence from a new Database," Working Paper Series in Economics, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics 216, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  6. Wagner, Joachim, 2011. "Exports, Imports and Firm Survival: First Evidence for Manufacturing Enterprises in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 5924, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Alexander Vogel & Joachim Wagner, 2011. "Robust estimates of exporter productivity premia in German business services enterprises," Working Paper Series in Economics, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics 207, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

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