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Exports and Productivity in Germany

  • Joachim Wagner

Using unique recntly released nationally representative high-quality longitudinal data at the plant level, this paper presents the first comprehensive evidence on the relationship between exports and productivity for Germany, a leading actor on the world market for manufactured goods. It documents that the positive productivity differential of exporters compared to non-exporters is statistically significant, and substantial, even when observed firm characteristics and unobserved firm specific characteristics are controlled for. For West German plants (but not for East German plants) some empirical evicence for self-selection of more productive firms into export markets is found. There is no evidence for the hypothesis that plants which start to export perform better in the three years after the start than their counterparts which do not start to sell their products on the world market. Results for West Germany support the hypothesis that the productivity differential between exporters and non-exporters is at least in part the result of a market driven selection process in which those export starters that have low productivity at starting time fail as a successful exporters in the years after the start, and only those that were more productive at starting time continue to export.

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Article provided by Duncker & Humblot, Berlin in its journal Applied Economics Quarterly.

Volume (Year): 53 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 353-373

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Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqaeq:v53_y2007_i4_q4_p353-373
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  1. Wagner, Joachim, 2001. "The causal effects of exports on firm size and labor productivity: First evidence from a matching approach," HWWA Discussion Papers 155, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  2. Bernard, A. & Wagner, J., 1996. "Exports and Success in German Manufacturing," Working papers 96-10, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Ricardo A. López, 2005. "Trade and Growth: Reconciling the Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 623-648, 09.
  4. Joachim Wagner, 2005. "Exports, Foreign Direct Investment, and Productivity: Evidence from German Firm Level Data," International Trade 0504006, EconWPA.
  5. Judith Giles & Cara Williams, 2001. "Export-led growth: a survey of the empirical literature and some non-causality results. Part 1," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 261-337.
  6. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jens M. Arnold & Katrin Hussinger, 2010. "Exports versus FDI in German Manufacturing: Firm Performance and Participation in International Markets," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 595-606, 09.
  8. Andrew B. Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1998. "Export Entry and Exit by German Firms," NBER Working Papers 6538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Judith Giles & Cara Williams, 2001. "Export-led growth: a survey of the empirical literature and some non-causality results. Part 2," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 445-470.
  10. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Joachim Wagner, 2005. "Exports and Productivity: A Survey of the Evidence fro Firm Level Data," International Trade 0504005, EconWPA.
  12. Delgado, Miguel A. & Farinas, Jose C. & Ruano, Sonia, 2002. "Firm productivity and export markets: a non-parametric approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 397-422, August.
  13. Arnold, Jens Matthias & Hussinger, Katrin, 2004. "Export Behavior and Firm Productivity in German Manufacturing: A Firm-level Analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-12, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. Robert E. Baldwin, 2000. "Trade and Growth: Still Disagreement about the Relationships," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 264, OECD Publishing.
  15. Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1988. "Estimation of the Internal Adjustment Costs Model Using Longitudinal Establishment Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 421-30, August.
  16. Edwin Leuven & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing," Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 19 Jan 2015.
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