Exports and Firm Characteristics in Germany: A Survey of Empirical Studies (1991 to 2011)
Reliable information on the characteristics of exporting and non-exporting firms is important for providing theorists and policy-makers with evidence-based guidance. This holds true especially for Germany, a leading actor on the world markets for goods and services. This paper provides a synopsis and a critical assessment of 51 empirical studies on exports and firm characteristics based on data for German firms (establishments or enterprises) that were published over the last 20 years. I argue that this literature is not suited to provide the stylized facts needed. Reasons include the widespread use of non-representative small cross-section samples, the use of data for establishments (local production units) instead of enterprise-level data, the lack of information on important firm characteristics (including physical capital intensity and information related to innovation activities), the application of econometric methods that are not appropriate to model the share of exports in total sales and the missing control for unobserved firm heterogeneity.
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Volume (Year): 57 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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