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Austrian exporters: unique or alike? New insights and missing puzzle pieces


  • Roman Stöllinger


  • Robert Stehrer
  • Johannes Pöschl


In this paper we provide detailed evidence on the performance of exporters compared to non-exporters in Austrian manufacturing industries based on firm-level data. The centrepiece of the study is the issue of the export premium, i.e. the size and productivity advantages of exporting firms compared to their purely domestic peers. We present evidence for the existence of sales, labour productivity and wage premia. These results are largely in line with the results found for other European countries. Furthermore we document the existence of large differences in these premia across industries and provide explanations for this finding. Our results are robust with regards to including additional firm control variables such as employment and R&D-related variables though the magnitudes of the export premia become much smaller. We also propose a new interpretation of the export premium estimation with firm fixed effects which we interpret as a result on export switchers. Finally, we employ a probit model to document the importance of sunk export costs for the decision to export. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Roman Stöllinger & Robert Stehrer & Johannes Pöschl, 2012. "Austrian exporters: unique or alike? New insights and missing puzzle pieces," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 375-405, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:empiri:v:39:y:2012:i:3:p:375-405 DOI: 10.1007/s10663-011-9173-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
    2. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(3), pages 589-630, September.
    3. Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2007. "The happy few: the internationalisation of European firms New facts based on firm-level evidence," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/10147, Sciences Po.
    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. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    6. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
    7. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-564, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Diana Alexandra Gonçalves Costa & Ana Teresa Cunha de Pinho Tavares Lehmann, 2015. "Performance Differences between Exporters and Non-Exporters: the Case of Portugal," FEP Working Papers 569, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    2. Veronika Kulmer & Michael Kernitzkyi & Judith Köberl & Andreas Niederl, 2015. "Global Value Chains: Implications for the Austrian economy," FIW Research Reports series VI-003, FIW.
    3. N. N., 2015. "WIFO-Monatsberichte, issue 11/2015," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 88(11), November.
    4. Heather D Gibson & Georgia Pavlou, 2017. "Exporting and performance: evidence from Greek firms," Working Papers 228, Bank of Greece.
    5. Martin Falk & Werner Hölzl & Harald Oberhofer, 2015. "The Importance of Firm-Level Data for Empirical Research and Economic Policy Consulting," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 88(11), pages 845-857, November.

    More about this item


    Exports; Firm heterogeneity; Export premium; Austrian manufacturing firms; F14; L25;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance


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