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Export entry and exit by German firms

  • Andrew Bernard
  • Joachim Wagner

This paper examines the decision to enter the export market by German firms. While exports have played an important role in recent German business cycle movements, little is known about the export supply response of German firms. This paper presents a dynamic model of the export decision by a profit-maximizing firm. Using a panel of German manufacturing plants, we test for the role of plant characteristics and sunk costs in the entry decision. We find evidence for substantial sunk costs in export entry; exporting today by a plant increases the probability that the plant will export tomorrow by 50%. This advantage depreciates quickly, falling by two thirds in a year. We also find evidence that plant success, as measured by size and productivity, increases the likelihood of exporting.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv.

Volume (Year): 137 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 105-123

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Handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:137:y:2001:i:1:p:105-123
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  1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Richard Baldwin & Paul R. Krugman, 1986. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchage Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 2017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "learning-by-exporting" important? Micro-dynamic evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1997. "Exports and success in German manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 134-157, March.
  5. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  6. 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 545-64, September.
  7. 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.
  8. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-85, September.
  9. Fiona Scott Morton, 1996. "The Strategic Response by Pharmaceutical Firms to the Medicaid Most-Favored-Customer Rules," NBER Working Papers 5717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
  11. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-28, May.
  12. Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1992. "On the Estimation of Panel-Data Models with Serial Correlation When Instruments Are Not Strictly Exogenous," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-9, January.
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