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Determinants of Export Behaviour of German Business Services Companies

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  • Alexander Eickelpasch
  • Alexander Vogel

Abstract

The determinants of export behaviour at firm level have been widely investigated for manufacturing companies. By contrast, what has remained largely neglected is a detailed investigation in the service sector. As aggregate statistics show, international trade in services has grown significantly over the last few years. However, it is unclear why some companies export and others do not. This paper presents some initial results about the German business services sector at firm level. Using a unique panel dataset of enterprises from the business services sector (transport, storage and communication, real estate, renting and business activities) for the years 2003 to 2005, we analysed the impact of several firm-specific characteristics such as size, productivity, human capital, experience on the national market in Germany, etc. on the firms' export performance. Further, we used the pooled fractional probit estimator, recently introduced by Papke & Wooldridge, an approach that considers both the special nature of the export intensity variable and in addition unobserved time-invariant characteristics. When there is no control for fixed enterprise effects the overall results are in line with previous studies. When there is a control for unobserved heterogeneity, the positive effects of productivity and human capital disappear, indicating that these variables are not per se positively related to export performance, but rather to time-constant characteristics that are unobserved. Size and product diversification still have a positive and significant effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Eickelpasch & Alexander Vogel, 2009. "Determinants of Export Behaviour of German Business Services Companies," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 876, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp876
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tanja GrubljeÅ¡iÄ & Jože Damijan, 2011. "From Differences in Export Behavior of Services and Manufacturing Firms in Slovenia," LICOS Discussion Papers 29511, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    2. Andrés Zahler & Leonardo Iacovone & Aaditya Mattoo, 2014. "Trade and Innovation in Services: Evidence from a Developing Economy," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(7), pages 953-979, July.
    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 213, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    4. Joachim Wagner, 2014. "Exports, foreign direct investments and productivity: are services firms different?," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 24-37, January.
    5. Vogel , Alexander & Wagner, Joachim, 2012. "Innovation and Exports of German Business Services Enterprises: First evidence from a new type of firm data," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 285, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    6. Alexander Vogel, 2009. "The German Business Services Statistics Panel 2003 to 2007," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 129(3), pages 515-522.
    7. Asier Minondo, 2011. "Exporters of services in Spain," Working Papers 2011R04, Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness.
    8. Chen, Zhao & Fang, Tony, 2016. "Chinese Returnees and High-tech Sector Outward FDI: The Case of Changzhou," IZA Discussion Papers 10045, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Francesco Bripi & David Loschiavo & Davide Revelli, 2017. "Services trade and credit frictions: evidence from matched bank-firm data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1110, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    10. Roberto Álvarez & Claudio Bravo-Ortega & Andrés Zahler, 2015. "Innovation and Productivity in Services: Evidence from Chile," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(3), pages 593-611, May.
    11. Vu, Van Huong, 2012. "Does export participation affect wages and employment quality? the case of Vietnamese SMEs," MPRA Paper 38696, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Conti, Giuliano & Lo Turco, Alessia & Maggioni, Daniela, 2014. "Spillovers through backward linkages and the export performance of business services. Evidence from a sample of Italian firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 552-565.
    13. Iza Lejárraga & Harald Oberhofer, 2015. "Performance of small- and medium-sized enterprises in services trade: evidence from French firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 673-702, October.
    14. Giuliano Conti & Alessia Lo Turco & Daniela Maggioni, 2010. "Exporters in Services: new Evidence from Italian Firms," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(1), pages 73-98.
    15. Minondo, Asier, 2012. "Trading firms in the Spanish services sector," MPRA Paper 43224, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Konstantins Benkovskis & Olegs Tkacevs, 2015. "Everything you always wanted to know about Latvia's service exporters (but were afraid to ask)," Working Papers 2015/06, Latvijas Banka.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business services sector; export behaviour; firm performance;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L80 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - General

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