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Determinants of Export Behaviour of German Business Services Companies

  • Alexander Eickelpasch
  • Alexander Vogel

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.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.96995.de/dp876.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 876.

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Length: 30 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp876
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  1. Alexander Vogel, 2009. "Exporter Performance in the German Business Services Sector: First Evidence from the Services Statistics Panel," Working Paper Series in Economics 111, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  2. Lionel Nesta & Flora Bellone & Patrick Musso & Stefano Schiavo, 2008. "Financial constraints as a barrier to export participation," Sciences Po publications 29, Sciences Po.
  3. J. Jensen, 2008. "Trade in High-Tech Services," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 181-197, December.
  4. Sabine Engelmann & Michaela Fuchs, 2008. "Bestimmungsfaktoren der Unterschiede einzelbetrieblicher Exportaktivitäten in Ost- und Westdeutschland," ifo Dresden berichtet, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(01), pages 21-32, 02.
  5. Papke, Leslie E. & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2008. "Panel data methods for fractional response variables with an application to test pass rates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 121-133, July.
  6. Wakelin, Katharine, 1998. "Innovation and export behaviour at the firm level," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 829-841, April.
  7. Joachim Wagner, 2005. "Exports and Productivity: A Survey of the Evidence fro Firm Level Data," International Trade 0504005, EconWPA.
  8. Roper, Stephen & Love, James H., 2002. "Innovation and export performance: evidence from the UK and German manufacturing plants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1087-1102, September.
  9. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-32, Nov.-Dec..
  11. Christian Arndt & Claudia M. Buch & Anselm Mattes, 2008. "Barriers to exporting: Firm-Level Evidence from Germany," Development Working Papers 268, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  12. Alexander Eickelpasch, 2008. "Export Orientation of Service Companies on the Increase," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 4(5), pages 28-35.
  13. 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.
  14. Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "Unobserved firm heterogeneity and the size-exports nexus : evidence from German panel data," HWWA Discussion Papers 194, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  15. Stephen Roper & James H. Love & Dolores Añon Hígon, 2006. "The Determinants Of Export Performance: Evidence For Manufacturing Plants In Ireland And Northern Ireland," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 53(5), pages 586-615, November.
  16. Alessandro Sterlacchini, 2001. "The determinants of export performance: A firm-level study of Italian manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 137(3), pages 450-472, September.
  17. Joanne Roberts, 1999. "The Internationalisation of Business Service Firms: A Stages Approach," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 68-88, October.
  18. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Innovation, Technology Transfer, and the World Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 253-66, April.
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