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Innovation and Exports of German Business Services Enterprises: First evidence from a new type of firm data


  • Vogel , Alexander

    () (Leuphana University Lueneburg)

  • Wagner, Joachim

    () (Leuphana University Lueneburg and IZA, Bonn)


This paper contributes to the literature by providing the first evidence on the link between innovation activities (measured by the share of engineers and scientists in the workforce) and exports of German business services firms based on a large representative longitudinal sample of enterprises. The data combine for the first time information at the firm-level that is taken from data produced by the Statistical Offices and by the Federal Labour Agency. We document that R&D activities are positively linked with exports, and that this link is present when observed firm characteristics (including firm size, productivity, and human capital intensity) and unobserved time-invariant firm characteristics are controlled for. From an economical point of view the effect is, however, rather small. Furthermore, we find some evidence for self-selection of innovative services firms on export markets. We have to admit, however, that the panel is too short, and that the number of firms that start to export and start to perform R&D during the period under investigation is too small, for any convincing attempt to investigate the direction of the causal link between exports and innovation activities.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0285

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Markus Kelle & Jörn Kleinert & Horst Raff & Farid Toubal, 2013. "Cross-border and Foreign Affiliate Sales of Services: Evidence from German Microdata," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(11), pages 1373-1392, November.
    2. 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.
    3. Alexander Vogel & Joachim Wagner, 2016. "Exports and Profitability — First Evidence for German Business Services Enterprises," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Microeconometrics of International Trade, chapter 8, pages 279-310 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. 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.
    5. Ebling, Günther & Janz, Norbert, 1999. "Export and innovation activities in the German service sector: empirical evidence at the firm level," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-53, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Dale W. Jorgenson & Marcel P. Timmer, 2011. "Structural Change in Advanced Nations: A New Set of Stylised Facts," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(1), pages 1-29, March.
    7. Alexander Eickelpasch & Alexander Vogel, 2009. "Determinants of Export Behaviour of German Business Services Companies," Working Paper Series in Economics 123, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    8. Anna Lejpras, 2009. "Determinants of Internationalization: Differences between Service and Manufacturing SMEs," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 886, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Markus Kelle & Jörn Kleinert, 2010. "German Firms in Service Trade," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(1), pages 51-72.
    10. Alexander Vogel, 2009. "Exporter performance in the German business services sector," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(7), pages 1015-1031, May.
    11. 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 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
    12. Alexander Vogel & Joachim Wagner, 2012. "The Quality of the KombiFiD-Sample of Business Services Enterprises: Evidence from a Replication Study," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 132(3), pages 393-403.
    13. Christian Arndt & Claudia M. Buch & Anselm Mattes, 2012. "Disentangling barriers to internationalization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 45(1), pages 41-63, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Helmut Fryges & Alexander Vogel & Joachim Wagner, 2015. "The Impact of R&D Activities on Exports of German Business Services Enterprises: First Evidence from a Continuous Treatment Approach," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 716-729, April.

    More about this item


    Innovation; export; business services; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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