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Barriers to Internationalization: Firm-Level Evidence from Germany

Exporters and multinationals are larger and more productive than their domestic counterparts. In addition to productivity, financial constraints and labor market constraints might constitute barriers to entry into foreign markets. We present new empirical evidence on the extensive and intensive margin of exports and FDI based on detailed micro-level data of German firms. Our paper has three main findings. First, in line with earlier literature, we find a positive impact of firm size and productivity on firms’ international activities. Second, small firms suffer more frequently from financial constraints than bigger firms, but financial conditions have no strong effect on internationalization. Third, labor market constraints constitute a more severe barrier to foreign activities than financial constraints. Being covered by collective bargaining particularly impedes international activities.

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File URL: http://www.iaw.edu/RePEc/iaw/pdf/iaw_dp_52.pdf
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Paper provided by Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW) in its series IAW Discussion Papers with number 52.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iaw:iawdip:52
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  1. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Bee Yan Aw & Mark J. Roberts & Daniel Yi Xu, 2011. "R&D Investment, Exporting, and Productivity Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1312-44, June.
  3. Jun Du & Sourafel Girma, 2007. "Finance and Firm Export in China," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 37-54, 02.
  4. George, Rejie & Kabir, Rezaul & Qian, Jing, 2011. "Investment-cash flow sensitivity and financing constraints: New evidence from Indian business group firms," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 69-88, April.
  5. Kalina Manova, 2008. "Credit Constraints, Heterogeneous Firms, and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 14531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Greenaway, David & Guariglia, Alessandra & Kneller, Richard, 2007. "Financial factors and exporting decisions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 377-395, November.
  7. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
  8. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2011. "Globalization and labor market outcomes: Wage bargaining, search frictions, and firm heterogeneity," Munich Reprints in Economics 20471, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. Joel Stiebale, 2011. "Do Financial Constraints Matter for Foreign Market Entry? A Firm‐level Examination," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(1), pages 123-153, 01.
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