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Higher Wages in Exporting Firms: Self-Selection, Export Effect, or Both? First Evidence from German Linked Employer-Employee Data

  • Schank, Thorsten


    (University of Mainz)

  • Schnabel, Claus


    (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Wagner, Joachim


    (Leuphana University Lüneburg)

While it is a stylized fact that exporting firms pay higher wages than non-exporting firms, the direction of the link between exporting and wages is less clear. Using a rich set of German linked employer-employee panel data we follow over time plants that start to export. We show that the exporter wage premium does already exist in the years before firms start to export, and that it does not increase in the following years. Higher wages in exporting firms are thus due to self-selection of more productive, better paying firms into export markets; they are not caused by export activities.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3359.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of World Economics, 2010, 146 (2), 303-322
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3359
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  1. Munch, Jakob Roland & Rose Skaksen, Jan, 2009. "Human Capital and Wages in Exporting Firms," Working Papers 09-2006, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  2. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Labour Market Effects of Trade Liberalisation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2000, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Joachim Wagner, 2007. "Exports and Productivity – Comparable Evidence for 14 Countries," Working Paper Series in Economics 65, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  4. Joachim Wagner, 2005. "Exports and Productivity: A survey of the evidence from firm level data," Working Paper Series in Economics 4, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  5. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  6. 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.
  7. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Wagner, Joachim, 2001. "The causal effects of exports on firm size and labor productivity: First evidence from a matching approach," HWWA Discussion Papers 155, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  9. Alda, Holger & Bender, Stefan & Gartner, Hermann, 2005. "The linked employer-employee dataset of the IAB (LIAB)," IAB Discussion Paper 200506, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  10. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  12. Flora Bellone & Liza Jabbour & Patrick Musso & Lionel Nesta & Stefano Schiavo, 2007. "Exports and productivity : comparable evidence for 14 countries," Working Papers hal-00973116, HAL.
  13. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 336, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. repec:oup:qjecon:v:105:y:1990:i:2:p:255-83 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. International Study Group on Exports and Productivity (ISGEP), 2008. "Understanding Cross-Country Differences in Exporter Premia: Comparable Evidence for 14 Countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 144(4), pages 596-635, December.
  16. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  17. Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "Do exporters really pay higher wages? First evidence from German linked employer-employee data," Working Paper Series in Economics 28, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
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