IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Exports, imports and profitability: First evidence for manufacturing enterprises

  • Joachim Wagner


    (Institute of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)

This paper documents for the first time the relationship between profitability and three types of international trade activities – exports, imports and two-way trade. It uses unique new representative data for manufacturing enterprises from Germany, one of the leading actors on the world market for goods, that merge information from surveys performed by the Statistical Offices and administrative data collected by the Tax Authorities. Descriptive statistics and regression analysis (with and without controlling for unobserved firm heterogeneity and the role of outliers) point to the absence of any statistically significant and economically large effects of trade activities on profits. This demonstrates that any productivity advantages of trading firms are eaten up by extra costs related to selling and buying on foreign markets.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 206.

in new window

Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:206
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. The International Study Group on Exports and Productivity & Mauro Pisu, 2008. "Exports and productivity – comparable evidence for 14 countries," Working Paper Research 128, National Bank of Belgium.
  2. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 394-425, March.
  3. Yama Temouri & Alexander Vogel & Joachim Wagner, 2010. "Self-selection into export markets by business services firms – Evidence from France, Germany and the United Kingdom," Working Paper Series in Economics 183, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  4. Delgado, Miguel A. & Farinas, Jose C. & Ruano, Sonia, 2002. "Firm productivity and export markets: a non-parametric approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 397-422, August.
  5. 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.
  6. Marco Grazzi, 2009. "Trade and Profitability: Is there an export premium? Evidence from Italian manufacturing firms," LEM Papers Series 2009/16, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  7. Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2010. "Higher wages in exporting firms: self-selection, export effect, or both? First evidence from linked employer-employee data," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 146(2), pages 303-322, June.
  8. Vincenzo Verardi & Christophe Croux, 2009. "Robust regression in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(3), pages 439-453, September.
  9. Alexander Vogel & Joachim Wagner, 2010. "Higher productivity in importing German manufacturing firms: self-selection, learning from importing, or both?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 145(4), pages 641-665, January.
  10. Alexander Vogel & Joachim Wagner, 2010. "Exports and Profitability - First Evidence for German Business Services Enterprises," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(1), pages 7-30.
  11. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1994. "Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure 1963-1987: Application of Quantile Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 405-58, March.
  12. Kox, Henk L.M. & Rojas Romasgosa, Hugo, 2010. "Exports and productivity selection effects for Dutch firms," MPRA Paper 24390, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2007. "Do exporters really pay higher wages? First evidence from German linked employer-employee data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 52-74, May.
  14. Helmut Fryges & Joachim Wagner, 2008. "Exports and Profitability - First Evidence for German Manufacturing Firms," Working Paper Series in Economics 102, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  15. Verardi, Vincenzo & Wagner, Joachim, 2010. "Robust Estimation of Linear Fixed Effects Panel Data Models with an Application to the Exporter Productivity Premium," IZA Discussion Papers 4928, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Alexander Vogel & Stefan Dittrich, 2008. "The German turnover tax statistics panel," Working Paper Series in Economics 92, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  17. repec:bai:series:wp0027 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Maria Caterina Bramati & Christophe Croux, 2007. "Robust estimators for the fixed effects panel data model," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 10(3), pages 521-540, November.
  19. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F134-F161, 02.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:206. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Wagner)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.