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Export Entry and Exit by German Firms

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  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • Joachim Wagner

Abstract

This paper examines the decision to enter the export market by German firms. While exports have played an important role in recent German business cycle movements, little is known about the export supply response of German firms. This paper presents a dynamic model of the export decision by a profit-maximizing firm. Using a panel of German manufacturing plants, we test for the role of plant characteristics and sunk costs in the entry decision. We find evidence for substantial sunk costs in export entry; exporting today by a plant increases the probability that the plant will export tomorrow by 50%. This advantage depreciates quickly, falling by two thirds in a year. We also find evidence that plant success, as measured by size and productivity, increases the likelihood of exporting.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew B. Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1998. "Export Entry and Exit by German Firms," NBER Working Papers 6538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6538
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1997. "Exports and success in German manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 133(1), pages 134-157, March.
    3. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
    4. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-1395, November.
    5. Richard Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-654.
    6. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-638, June.
    7. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-785, September.
    8. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
    9. Avinash Dixit, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-228.
    10. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-564, September.
    11. Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1992. "On the Estimation of Panel-Data Models with Serial Correlation When Instruments Are Not Strictly Exogenous," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-9, January.
    12. Fiona Scott Morton, 1996. "The Strategic Response by Pharmaceutical Firms to the Medicaid Most-Favored-Customer Rules," NBER Working Papers 5717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F20 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - General
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory

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