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Export Entry and Exit by German Firms

  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • Joachim Wagner

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6538.

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Date of creation: Apr 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 2001. "Export entry and exit by German firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 105-123, March.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6538
Note: ITI
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  1. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," NBER Working Papers 5715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  5. 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 545-64, September.
  6. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-85, September.
  7. 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.
  8. Richard Baldwin & Paul R. Krugman, 1986. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchage Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 2017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-28, May.
  12. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
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