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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. 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.
  2. Baldwin, Richard & Krugman, Paul, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-54, November.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Richard Baldwin, 1988. "Hysteresis In Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," NBER Working Papers 2545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  7. 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, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947, August.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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. 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. 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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