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Export Behavior and Firm Productivity in German Manufacturing: A Firm-Level Analysis


This paper examines the causal relationship between productivity and exporting in German manufacturing. We find a causal link from high productivity to presence in foreign markets, as postulated by a recent literature on international trade with heterogeneous firms. We apply a matching technique in order to analyze whether the presence in international markets enables firms to achieve further productivity improvements, without finding significant evidence for this. We conclude that high-productivity firms self-select themselves into export markets, while exporting itself does not play a significant role for the productivity of German firms.

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Correspondence to Katrin Hussinger.

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JEL no.

F10, F13, F14, D21, L60

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Arnold, J., Hussinger, K. Export Behavior and Firm Productivity in German Manufacturing: A Firm-Level Analysis. Rev. World Econ. 141, 219–243 (2005).

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  • Exports
  • export-led growth
  • total factor productivity
  • heterogeneous firms