International Economics and Economic Policy

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 363–370 | Cite as

A note on why more West than East German firms export

Original Paper

Abstract

Germany is one of the most important exporters of manufacturing goods in the world, but by far not all manufacturing firms in Germany are exporters, and there is a remarkable gap between the share of exporters in all manufacturing firms between West Germany and East Germany. While in West Germany in 2004 about two in three manufacturing plants were exporters, fourteen years after re-unification this share was less than fifty percent in the former communist East Germany. Given that exports play a key role in shaping business cycles and growth in Germany, and the much higher unemployment in East compared to West Germany, promotion of exports by East German firms figure prominently on the policy agenda. However, the reasons for the large difference in the propensity to export between East and West German firms are not yet well understood, not least due to a lack of comprehensive micro data. Using unique new data and a recently introduced non-linear decomposition technique this paper shows that the huge difference in the propensity to export between West and East German plants can only partly be explained by differences in firm size, productivity, and technology intensity.

Keywords

Exports Micro data West Germany East Germany 

JEL classification

F14 

References

  1. Bundesminsterium für Bildung und Forschung (2002) Germany’s technological performance 2001. BonnGoogle Scholar
  2. Blinder AS (1973) Wage discrimination: reduced form and structural variables. J Hum Resour 8:436–455CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cahuc P, Zylberberg A (2004) Labor economics. Cambridge and LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Fairlie RW (2006) An extension of the oaxaca-blinder decomposition technique to logit and probit models. J Econ Soc Meas 30(4):305–316Google Scholar
  5. Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (2007) Die Bedeutung der außenwirtschaftlichen Aktivitäten für den deutschen Mittelstand. BonnGoogle Scholar
  6. Konold M (2007) New possibilities for economic research through intergration of establishment-level panel data of German Official Statistics. Schmollers Jahrbuch / J Appl Soc Sci Stud 127(2):321–334Google Scholar
  7. Leber U (2002) Determinanten betrieblicher Exportaktivitäten im Verarbeitenden Gewerbe, In: Lutz Bellmann (Hrsg) Die ostdeutschen Betriebe in der internationalen Arbeitsteilung, Nürnberg, 31–44Google Scholar
  8. Loose B, Ludwig U (2006) Export und Beschäftigung in der ostdeutschen Industrie – Ein betrieblicher Längsschnitt, In: Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (Hrsg), Beschäftigungsanalysen mit den Daten des IAB-Betriebspanels. 79–106Google Scholar
  9. Oaxaca R (1973) Male-female wage differentials in urban labor markets. Int Econ Rev 14:693–709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Wagner J (2001) A note on the firm size – export relationship. Small Bus Econ 17(4):229–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Wagner J (2007a) Why more West than East German Firms Export. Institute for the Study of Labor IZA Discussion Paper No. 2656, MarchGoogle Scholar
  12. Wagner J (2007b) Exports and productivity: a survey of the evidence from firm-level data. World Econ 30(1):60–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Wagner J (2007c) Exports and productivity in Germany. Appl Econ Quarterly 53(4):353–373Google Scholar
  14. Zühlke S et al (2004) The research data centres of the Federal Statistical Office and the Statistical Offices of the Länder. Schmollers Jahrbuch / J Appl Soc Sci Stud 124(4):567–578Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EconomicsLeuphana University LueneburgLueneburgGermany

Personalised recommendations