June 2004

IZA DP No. 1185: Exporting Firms Do Not Pay Higher Wages, Ceteris Paribus. First Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data

substantially revised version published as 'Do exporters really pay higher wages? First evidence from linked employer-employee data' in: Journal of International Economics, 2007, 72 (1), 52-74

18 studies using data from 20 highly developed, developing, and less developed countries document that average wages in exporting firms are higher than in non-exporting firms from the same industry and region. The existence of these so-called exporter wage premia is one of the stylized facts found in the emerging literature on the microeconometrics of international trade. This paper uses a large and rich set of linked employer-employee data from Germany to demonstrate that these premia vanish when individual characteristics of the employees and of the work place are controlled for.