February 2012

IZA DP No. 6393: The Microstructure of the Great Export Collapse in German Manufacturing Industries, 2008/2009

published in: Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Vol 7, 2013-5

This paper uses comprehensive high-quality panel data from official statistics for exporting enterprises to investigate the micro-structure of the recent export collapse in manufacturing industries in Germany during the crisis of 2008/2009. Almost all of the decline in exports was due to negative changes of exports in firms that continue to export (i.e. at the so-called intensive margin) while the decrease of exports due to export stoppers (at the so-called extensive margin) was tiny. It is shown that Idiosyncratic shocks to very large firms played a decisive role in shaping the export collapse.