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The Volatility and Cyclicality of Job Flows in German Exporters and Non-Exporters

Volker Lindenthal

VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy from Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association

Abstract: This paper exploits the administrative IAB establishment dataset for Germany to investigate the volatility and cyclicality of job flows within exporters and non-exporters. On average, exporters face a lower employment volatility, which suggests a diversification of sales across markets. A closer look at the export share, however, reveals that the employment volatility is increasing in the export share for small firms, while it is decreasing for large firms. Thus, large firms gain from more diversification of a higher export share, while small firms face more volatility when exporting a higher share. Small exporters with an export share above one third are even more volatile than similar domestic producers. Although the lion's share of these employment fluctuations is of idiosyncratic nature and aggregate fluctuations play only a minor role, we document heterogeneity between exporters and non-exporters. Controlling for size, exporters are cyclically more sensitive than non-exporters. This result is in line with aggregate exports being highly pro-cyclical and suggest that exporters specialize in the production of goods and services that are more cyclical. The contribution of exporters to the variance of aggregate flows, however, is limited and only about one third, which corresponds approximately to their employment share.

JEL-codes: F16 E32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-int and nep-mac
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