The Great Trade Collapse and the Spanish Export Miracle: Firm‐Level Evidence from the Crisis

37 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2018

See all articles by Peter Eppinger

Peter Eppinger

University of Tuebingen

Nicole Meythaler

University of Tuebingen - Institute for Applied Economic Research (IAW)

Marc‐Manuel Sindlinger

University of Bonn

Marcel Smolka

University of Flensburg

Date Written: February 2018

Abstract

We provide novel evidence on the microstructure of international trade during the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent global recession by exploring a rich firm‐level data set from Spain. The focus of our analysis is on changes at the extensive and intensive firm‐level margins of trade, as well as on performance differences (jobs, productivity and firm survival) across firms that differ in their export status. We find no adverse effects of the financial crisis on foreign market entry or exit, but a considerable increase in the export intensity of firms after the financial crisis. Moreover, we find that exporters were more resilient to the crisis than non‐exporters. Finally, while exporters showed a significantly more favourable development of total factor productivity after 2009 than non‐exporters, aggregate productivity declined substantially in a large number of industries in Spanish manufacturing. We also briefly explore two factors that might help explain the surprisingly strong export performance of Spain in the aftermath of the great trade collapse: improved aggregate competitiveness due to internal and external devaluation and a substitutive relationship between domestic and foreign sales at the firm level.

Keywords: financial crisis, firm‐level data, international trade, manufacturing, Spain

Suggested Citation

Eppinger, Peter and Meythaler, Nicole and Sindlinger, Marc‐Manuel and Smolka, Marcel, The Great Trade Collapse and the Spanish Export Miracle: Firm‐Level Evidence from the Crisis (February 2018). The World Economy, Vol. 41, Issue 2, pp. 457-493, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3122776 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/twec.12530

Peter Eppinger (Contact Author)

University of Tuebingen ( email )

Nicole Meythaler

University of Tuebingen - Institute for Applied Economic Research (IAW)

Wilhelmstr. 19
72074 Tuebingen, Baden Wuerttemberg 72074
Germany

Marc‐Manuel Sindlinger

University of Bonn

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Marcel Smolka

University of Flensburg ( email )

Auf dem Campus 1
Flensburg, 24943
Germany

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