Department of Economics and Business Economics

The Great Trade Collapse and the Spanish Export Miracle: Firm-level Evidence from the Crisis

Research output: Working paperResearch


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  • Peter S. Eppinger, University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Nicole Meythaler, Institute for Applied Economic Research (IAW) at the University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Marc-Manuel Sindlinger, University of Bonn, Germany
  • Marcel Smolka, Denmark
We provide novel evidence on the micro-structure of international trade during the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent global recession exploring a rich firm-level data set from Spain. The analysis is motivated by the surprisingly strong export performance of Spain in the aftermath of the great trade collapse (dubbed by some as the “Spanish export miracle”). 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 those firms that entered the crisis as exporters (and continued exporting throughout the crisis years) were more resilient to the crisis than those firms that restricted their sales to the domestic
market. Finally, in contrast to exporters, non-exporters experienced a significant deterioration in their total factor productivity, which led to an overall decline in the productivity of a significant number of industries in Spanish manufacturing.
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationAarhus
PublisherInstitut for Økonomi, Aarhus Universitet
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2015
SeriesEconomics Working Papers

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