This study investigates business services firms that (start to) export, comparing exporters to firms that serve the national market only. We estimate identically specified empirical models using comparable enterprise data from France, Germany, and the UK. Our findings show that exporters are on average more productive and pay higher wages in all three countries. However, results for profitability differ across borders, where profitability of exporters is significantly smaller in Germany, significantly larger in France, and does not differ significantly in the UK. The results for wages and productivity hold in the years before firms start exporting, which indicates self-selection into exporting of more productive services firms that pay higher wages. The surprising finding of self-selection of less profitable German services firms into exporting does not show up among firms from France and the UK. In all three countries we do not find evidence for positive effects of exporting on firm performance.
- business services firms