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.
exports great trade collapse granular economy Germany