The study shows that especially products - whose production is capital-intensive and characterised by large economies of scale - are suitable for foreign trade. Hence, in particular enterprises from the manufacturing and the distributive sector are engaged in export activities. Providers of services, by contrast, show a much lower propensity to export. As a general rule, large enterprises show a higher degree of export activities than SMEs.
With regard to the importance of export activities for the level of employment in Germany, an analysis by economic sectors reveals that in almost all sectors exporting enterprises show an above-average employment development. However, during the years 2008/09, marked by the global economic crisis, their employment development was below-average. Among the entirety of all exporting companies, small and medium-sized enterprises continuously show a more positive employment development than exporting large enterprises. In addition, exporting SMEs have been less negatively affected by the economic slump in 2008/09.
Wolter, H.-J.; May-Strobl, E. (2013): Der Beschäftigungsbeitrag mittelständischer Exportunternehmen, in: Institut für Mittelstandsforschung Bonn (Hrsg.): IfM-Materialien Nr. 220, Bonn.