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This paper investigates four cohorts of firms from German manufacturing industries that started to export in the years between 1998 and 2002 and follows them over the five years after the start. Export starters are a rare species and they are small on average compared to incumbent exporters. Between 30 percent and 40 percent of the starters became continuous exporters; some starters stepped out and back into exporting, many of them more than once.
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