Portrait: Marcus Biermann

Marcus Biermann

I am an Assistant Professor at Bielefeld University. I obtained my PhD from the LSE and I am affiliated with the Centre for Economic Performance. My primary research field is international trade. My secondary research interests are in the economics of science and financial economics.

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email: marcus.biermann@uni-bielefeld.de
Bielefeld University
Universitätsstraße 25
33615 Bielefeld, Germany


Working Papers

Remote Talks: Changes to Economics Seminars During COVID-19
February 2023, Revision requested by the European Economic Review

This paper analyzes the consequences of the change in the presentation mode of economics seminars triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The composition of seminar speakers changed significantly. The share of seminars held by women increased. The leading economists in terms of recent output and top young top economists also gained shares. The geography of knowledge dissemination shifted significantly as the distance between host and speaker institutions increased on average by 32 percent. The growing inequality in presentations among speakers is correlated with an increase in inequality in terms of citations. The results imply that virtual presentations instead of traveling can decrease gender-specific inequality and increase inequality by productivity in the profession.

The Ripple Effect: Trade Linkages and the Stock Market Response to the Russia-Ukraine War
(with Elsa Leromain), September 2023

This paper investigates how firms' international linkages to Russia and Ukraine affected investors' expectations following the escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian war. For this, we perform an event study around the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, finding that firms with significant trade activity with Russia experienced a substantial reduction in cumulative returns. The effect on cumulative returns is especially pronounced for firms that are dependent on Russian commodities. The impact on the aggregate stock market performance of third countries was on average 0.8 percentage points. The highest losses were borne by European countries.

Publishing in the Top Five: The Role of Seminar Presentations at Chicago and Harvard
April 2023

The Quarterly Journal of Economics (QJE) managed by Harvard University and the Journal of Political Economy (JPE) managed by the University of Chicago are two of the top five journals in the economics profession. Drawing on the acknowledgements of more than 2,000 publications in the top five journals, this article documents a robust and significant correlation between presenting at Harvard University and publishing in the QJE and between presenting at the University of Chicago and publishing in the JPE. Articles presented at Harvard (Chicago) and published in the QJE (JPE) have, on average, a similar impact in terms of citations as other articles published in the QJE (JPE).


Tracing the International Transmission of a Crisis Through Multinational Firms
(with Kilian Huber), Journal of Finance, Forthcoming

We show that multinational firms transmit shocks across countries through their internal capital markets. We study a credit supply shock to parent firms in Germany. International affiliates outside Germany supported their parents through internal lending, became financially constrained themselves, and experienced lower real growth. We find that managers were "Darwinist" with respect to international affiliates but "Socialist" in the home country, that internal capital markets transmitted the credit shock more strongly than a non-financial shock, and that access to developed credit markets attenuated the real effects. The total real impact of shock transmission through multinationals on foreign economies was large.

On the Gender Diversity of Research Teams in Economics Seminars
AEA Papers and Proceedings, Vol. 113, May 2023, pp. 473-76.

Seminars are an important channel through which researchers receive feedback on their work and disseminate it. This paper presents descriptive evidence on the representation of female, male, and mixed teams in economics seminars. I use a balanced panel of 270 institutions in the academic years 2018–2020. I find that before COVID-19, only 7.4 percent of presented projects were authored by female teams, 59.2 percent of projects were authored by male teams, and 33.5 percent of projects were authored by mixed teams. The introduction of virtual seminars during the COVID-19 pandemic led to more balanced distribution across team types.

The Role of Management Practices in Acquisitions and the FDI Location Decision
Review of International Economics, Vol. 30(1), February 2022, pp. 137-165.

This paper investigates how management practices as intangible transfers are associated with the performance of multinational business groups. Differences in the management level across source countries are predictive for multinationals’ entry patterns for a given destination country. This study uses acquisitions as a means to transplant management practices from parents to affiliates abroad. It finds that better-managed parents decrease employment and increase productivity post-acquisition. The productivity gains are driven by targets with less developed management practices and by targets of larger parents. Better-managed parents are also more likely to install or retain a manager from the parent country post-acquisition.

Trade and the Size Distribution of Firms: Evidence from the German Empire
German Economic Review, Vol. 22(3), August 2021, pp. 289-322.

What effect did trade have on the size distribution of firms during the first wave of globalization? Three historical datasets from the German Empire between 1875 and 1907 were collected and harmonized to answer this question. This paper combines industry census and bilateral railway trade data from the same industry and region along with industry-level tariff data. The evidence shows that increases in aggregate trade caused the share of firms to shift from smaller to larger firms. Exogenous decreases in tariffs caused an increase in the share of the largest firms. The regional distributive effects of trade on inequality between firms that are discussed in the contemporaneous literature were already present during the first wave globalization.

Work in Progress

Environmental Preferences and Deep Trade Agreements (with Gonzague Vannoorenberghe)

Financing Service Trade (with Peter Eppinger and Karol Paludkiewicz)


Full CV (pdf)

Short CV

Primary Research Field:
International Trade

Secondary Research Fields:
Economics of Science, Financial Economics

PhD in Economics, London School of Economics (LSE), 2019
Master of Research in Economics, LSE, 2013
Master of Science in Economics (with distinction), LSE, 2012
Bachelor of Science in Economics, University of Bonn, 2011


Bielefeld University

2023- Außenwirtschaft & Macroeconomics II, MSc-level lecture

London School of Economics

2017-2018 International Economics (EC421), MSc course
2016 International Economics (EC351), Summer school
2013-2014, 2015-2017 International Economics (EC315), 3rd-year undergraduate level

Teaching Certification

2016-2017 Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (Associate Level)

University of Bonn

2010-2011 Statistics and Econometrics (undergraduate)