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 and science and financial economics.

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Contact

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

Research

Working Papers

Remote Talks: Changes to Economics Seminars During COVID-19
October 2022

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 leading economists gained shares. The share of seminars held by women also increased. 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.

Tracing the International Transmission of a Crisis Through Multinational Firms
(with Kilian Huber), Revision requested by the Journal of Finance, February 2021

This paper shows that idiosyncratic shocks to individual firms can affect growth all over the world, even if shocked firms have no direct foreign connections and no operations abroad. We identify an idiosyncratic shock to a German bank, which caused the bank to cut lending to German borrowers. Multinational parent firms located in Germany became financially constrained. In response, international affiliates of affected parents supported their parent by lending through internal capital markets and became constrained themselves. The real growth of affiliates fell sharply and took three years to fully recover. Though the initial shock only hit the domestic activities of a firm in Germany, the impact in other countries was sizable (for instance, around 0.4 percent of aggregate sales in Austria and the Czech Republic). The findings reveal that idiosyncratic shocks to individual firms influence economic outcomes far beyond firms’ direct scope of operation.

Publishing in the Top Five: The Role of Seminar Presentations at Chicago and Harvard
October 2022

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 about 2,300 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 a similar impact in terms of citations as other articles published in the QJE (JPE).

Publications

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

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.
Abstract

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)

CV

Full CV (pdf)

Short CV

Primary Research Field:
International Trade

Secondary Research Fields:
Economics of Science, Financial Economics

Education:
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

Teaching

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)