Review of World Economics

, Volume 155, Issue 1, pp 181–198 | Cite as

Time zones and German exports: first evidence from firm-product level data

  • Joachim WagnerEmail author
Original Paper


This paper uses a tailor-made new data set of 3,390,871 observations for German exports to non-EU countries at the firm-product-destination level in 2011 to investigate the link between the amount of firms’ exports and the difference in time zones between Germany and the destination countries. The results indicate that including firm and product level heterogeneity is important. When distance to destination countries is controlled for, time zones only decrease exports for smaller exporters and for intermediate goods. The quantity of exports declines with increasing time difference within a firm for a given product for exports to the West (where time difference to Germany is negative) but not the East.


Exports Time zone Distance Gravity equation Germany 

JEL Classification



  1. Anderson, Edward. (2014). Time differences, communication and trade: Longitude matters II. Review of World Economics, 150(2), 337–369.Google Scholar
  2. Bahar, D. (2018). The hardship of long distance relationships: Time zone proximity and knowledge transmission within multinational firms. CESifo Working Papers 7104, June.Google Scholar
  3. Bastos, P., & Silva, J. (2010). The quality of a firm’s exports: Where you export to matters. Journal of International Economics, 82(2), 99–111.Google Scholar
  4. Bista, R., & Tomasik, R. (2015). The not so distant effect of distance within a time zone. Applied Economics Letters, 22(16), 1335–1339.Google Scholar
  5. Bista, R., & Tomasik, R. (2017). Time zone effects and the margins of exports. The World Economy, 40(6), 1053–1067.Google Scholar
  6. Christen, E. (2017). Time zones matter: The impact of distance and time zones on services trade. The World Economy, 40(3), 612–631.Google Scholar
  7. Dettmer, B. (2014). International service transactions: Is time a trade barrier in a connected world? International Economic Journal, 28(2), 225–254.Google Scholar
  8. Disdier, A.-C., & Head, K. (2008). The puzzling persistence of the distance effect on bilateral trade. Review of Economics and Statistics, 90(1), 37–48.Google Scholar
  9. Egger, P. H., & Larch, M. (2013). Time zone differences as trade barriers. Economics Letters, 119(2), 172–175.Google Scholar
  10. Hallak, J. C. (2006). Product quality and direction of trade. Journal of International Economics, 68(1), 238–265.Google Scholar
  11. Hattari, R., & Rajan, R. S. (2012). Sources of foreign direct investment flows to developing Asia: The importance of time zone. China Economic Policy Review, 1(2), 1250013.Google Scholar
  12. Head, K., & Mayer, T. (2014). Gravity equations: Workhorse, Toolkit, and Cookbook. Handbook of International Economics, 4, 131–195.Google Scholar
  13. Krugman, P. R., Obstfeld, M., & Melitz, M. J. (2015). International economics (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.Google Scholar
  14. Mayer, T., & Zignago, S. (2011). Notes on CEPII’s distance measures: The GeoDist database. CEPII Document de Travail No. 2011-25, December.Google Scholar
  15. Rauch, J. E. (1999). Networks versus markets in international trade. Journal of International Economics, 48(1), 7–35.Google Scholar
  16. Stein, E., & Daude, C. (2007). Longitude matters: Time zones and the location of foreign direct investment. Journal of International Economics, 71(1), 96–112.Google Scholar
  17. Wagner, J. (2016). A survey of empirical studies using transaction level data on exports and imports. Review of World Economics, 152(1), 215–225.Google Scholar
  18. Wagner, J. (2017). Distance-sensitivity of German exports: first evidence from firm-product level data. Applied Economics Letters, 24(3), 140–142.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kiel Institute 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leuphana University Lueneburg, Institute of EconomicsLueneburgGermany
  2. 2.CESIS, KTHStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations