Portrait: Marcus Biermann

Marcus Biermann

I am a postdoctoral researcher at IRES, Université catholique de Louvain. 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 economic history and finance.


email: marcus.biermann@uclouvain.be
IRES - Université catholique de Louvain
3 Place Montesquieu
1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium


Working Paper

Tracing the International Transmission of a Crisis Through Multinational Firms
(with Kilian Huber), December 2019

We study how multinational firms transmit shocks across countries through their internal capital markets. We identify a lending cut by a single German bank, which reduced the credit supply of multinational parents located in Germany. Using detailed data on internal capital markets, we show that multinationals adjusted internal capital flows toward affected parents and away from international affiliates. Affiliate sales fell sharply and recovered after three years. The results indicate that preexisting internal capital market positions can be used to predict the degree of cross-country shock transmission and that idiosyncratic shocks from “granular” banks in one country affect growth internationally.

Trade and the Size Distribution of Firms: Evidence from the German Empire
November 2020

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.

The Role of Management Practices in Acquisitions and the FDI Location Decision
August 2020

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 affiliates’ employment and increase affiliates’ productivity post-acquisition. Better-managed parents are also more likely to install or retain a manager from the home country post-acquisition.

Work in Progress

Financing Service Trade (with Peter Eppinger and Karol Paludkiewicz)


Full CV (pdf)

Short CV

Primary Research Field:
International Trade

Secondary Research Fields:
Economic History, Finance

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


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)