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This paper presents the first empirical test with German establishment level data of a hypothesis derived by Helpman, Melitz and Yeaple in a model that explains the decision of heterogeneous firms to serve foreign markets either trough exports or foreign direct investment: only the more productive firms choose to serve the foreign markets, and the most productive among this group will further choose to serve these markets via foreign direct investments. Using a non-parametric test for firstdoi:10.2139/ssrn.740251 fatcat:cdos5jsu5rhd3dqqvhxql444ee