Dirk Burghardt
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of St. Gallen

University of St. Gallen
Department of Economics
Varnbüelstrasse 19
CH-9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland
+41 (71) 224-2313

Fields of Research

Industrial Organization
International Trade and Globalization
Business Strategy

Working Papers

Globalization and Vertical Structure: An Empirical Investigation (with Stefan Buehler), University of St. Gallen, Department of Economics, Discussion Paper No. 2013-10, March 2013.

This paper studies the effect of trade facilitation on vertical firm structure using plant-level data from Switzerland. Based on the Business Census and the Input-Output table, we first calculate a binary measure of vertical integration for all plants registered in Switzerland. We then estimate the effect of a Mutual Recognition Agreement with the European Union on the plants' probability of being vertically integrated. Adopting a difference-in-differences approach, we find that this policy change reduced the treated plants' probability of being vertically integrated by about 10 percent. Our results are consistent with recent work in international trade theory.

The Impact of Trade Policy on Industry Concentration in Switzerland, University of St. Gallen, Department of Economics, Discussion Paper No. 2013-17, August 2013.

This paper studies the impact of trade policy on industry concentration. Based on the Swiss Business Census, concentration levels for all four-digit manufacturing industries in Switzerland are calculated. Then the effect of a bilateral reduction in technical barriers to trade with the European Union is estimated. Adopting a difference-in-differences approach, it turns out that concentration in affected industries with low R&D intensity increased significantly following the policy change. This supports the notion that fewer firms are able to survive as the toughness of price competition increases. The effect on industries with high R&D intensity is found to be insignificant.


Firm Growth in the Course of Mergers and Acquisitions (with Marco Helm), Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal, Vol. 44(4), 2015, pp. 889-904.

This paper examines the effect of mergers and acquisitions on employment growth in newly acquired firm establishments. Based on a unique full sample of manufacturing and services firms in Switzerland, our main finding is that the relative size of a deal is an important growth determinant: While the initial size of the acquiring firm is positively related to an acquired establishment’s growth, the opposite holds true for the initial size of the acquisition. We also contribute to a controversial debate on firm growth in general by rejecting Gibrat’s law of proportionate growth for firm establishments in Switzerland. In fact, employment growth decreases with an establishment’s initial size and age—at the aggregate level as well as within separate subsamples of manufacturing and services firms.

Multihoming, Content Delivery Networks, and the Market for Internet Connectivity (with Thorsten Hau and Walter Brenner), Telecommunications Policy, Vol. 35(6), 2011, pp. 532-542.

Peering points between different Internet service providers (ISPs) are among the bottlenecks of the Internet. Multihoming (MH) and content delivery networks (CDNs) are two technical solutions to bypass peering points and to improve the quality of data delivery. So far, however, there is no research that analyzes the economic effects of MH and CDNs on the market for Internet connectivity. This paper develops a static market model with locked-in end users and paid content. It shows that MH and CDNs create the possibility for terminating ISPs to engage in monopolistic pricing towards content providers, leading to a shift of rents from end users and content providers to ISPs. Implications for future innovations are discussed.