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Company stock price reactions to the 2016 election shock: Trump, taxes, and trade


  • Wagner, Alexander F.
  • Zeckhauser, Richard J.
  • Ziegler, Alexandre


Donald Trump's surprise election shifted expectations: corporate taxes would be lower and trade policies more restrictive. Relative stock prices responded appropriately. High-tax firms and those with large deferred tax liabilities (DTLs) gained; those with significant deferred tax assets from net operating loss carryforwards (NOL DTAs) lost. Domestically focused companies fared better than internationally oriented firms. A price contribution analysis shows that easily assessed consequences (DTLs, NOL DTAs, tax rates) were priced faster than more complex issues (net DTLs, foreign exposure). In sum, the analysis demonstrates that expectations about tax rates greatly impact firm values.

Suggested Citation

  • Wagner, Alexander F. & Zeckhauser, Richard J. & Ziegler, Alexandre, 2018. "Company stock price reactions to the 2016 election shock: Trump, taxes, and trade," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(2), pages 428-451.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:130:y:2018:i:2:p:428-451
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2018.06.013

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Ramelli & Alexander F. Wagner & Richard J. Zeckhauser & Alexandre Ziegler, 2018. "Investor Rewards to Climate Responsibility: Evidence from the 2016 Climate Policy Shock," NBER Working Papers 25310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hanke, Michael & Stöckl, Sebastian & Weissensteiner, Alex, 2020. "Political event portfolios," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    3. Yi Huang & Chen Lin & Sibo Liu & Heiwai Tang, 2018. "Trade Linkages and Firm Value: Evidence from the 2018 US-China “Trade War”," IHEID Working Papers 11-2018, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    4. Blanchard, Olivier & Collins, Christopher G. & Jahan-Parvar, Mohammad R. & Pellet, Thomas & Wilson, Beth Anne, 2018. "A year of rising dangerously? The U.S. stock market performance in the aftermath of the presidential election," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 489-502.
    5. Chan, Kam Fong & Gray, Philip & Gray, Stephen & Zhong, Angel, 2020. "Political uncertainty, market anomalies and Presidential honeymoons," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 113(C).
    6. Olivier J Blanchard & Christopher G. Collins & Mohammad R. Jahan-Parvar & Thomas Pellet & Beth Anne Wilson, 2018. "Why Has the Stock Market Risen So Much Since the US Presidential Election?," Policy Briefs PB18-4, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    7. Huang, Yi & Lin, Chen & Liu, Sibo & Tang, Heiwai, 2019. "Trade Networks and Firm Value: Evidence from the US-China Trade War," CEPR Discussion Papers 14173, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Stefano Battiston & Petr Jakubik & Irene Monasterolo & Keywan Riahi & Bas van Ruijven, 2019. "Climate Risk Assessment of the Sovereign Bond Portfolio of European Insurers," EIOPA Financial Stability Report - Thematic Articles 15, EIOPA, Risks and Financial Stability Department.
    9. Stefano Carattini & Suphi Sen, 2019. "Carbon Taxes and Stranded Assets: Evidence from Washington State," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1910, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    10. Alexander F. Wagner & Richard J. Zeckhauser & Alexandre Ziegler, 2017. "Paths to Convergence: Stock Price Behavior After Donald Trump's Election," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 17-36, Swiss Finance Institute, revised Feb 2018.
    11. Sascha Tobias Wengerek, 2020. "Share price reactions to tariff imposition announcements in the Trump era - An event study of the trade conflict," Working Papers Dissertations 59, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    12. Kohei Aono & Keiichi Hori, 2020. "Can Cash Be a Ventilator for Firms Suffering from COVID-19? Evidence from Stock Market in Japan," Discussion Paper Series 214, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University.
    13. Fang, Cao & Yeager, Timothy J., 2020. "A historical loss approach to community bank stress testing," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    14. de Area Leão Pereira, Eder Johnson & da Silva, Marcus Fernandes & da Cunha Lima, I.C. & Pereira, H.B.B., 2018. "Trump’s Effect on stock markets: A multiscale approach," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 512(C), pages 241-247.
    15. Klein, Daniel & Ludwig, Christopher A. & Spengel, Christoph, 2019. "Ring-fencing digital corporations: Investor reaction to the European Commission's digital tax proposals," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-050, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    16. Kalcheva, Ivalina & Plečnik, James M. & Tran, Hai & Turkiela, Jason, 2020. "(Un)intended consequences? The impact of the 2017 tax cuts and jobs act on shareholder wealth," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    17. Michelle Hanlon & Jeffrey L. Hoopes & Joel Slemrod, 2019. "Tax Reform Made Me Do It!," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 33-80.
    18. Murillo Campello & Gustavo S. Cortes & Fabricio d'Almeida & Gaurav Kankanhalli, 2020. "Global Effects of the Brexit Referendum: Evidence from US Corporations," NBER Working Papers 26714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Ramelli, Stefano & Wagner, Alexander F. & Zeckhauser, Richard J. & Ziegler, Alexandre, 2018. "Stock Price Rewards to Climate Saints and Sinners: Evidence from the Trump Election," Working Paper Series rwp18-037, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    20. Suhendra . & Etty Murwaningsari, 2019. "The Effect of Accounting Information and Tax Information on Trading Value Moderated by Competitive Strategy," Journal of Accounting, Business and Finance Research, Scientific Publishing Institute, vol. 6(2), pages 43-50.
    21. Monasterolo, Irene & de Angelis, Luca, 2020. "Blind to carbon risk? An analysis of stock market reaction to the Paris Agreement," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(C).
    22. Andrew N. Greenland & Mihai Ion & John W. Lopresti & Peter K. Schott, 2020. "Using Equity Market Reactions to Infer Exposure to Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 27510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Brownback, Andy & Novotny, Aaron, 2018. "Social desirability bias and polling errors in the 2016 presidential election," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 38-56.

    More about this item


    Stock returns; Event study; Corporate taxes; Trade policy; Corporate interest payments; Post-news drift; Election surprise; Market efficiency; Price contribution analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy


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