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Heterogeneous Firm-Level Responses to Trade Liberalisation: A Test Using Stock Price Reactions

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  • Holger Breinlich

Abstract

This paper presents novel empirical evidence on key predictions of heterogeneous firm models by examining stock market reactions to the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement of 1989 (CUSFTA). Using the uncertainty surrounding the agreement's ratification, I show that the pattern of abnormal returns of Canadian manufacturing …firms was broadly consistent with the predictions of a class of models based on Melitz (2003). Increases in the likelihood of ratification led to stock market gains of exporting firms relative to non-exporters. Moreover, gains were higher in sectors with larger cuts in U.S. import tariffs. Decreases in the likelihood of ratification led to opposite stock market reactions. Results for the impact of Canadian tariff reductions are less conclusive but most specifications suggest that exporters also gained relative to non-exporters in response to such reductions. Translating stock market gains into implied profit changes, I find that CUSFTA increased expected per-period profits of exporters by around 6-7% relative to non-exporters.

Suggested Citation

  • Holger Breinlich, 2011. "Heterogeneous Firm-Level Responses to Trade Liberalisation: A Test Using Stock Price Reactions," CEP Discussion Papers dp1085, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1085
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Reinstein, David & Song, Joon, 2014. "Listen to the Market, Hear the Best Policy Decision, but Don't Always Choose it," Economics Discussion Papers 10008, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    2. Breinlich, Holger, 2015. "The Effect of Trade Liberalization on Firm-Level Profits: An Event-Study Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 11011, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Sung Jin Kang, Hongshik Lee, Joonhyung Lee, 2013. "FDI Externalities and the Response of the Korean Stock Market," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 29, pages 119-137.
    4. repec:eee:iburev:v:27:y:2018:i:3:p:501-513 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:esx:essedp:748 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Mauer, David C. & Wang, Song & Wang, Xiao & Zhang, Yilei, 2015. "Global diversification and IPO returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 436-456.
    7. Meredith A. Crowley & Huasheng Song, 2015. "Policy Shocks and Stock Market Returns: Evidence from Chinese Solar Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1529, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Heterogeneous firm models; stock market event studies; Canada-U.S. free trade agreement;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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