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

Listed author(s):
  • Holger Breinlich

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.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1085.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1085
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
  2. Aileen J. Thompson, 1993. "The Anticipated Sectoral Adjustment to the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement: An Event Study Analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 253-271, May.
  3. Binder, John J, 1998. "The Event Study Methodology since 1969," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 111-137, September.
  4. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  5. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Working Papers 07-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Holger Breinlich & Alejandro Cuñat, 2013. "Tariffs, Trade and Productivity: A Quantitative Evaluation of Heterogeneous Firm Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 4354, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Ralph S.J. Koijen & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2010. "Predictability of Returns and Cash Flows," NBER Working Papers 16648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mary Amiti & Jozef G Konings, 2005. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity; Evidence from Indonesia," IMF Working Papers 05/146, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Hartigan, James C & Perry, Philip R & Kamma, Sreenivas, 1986. "The Value of Administered Protection: A Capital Market Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 610-617, November.
  10. John S. Hughes & Stefanie Lenway & Judy Rayburn, 1997. "Stock Price Effects of U.S. Trade Policy Responses to Japanese Trading Practices in Semi-conductors," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(4), pages 922-942, November.
  11. De Loecker, Jan, 2007. "Do exports generate higher productivity? Evidence from Slovenia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 69-98, September.
  12. Grossman, Gene M & Levinsohn, James A, 1989. "Import Competition and the Stock Market Return to Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1065-1087, December.
  13. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Bruce A. Blonigen & KaSaundra Tomlin & Wesley W. Wilson, 2002. "Tariff-jumping FDI and Domestic Firms' Profits," NBER Working Papers 9027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Long Chen & Zhi Da & Xinlei Zhao, 2013. "What Drives Stock Price Movements?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(4), pages 841-876.
  16. John H. Cochrane, 2011. "Presidential Address: Discount Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(4), pages 1047-1108, 08.
  17. Paula Bustos, 2009. "Trade Liberalization, Exports and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinean Firms," 2009 Meeting Papers 1029, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. Randall Morck & David Stangeland & Bernard Yeung, 2000. "Inherited Wealth, Corporate Control, and Economic Growth The Canadian Disease?," NBER Chapters, in: Concentrated Corporate Ownership, pages 319-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Petia Topalova, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Firm Productivity; The Case of India," IMF Working Papers 04/28, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Daniel Trefler, 2004. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U. S. Free Trade Agreement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 870-895, September.
  21. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Schott, Peter K., 2006. "Trade costs, firms and productivity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 917-937, July.
  22. Hartigan, James C & Kamma, Sreenivas & Perry, Philip R, 1989. "The Injury Determination Category and the Value of Relief from Dumping," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 183-186, February.
  23. László Halpern & Miklós Koren & Adam Szeidl, 2011. "Imported Inputs and Productivity," CeFiG Working Papers 8, Center for Firms in the Global Economy, revised 16 Sep 2011.
  24. Ariel Burstein & Marc J. Melitz, 2011. "Trade Liberalization and Firm Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 16960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Randall K. Morck & David A. Strangeland & Bernard Yeung, 1998. "Inherited Wealth, Corporate Control and Economic Growth," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 209, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  26. James A. Brander, 1991. "Election Polls, Free Trade, and the Stock Market: Evidence from the 1988 Canadian General Election," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(4), pages 827-843, November.
  27. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity (DOI:10.111/j.1467-937x.2007.00463.x)," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 985-985.
  28. John H. Cochrane, 2011. "Discount Rates," NBER Working Papers 16972, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. John Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2003. "Export-market participation and productivity performance in Canadian manufacturing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(3), pages 634-657, August.
  30. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-1721, September.
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