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The costs and benefits of leaving the EU: trade effects

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  • Swati Dhingra
  • Hanwei Huang
  • Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano
  • Joao Paulo Pessoa
  • Thomas Sampson
  • John Van Reenen

Abstract

This paper estimates the welfare effects of Brexit, focusing on trade and fiscal transfers. We use a standard quantitative general equilibrium trade model with many countries and sectors and trade in intermediates, as in Costinot and Rodríguez-Clare (2014). We simulate a range of counterfactuals reflecting alternative options for EU-UK relations following Brexit. Welfare losses for the average UK household are 1:3% if the UK remains in the EU's Single Market like Norway (a "soft Brexit"). Losses rise to 2:7% if the UK trades with the EU under World Trade Organization rules (a "hard Brexit"). A reduced form approach that captures the dynamic effects of Brexit on productivity more than triples these losses and implies a decline in average income per capita of between 6:3% and 9:4%, partly via falls in foreign investment. These negative effects are widely shared across the entire income distribution and are unlikely to be offset from new trade deals.

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  • Swati Dhingra & Hanwei Huang & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Joao Paulo Pessoa & Thomas Sampson & John Van Reenen, 2017. "The costs and benefits of leaving the EU: trade effects," CEP Discussion Papers dp1478, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1478
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade; Brexit; General equilibrium;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F17 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Forecasting and Simulation

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