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Voting with Their Money: Brexit and Outward Investment by UK Firms

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  • Holger Breinlich
  • Elsa Leromain
  • Dennis Novy
  • Thomas Sampson

Abstract

We study the impact of the 2016 Brexit referendum on UK foreign direct investment. Using the synthetic control method to construct appropriate counterfactuals, we show that by March 2019 the Leave vote had led to a 17% increase in the number of UK outward investment transactions in the remaining EU27 member states, whereas transactions in non-EU OECD countries were unaffected. These results support the hypothesis that UK companies have been setting up European subsidiaries to retain access to the EU market after Brexit. At the same time, we find that the number of EU27 investment projects in the UK has declined by around 9%, illustrating that being a smaller economy than the EU leaves the UK more exposed to the costs of economic disintegration.

Suggested Citation

  • Holger Breinlich & Elsa Leromain & Dennis Novy & Thomas Sampson, 2019. "Voting with Their Money: Brexit and Outward Investment by UK Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 7751, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7751
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    Cited by:

    1. Breinlich, Holger & Leromain, Elsa & Novy, Dennis & Sampson, Thomas, 2020. "Voting with their money: Brexit and outward investment by UK firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    2. Holger Breinlich & Elsa Leromain & Dennis Novy & Thomas Sampson, 2019. "Exchange Rates and Consumer Prices: Evidence from Brexit," CESifo Working Paper Series 8001, CESifo.
    3. Fetzer, Thiemo & Wang, Shizhou, 2020. "Measuring the Regional Economic Cost of Brexit: Evidence up to 2019," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1280, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    4. Halmai, Péter, 2020. "A dezintegráció gazdaságtana. A brexit esete [The economics of disintegration. The case of Brexit]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(9), pages 837-877.
    5. Matoshi, Ruzhdi & Mulaj, Isa, 2020. "Resurgence of transition economics: Brexit as an expected example, experience and lesson," MPRA Paper 107852, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Pieter IJtsma & Bart Los, 2020. "UK Regions in Global Value Chains," Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) Discussion Papers ESCoE DP-2020-08, Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE).
    7. Gabriel, Ricardo Duque & Pessoa, Ana Sofia, 2020. "Adopting the Euro: a synthetic control approach," MPRA Paper 99391, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schnabel, Isabel & Truger, Achim & Wieland, Volker, 2019. "Den Strukturwandel meistern. Jahresgutachten 2019/20," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201920, November.
    9. Mattia Di Ubaldo & Michael Gasiorek, 2020. "Non-trade provisions in trade agreements and FDI," Working Paper Series 2120, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    10. Kohnert, Dirk, 2020. "L'impact du Brexit sur l'Afrique en période de crise Corona : le cas de l'Afrique du Sud, du Nigeria, du Ghana et du Kenya," AfricArxiv qtmc3, Center for Open Science.
    11. Nicolo' Tamberi, 2020. "Export-platform FDI and Brexit Uncertainty," Working Paper Series 0320, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    12. Barry Frank & Sun Xiaolu & Hogan Benn F., 2020. "Brexit Damage Limitation: Tariff-Jumping FDI and the Irish Agri-Food Sector," The Irish Journal of Management, Sciendo, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74, August.
    13. Farid, Moatazbellah, 2020. "The Effect of Brexit on UK Productivity: Synthetic Control Analysis," MPRA Paper 103165, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Romiti, Agnese, 2021. "International Student Applications in the United Kingdom after Brexit," IZA Discussion Papers 14247, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Ryan John, 2019. "British Exceptionalism Causes Brexit Conundrum," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 1-14, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Brexit; foreign direct investment; synthetic control method;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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