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

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  • Breinlich, Holger

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

  • Breinlich, Holger, 2011. "Heterogeneous Firm-Level Responses to Trade Liberalization: A Test Using Stock Price Reactions," CEPR Discussion Papers 8600, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8600
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    Cited by:

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    2. Crowley, Meredith A. & Meng, Ning & Song, Huasheng, 2019. "Policy shocks and stock market returns: Evidence from Chinese solar panels," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 148-169.
    3. Peter H. Egger & Jiaqing Zhu, 2021. "Dynamic network and own effects on abnormal returns: evidence from China’s stock market," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 60(1), pages 487-512, January.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Zhang, Lin & Cui, Lin & Li, Sali & Lu, Jiangyong, 2018. "Who rides the tide of regionalization: Examining the effect of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area on the exports of Chinese firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 501-513.
    7. Federico Esposito & Marcelo Bianconi & Marco Sammon, 2020. "Trade Policy Uncertainty and Stock Returns," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0834, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    8. Peter H. Egger & Mario Larch & Yoto V. Yotov, 2020. "Gravity-Model Estimation with Time-Interval Data: Revisiting the Impact of Free Trade Agreements," CESifo Working Paper Series 8553, CESifo.
    9. repec:esx:essedp:748 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Egger, Peter & Zhu, Jiaqing, 2019. "The U.S.-Chinese Trade War: An Event Study of Stock-Market Responses," CEPR Discussion Papers 14164, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. 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.
    12. Marcelo Bianconi & Federico Esposito & Marco Sammon, 2019. "Trade Policy Uncertainty and Stock Returns," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0830, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    13. Davies, Ronald B. & Studnicka, Zuzanna, 2018. "The heterogeneous impact of Brexit: Early indications from the FTSE," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 1-17.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement; Heterogeneous Firm Models; Stock Market Event Studies;
    All these keywords.

    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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