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Policy Uncertainty, Trade and Welfare: Theory and Evidence for China and the U.S

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  • Kyle Handley

    (University of Michigan)

  • Nuno Limao

    (University of Marylan and NBER)

Abstract

We examine the impact of policy uncertainty on trade, prices and real income through firm entry investments in general equilibrium. We estimate and quantify the impact of trade policy on China's export boom to the U.S. following its 2001 WTO accession. We find the accession reduced the U.S. threat of a trade war, which can account for over 1/3 of that export growth in 2000-2005. Reduced policy uncertainty lowered U.S. prices and increased its consumers' income by the equivalent of a 13 percentage point permanent tariff decrease. These findings provide evidence of large effects of policy uncertainty on economic activity and the importance of agreements for reducing it.

Suggested Citation

  • Kyle Handley & Nuno Limao, 2016. "Policy Uncertainty, Trade and Welfare: Theory and Evidence for China and the U.S," Working Papers 650, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:650
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    File URL: http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/workingpapers/Papers626-650/r650.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Csilla Lakatos & Lars Nilsson, 2017. "The EU-Korea FTA: anticipation, trade policy uncertainty and impact," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 153(1), pages 179-198, February.
    2. Handley, Kyle, 2014. "Exporting under trade policy uncertainty: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 50-66.
    3. Kym Anderson, 2016. "Contributions Of The Gatt/Wto To Global Economic Welfare: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 56-92, February.
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    5. Maximiliano Dvorkin & Fernando Parro & Lorenzo Caliendo, 2015. "The Impact of Trade on Labor Market Dynamics," 2015 Meeting Papers 1532, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Bai, Xue & Krishna, Kala & Ma, Hong, 2017. "How you export matters: Export mode, learning and productivity in China," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 122-137.
    7. Valeria Groppo & Roberta Piermartini, 2014. "Trade Policy Uncertainty and the WTO," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1437, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. de Sousa, José & Disdier, Anne-Célia & Gaigné, Carl, 2015. "Export decision under risk," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205584, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; World Trade Organization; Policy Uncertainty; Welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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