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The Impact of Brexit on UK Firms

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  • Nicholas Bloom
  • Philip Bunn
  • Scarlet Chen
  • Paul Mizen
  • Pawel Smietanka
  • Gregory Thwaites

Abstract

We use a major new survey of UK firms, the Decision Maker Panel, to assess the impact of the June 2016 Brexit referendum. We identify three key results. First, the UK’s decision to leave the EU has generated a large, broad and long-lasting increase in uncertainty. Second, anticipation of Brexit is estimated to have gradually reduced investment by about 11% over the three years following the June 2016 vote. This fall in investment took longer to occur than predicted at the time of the referendum, suggesting that the size and persistence of this uncertainty may have delayed firms’ response to the Brexit vote. Finally, the Brexit process is estimated to have reduced UK productivity by between 2% and 5% over the three years after the referendum. Much of this drop is from negative within-firm effects, in part because firms are committing several hours per week of top-management time to Brexit planning. We also find evidence for smaller negative between-firm effects as more productive, internationally exposed, firms have been more negatively impacted than less productive domestic firms.

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  • Nicholas Bloom & Philip Bunn & Scarlet Chen & Paul Mizen & Pawel Smietanka & Gregory Thwaites, 2019. "The Impact of Brexit on UK Firms," NBER Working Papers 26218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26218
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    Cited by:

    1. Holger Breinlich & Elsa Leromain & Dennis Novy & Thomas Sampson, 2019. "Exchange Rates and Consumer Prices: Evidence from Brexit," CESifo Working Paper Series 8001, CESifo.
    2. Asano, Takao & Osaki, Yusuke, 2021. "Optimal investment under ambiguous technology shocks," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 293(1), pages 304-311.
    3. Evers, Andrea & Matthaei, Eva Kristina, 2021. "Steuerplanung unter Unsicherheit: Eine Befragungsstudie zum Brexit," Discussion Papers 2021/10, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    4. Matej Opatrny, 2021. "The impact of the Brexit vote on UK financial markets: a synthetic control method approach," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 559-587, May.
    5. 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).
    6. Peydró, José-Luis & Rodriguez-Tous, Francesc & Tripathy, Jagdish & Uluc, Arzu, 2020. "Macroprudential Policy, Mortgage Cycles and Distributional Effects: Evidence from the UK," EconStor Preprints 223303, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    7. Brautzsch, Hans-Ulrich & Dany-Knedlik, Geraldine & Drygalla, Andrej & Gebauer, Stefan & Holtemöller, Oliver & Kämpfe, Martina & Lindner, Axel & Michelsen, Claus & Rieth, Malte & Schlaak, Thore, 2019. "Kurzfristige ökonomische Effekte eines "Brexit" auf die deutsche Wirtschaft: Studie im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie," IWH Online 3/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    8. Bergin, Paul R & Corsetti, Giancarlo, 2020. "The Macroeconomic Stabilization of Tariff Shocks: What is the Optimal Monetary Response?," CEPR Discussion Papers 14556, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Bachmann, Rüdiger, 2019. "Comments on “Monetary policy announcements and expectations: Evidence from German firms”," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 64-68.
    10. Steven J. Davis, 2019. "Rising Policy Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 26243, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Ana Venâncio & João Pereira dos Santos, 2022. "The Effect of Brexit on British Workers Living in the EU," CESifo Working Paper Series 9659, CESifo.
    12. Berg, Tobias & Saunders, Anthony & Schäfer, Larissa & Steffen, Sascha, 2021. "Brexit and the contraction of syndicated lending," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 66-82.
    13. Wittwer, Glyn & Anderson, Kym, 2020. "A Model of Global Beverage Markets," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 330-354, August.
    14. Panagiota Makrychoriti & Fotios Pasiouras & Menelaos Tasiou, 2022. "Financial stress and economic growth: The moderating role of trust," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(1), pages 48-74, February.
    15. Shams, Syed & Gunaskerage, Abeyratna & Velayutham, Eswaran, 2022. "Economic policy uncertainty and acquisition performance: Australian evidence," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 286-308.
    16. 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.
    17. Patrizia Casadei & Simona Iammarino, 2021. "Trade policy shocks in the UK textile and apparel value chain: Firm perceptions of Brexit uncertainty," Journal of International Business Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 4(2), pages 262-285, June.

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