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Trade Policy Uncertainty and Stock Returns

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  • Federico Esposito
  • Marcelo Bianconi
  • Marco Sammon

Abstract

We examine how trade policy uncertainty is reflected in stock returns. Our identification strategy exploits quasi-experimental variation in exposure to trade policy uncertainty arising from Congressional votes to revoke China’s preferential tariff treatment between 1990 and 2001. More exposed industries commanded a risk premium of 6% per year. The risk premium was larger in sectors less protected from globalization, and more reliant on inputs from China. More exposed industries also had a larger drop in stock prices when the uncertainty began, and more volatile returns around key policy dates. Moreover, the effects of policy uncertainty on expected cash-flows, investors’ forecast errors, and import competition from China cannot explain our results.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0834
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