Trade Policy Uncertainty and Stock Returns
41 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2019 Last revised: 25 Mar 2019
Date Written: February 23, 2019
This paper documents new stylized facts on the effects of trade policy uncertainty on stock returns. We exploit quasi-exogenous variation in exposure to policy uncertainty arising from annual votes by US Congress to revoke China's MFN tariff rates between 1990 and 2000. Before the uncertainty was resolved by granting China permanent MFN rates, US manufacturing industries highly exposed to trade policy uncertainty had stock returns 10.4% higher per year than less exposed sectors. We argue that this difference in average returns is a risk premium for exposure to trade policy uncertainty. Indirect exposure to trade policy uncertainty through Input-Output linkages also commands a substantial risk premium.
Keywords: trade policy, uncertainty, stock returns, risk premium
JEL Classification: F10, F13, G12
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