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Faculty of Economics

The impact of trade policy and exchange rate shocks on trade


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Title: The impact of trade policy and exchange rate shocks on trade

Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Description: How will Brexit affect the development and growth of British manufacturing firms? Britain's popular referendum vote to exit from the European Union has created a great deal of uncertainty about the future of Britain's external trade relations with countries that belong to the European Union as well as with other major trading economies external to the EU, including the United States and China. With the government preparing for exit negotiations, little is known about the future external trade policy the UK government intends to establish with regard to European Union states as well as with non-EU countries. Two major and interrelated sources of uncertainty are (a) the future value of the pound sterling relative to the currencies of Britain's trading partners and (b) the future trade policy on imports into the UK as well as the future trade policy Britain's exports will face in the EU.

In this research project, we are conducting:

1. legal research on Britain's rights and obligations under the WTO and numerous bilateral investment treaties in order to focus the economic analysis of policy options (import tariffs, production subsidies) to those that the British government can legally use under international law;

2. economic research focused on trade policies, trade flows and trade impacts in order to predict the impact of Brexit and any proposed future trade agreements on British manufacturers that use imported inputs in their production, British firms that compete with imports in the UK market, on British exporters to EU and non-EU destinations and on workers and consumers in the UK; and

3. economic research on exchange rate pass through (ERPT) in order to forecast how changes in the value of the pound sterling will pass through into British import and export prices.

The UK in a Changing Europe website: http://ukandeu.ac.uk/



Principal investigator


Dr Meredith Crowley


Co-investigator


Dr Lorand Bartels

Post-doc research associate


Dr Lu Han


PhD student


Oliver Exton

External member


Dr Huasheng Song

Published Papers

Crowley, M. A., Exton, O. and Han, L. The Looming Threat of Tariff Hikes: Entry into Exporting under Trade Agreement Renegotiation, (2020) AEA Papers and Proceedings
Bodenstein, M., Corsetti G. and Guerrieri, L. Social Distancing and Supply Disruptions in a Pandemic, (2020) Covid Economics: Vetted and Real-Time Papers
Crowley, M. A., Meng, N. and Song, H. Policy shocks and stock market returns: evidence from Chinese solar panels, (2019) Journal of the Japanese and International Economies
Corsetti, G., Mavroeidi, E., Thwaites, G. and Wolf, M. Step away from the zero lower bound: small open economies in a world of secular stagnation, (2019) Journal of International Economics
Corsetti, G., Dedola, L., Jarocinski, M., Mackowiak, B., and Schmidt, S. Macroeconomic stablization, monetary-fiscal interactions, and Europe's monetary union, (2018) European Journal of Political Economy
Crowley, M. A., Meng, N., and Song, H. Tariff scares: Trade policy uncertainty and foreign market entry by Chinese firms, (2018) Journal of International Economics
Crowley, M. A. and Hillman, J.A. Slamming the door on trade policy discretion? The WTO appellate body's ruling on market distortions and production costs in EU-Biodiesel (Argentina), (2018) World Trade Review
Bartels, L. The UK's Status in the WTO after Brexit, (2017) SSRN

Blogs and Commentary

Bartels, L. Understanding the UK’s position in the WTO after Brexit (Part I – The UK’s status and its schedules), ICTSD
Bartels, L. Understanding the UK’s position in the WTO after Brexit (Part II – The consequences), ICTSD

Cambridge Working Papers in Economics

Bergin, P. R. and Corsetti, G. The Macroeconomic Stabilization Of Tariff Shocks: What Is The Optimal Monetary Response?, (2020) CWPE2026
Crowley, M. A., Exton, O. and Han, L. The Looming Threat of Tariff Hikes: Entry into Exporting Under Trade Agreement Renegotiation, (2020) CWPE2016
Bodenstein, M., Corsetti, G. and Guerrieri, L. The Elusive Gains from Nationally-Oriented Monetary Policy, (2020) CWPE2006
Corsetti, G., Eichengreen, B., Hale, G. and Tallman, E. The Euro Crisis in the Mirror of the EMS: How Tying Odysseus to the Mast Avoided the Sirens but Led Him to Charybdis, (2019) CWPE1914
Corsetti, G., Crowley, M. A. and Han, L. Invoicing and Pricing-to-Market - Evidence on international pricing by UK exporters, (2018) CWPE1860
Crowley, M. A., Exton, O. and Han, L. Renegotiation of Trade Agreements and Firm Exporting Decisions: Evidence from the Impact of Brexit on UK Exports, (2018) CWPE1839

Authored Book

Giancarlo, C., Feld, L.P., Lane, P.R., Reichlin, L A new start for the Eurozone: dealing with debt, (2015) Monitoring the Eurozone - CEPR

Chapter in Book

Bown, C. P. and Crowley, M. A. The empirical landscape of trade policy, (2016) in the book: Handbook of commercial policy, Volume 1 - Elsevier
Crowley, M. A. Why are safeguards needed in a trade agreement?, (2010) in the book: Law and econmics of contingent protection in international trade - Cambridge University Press
Corsetti, G., Dedola, L. and Leduc, S. Optimal monetary policy in open economies, (2010) in the book: Handbook of monetary economics - North-Holland
Perpetual Bonds are not the Best Way to Finance the European Recovery Fund - Published on - Monday 18th May 2020
Professor Giancarlo Corsetti, Aitor Erce and Antonio Garcia Pascual's article "Perpetual bonds are not the best way to finance the European Recovery Fund" has been featured by VoxEU CEPR Policy Portal. This column looks at the potential gains of using European borrowing and lending as two separate policy levers, instead of financing the ERF using joint perpetual debt.

Will the UK’s Free Ports Project Survive Covid-19? - Published on - Wednesday 13th May 2020
Dr. Meredith Crowley was quoted in the New Statesman article "Will the UK’s free ports project survive Covid-19?" which looks at the delays and possible cancellation of UK free ports project after the COVID-19 crisis.

Transatlantic Trade and Economic Cooperation through the Pandemic - Published on - Tuesday 5th May 2020
Dr. Meredith Crowley will join Ed Balls, Nick Macpherson, and George Osbourne to discuss Covid-19 and the next round of the UK-US Free Trade Agreement at a webinar organised by The Strand Group. Please register to watch the webinar.

Can Social Distancing Improve Trade Between Health And Economy? - Published on - Friday 1st May 2020
Professor Giancarlo Corsetti's research entitled "Can Social Distancing Improve Trade Between Health And Economy?" has been featured by CNBC and University of Cambridge Research News.

Is The ESM’s Pandemic Crisis Support Fit For Purpose? - Published on - Wednesday 29th April 2020
Professor Giancarlo Corsetti, and Aitor Erce have published an article for VOXeu titled "Maturity, Seniority and Size: Make sure the ESM’s pandemic crisis support is fit for purpose!". This column looks at the discussions around the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) credit line and if the ESM should consider waiving its seniority and engaging with countries using longer maturity structures.

Covid Economics: A Real-Time Journal - Published on - Saturday 28th March 2020
Professor Giancarlo Corsetti joins the editorial board promoting, "Covid Economics: A Real-Time Journal (CEJ)". The Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) has decided to launch this new online peer-reviewed review to disseminate emerging scholarly work on the Covid-19 epidemic. CEPR have just published Covid Economics: Vetted and Real-Time Papers Issue 1.

Brexit Breakdown - Podcast - Published on - Friday 6th March 2020
Dr. Meredith Crowley and Raoul Ruparel (former special advisor to Theresa May) took part in a Brexit Breakdown podcast, for The UK in a Changing Europe. This episode looks at the UK-EU trade talks, the possibility of a deal by the end of December and the likelihood of a UK-US trade deal.

Brexit Day - UK and EU Trade Deal - Published on - Friday 31st January 2020
Dr. Meredith Crowley was interviewed by BBC World Service's World Update programme about the prospect for the UK and EU negotiating a trade deal modelled on the EU's deal with Canada. You can listen to the programme on the BBC website (story starts at 6mins).

Debt and Macroeconomic Stabilization - Published on - Monday 16th December 2019
Professor Giancarlo Corsetti will deliver the 2019 Federico Caffè Lecture at Sapienza University of Rome on 18th and 19th December 2019. Prof Corsetti's lecture topic will be "Debt and Macroeconomic Stabilization".

Brexit - The New Trade Era - Published on - Monday 16th December 2019
Dr. Meredith Crowley was quoted in the New York Times article "Brexit’s Advance Opens a New Trade Era" about the implications of the General Election result and the now inevitable Brexit for the system of global trade.

IMF Annual Research Conference - Published on - Wednesday 6th November 2019
Professor Giancarlo Corsetti will speak at The International Monetary Fund's Twentieth Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference, which is being held at the IMF headquarters in Washington DC on 7th-8th November 2019. Prof. Corsetti's talk will be on his paper "Debt Sustainability and the Terms of Official Support", joint with Aitor Erce (European Investment Bank) and Timothy Uy (Deloitte).

The Zombie Economy - Published on - Tuesday 5th November 2019
Dr. Meredith Crowley's research "Renegotiation of Trade Agreements and Firm Exporting Decisions: Evidence from the Impact of Brexit on UK Exports", joint with Oliver Exton and Lu Han, was cited in the article "The Zombie Economy" in The Economist.

Passing a Brexit Deal Could Still End in No Deal - Published on - Sunday 27th October 2019
Dr. Meredith Crowley was quoted in The New York Times article "Getting Brexit Deal Over Finish Line Would Only Begin a Torturous New Race", which predicts that should Parliament pass the current Brexit deal, then this would only be the start of tough trade deal negotiations with the EU, that would more than likely end in a no deal outcome.

Uncertainty's Effect on Business Investment - Published on - Saturday 26th October 2019
Dr. Meredith Crowley's research "Renegotiation of Trade Agreements and Firm Exporting Decisions: Evidence from the Impact of Brexit on UK Exports", joint with Oliver Exton and Lu Han, was cited in the article "How Uncertainty Hits Business Investment" in The Financial Times.

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