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British-European Trade Relations and Brexit: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Economic and Financial Uncertainty on Exports

Ansgar Belke () and Sebastian Ptok ()
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Sebastian Ptok: Institut für Mittelstandsforschung Bonn (IfM), Maximilianstraße 20, 53111 Bonn, Germany

International Journal of Financial Studies, 2018, vol. 6, issue 3, 1-22

Abstract: Brexit, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU), has led to significant exchange rate fluctuations and to uncertainty in financial markets and in UK–EU trade relations. In this article, we use a non-linear model to study how this uncertainty affects export companies. Exports tend to react in spurts when exchange rate fluctuations go beyond a band of inaction, referred to here as a “play area”. We apply an algorithm to study this hysteretic relationship with ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions. We examine the export relationship between Europe (Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, and The Netherlands) and the UK. To guarantee the robustness of the results, we estimate a variety of specifications for modeling economic uncertainty: (a) constant uncertainty, (b) exchange rate volatility, (c) volatility in European equity markets, (d) the Treasury Bill EuroDollar Difference (TED-spread), (e) the Economic Policy Uncertainty Index (EPUI), and (f) a combination of exchange rate volatility and the EPUI. Since the results show little evidence of hysteretic effects on British exports, we focus on the European side. The specifications including exchange rate and equity market volatility show a significant effect of hysteresis.

Keywords: Brexit; uncertainty; play-hysteresis; exports; exchange rate volatility; stock market volatility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G1 G2 G3 F2 F3 F41 F42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:gam:jijfss:v:6:y:2018:i:3:p:73-:d:164346