Working Papers

Firm Input Choice Under Trade Policy Uncertainty (with N. Limão, R. Ludema, and Z. Yu). 2020. NBER working paper .

Measuring the Effects of Firm Uncertainty on Economic Activity: New Evidence from One Million Documents. 2020. (with J.F. Li). NBER working paper. Ungated version:

Rising Import Tariffs, Falling Export Growth: When Modern Supply Chains Meet Old-Style Protectionism(with F. Kamal and R. Monarch)

ABSTRACT: We examine the impacts of the 2018-2019 U.S. import tariff increases on U.S. export growth through the lens of supply chain linkages. Using 2016 confidential firm-trade linked data, we document the implied incidence and scope of new import tariffs. Firms that eventually faced tariff increases on their imports accounted for 84% of all exports and represented 65% of manufacturing employment. For all affected firms, the implied cost is $900 per worker in new duties. To estimate the effect on U.S. export growth, we construct product-level measures of import tariff exposure of U.S. exports from the underlying firm micro data. More exposed products experienced 2 percentage point lower growth relative to products with no exposure. The decline in exports is equivalent to an ad valorem tariff on U.S. exports of almost 2% for the typical product and almost 4% for products with higher than average exposure.

Press/Media: [Trade Talks Podcast], [Wall Street Journal], [Reuters], [Bloomberg], [Xinhua], [Salon], [Reason], [The Hill], [EconoFact]

Economic and Policy Uncertainty: Export Dynamics and the Value of Agreements. 2018 (with J. Carballo and N. Limão). NBER Working Papers 24368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. [Invited to Revise and Resubmit at Journal of International Economics]

Press: [WashPost], [CNBC], [VoxEU], [WallStreetJournal]

The Impact of Chinese Trade on U.S. Employment: The Good, the Bad, and the Debatable (with N. Bloom, A Kurmann, P. Luck).
Draft:, Slides:

Press: [The Economist][WSJ Realtime Econ][Financial Times], [Bloomberg]

The Economic Effects of Private Equity Buyouts. 2019(with S. Davis, J. Haltiwanger, J. Lerner, B. Lipsius, and J. Miranda). [Invited to revise and resubmit at Review of Financial Studies]

Press/Media: [], [New York Times], [NBER Digest], [VoxEU], [Politico], [Forbes], [Financial Times 1], [Financial Times 2]

Tariffs, Transport Costs, and Tax Evasion. 2018 (with T. Moore) Mimeo.

Published Papers

Brexit Uncertainty and Trade Disintegration. 2018 (with A. Graziano and N. Limão) NBER Working Paper No. 25334. [Forthcoming at Economic Journal]

ABSTRACT: We estimate the uncertainty effects of preferential trade disagreements. Increases in the probability of Britain’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) significantly reduced bilateral export values and participation before the June 2016 referendum. These effects are increasing in trade policy risk across products, e.g. a persistent doubling of Brexit probability lowers EU-UK bilateral export values by as much as 15 log points if their disagreement tariff is 4% (“hard Brexit”) instead of zero. The implied probability of this hard Brexit outcome was higher for EU exporters to Britain; but neither believed a trade war was likely.

Press/Media: [Trade Talks Podcast], [UM News Video], [UM News Q&A], [Politico]

Graziano, A., Handley, K. and Limão, N. (forthcoming) Brexit Uncertainty: Trade Externalities Beyond Europe. AEA Papers and Proceedings

Abstract: We examine if Brexit uncertainty has trade externalities beyond Europe. Using detailed data on export values and participation, tariffs, and Brexit probabilities prior to the referendum, we estimate ongoing negative trade-uncertainty elasticities between the United Kingdom (UK) and its non-European partner countries in preferential trade agreements that will require renegotiation post-Brexit. We use them to isolate the impact of the referendum on export values and net entry; we find effects similar to those identified by Graziano et al. (2018) for the UK and EU.

Handley, K. and Limão, N. (2017). Policy Uncertainty, Trade, and Welfare: Theory and Evidence for China and the United States. American Economic Review, 107(9):2731–83. HL2017AER.

Short BFI video on this paper [link] | Video from 2012 UChicago talk [link, last 12 minutes]|Press: [Forbes 4/23/2019], [Foreign Affairs 6/25/18], [The Economist 3/11/2017]

Davis, S. J., Haltiwanger, J., Handley, K., Jarmin, R., Lerner, J., and Miranda, J. (2014). Private Equity, Jobs, and Productivity. American Economic Review, 104(12):3956–90. DHHJML2014.

Handley, K. and Limão, N. (2015). Trade and Investment under Policy Uncertainty: Theory and Firm Evidence. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 7(4):189–222. HL2015AEJ.

Winner of Chair Jaquemin Prize for Best Paper on Heterogeneous Firms and Trade Policy, 2011 | Video from 2012 UChicago talk[link] | Press: [Washington Post 7/7/2016]

Handley, K. (2014). Exporting under Trade Policy Uncertainty: Theory and Evidence. Journal of International Economics, 94(1):50–66.

Winner of WTO Young Economist Essay Prize, 2011 

Handley, K. (2012). Country Size, Technology and Manufacturing Location. Review of International Economics, 20(1):29–45.

Book Chapters

Handley, K. (2016). Entrepreneurship and the Challenge of Globalization. In New Entrepreneurial Growth Agenda. Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City.

Handley, K. and Limão, N. (2017). Trade under T.R.U.M.P. policies. In Bown, C. P., editor, Economics and policy in the Age of Trump, chapter 13, pages 141–152. CEPR, London,U.K.