Yi Huang, Jianjun Miao, Pengfei Wang, 08 November 2016

The Chinese Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index dropped by a third in mid-2015, wiping out billions in share value. One of the responses of the Chinese government was to directly participate in the stock market. This column assesses the costs and benefits of this intervention, finding that the resulting gains amounted to about 5% of Chinese GDP. The value was created not just from increased equity and investor confidence, but also from increased liquidity and reduced probability of default for listed firms.

Holger Breinlich, 10 March 2016

Given the increasing number of regional trade agreements, economists have been estimating their effects on a wide range of outcomes. This column looks at stock market reactions to the implementation of the Canada-US free trade agreement to evaluate its effects on firms’ profits. Firm profits seem to be hurt by lower tariffs, but increase with cheaper access to intermediates and – for large firms – better access to the US market. The author estimates that CUSFTA increased the yearly profits of Canadian manufacturing by 1.2%.

Thierry Foucault, Laurent Frésard, 05 March 2016

Economists continue to debate whether stock markets influence the real economy. This column takes a look at initial public offerings (IPOs) and finds that firms can increase the precision of the signals they get from the stock market by imitating each other. This effect has important implications for the structure of industries, innovation strategies, the diversity of product offerings for consumers, and the scope for diversification for investors.

Joshua Aizenman, Mahir Binici, Michael Hutchison, 04 April 2014

In 2013, policymakers began discussing when and how to ‘taper’ the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy. This column presents evidence on the effect of Fed officials’ public statements on emerging-market financial conditions. Statements by Chairman Bernanke had a large effect on asset prices, whereas the market largely ignored statements by Fed Presidents. Emerging markets with stronger fundamentals experienced larger stock-market declines, larger increases in credit default swap spreads, and larger currency depreciations than countries with weaker fundamentals.

Guntram Wolff, 30 October 2011

Stress in the interbank market has increased dramatically since July 2011, and bank stock market valuations have fallen by 22% on average for 60 of the most important banks subject to stress tests. This column argues that bank stock valuation has been affected by the banks’ exposure to Greek debt and that Greek banks were particularly affected. Holdings of debt of the other four periphery countries does not, however, appear to be a strong determinant of stock price movements.

Christoph Moser, Andrew Rose, 12 September 2011

How the costs and benefits of regional trade agreements are distributed is a controversial question among economists. CEPR DP8566 analyses the stock market response to a country's signing of an RTA. The authors find that the biggest 'bounce' occurs in a country's stock market when it signs an RTA with an already-strong trading partner, or when the country is poor.

Heiko Hesse, 16 October 2008

This column examines the impact of stock market valuation changes on consumption and investment in emerging markets. Though the effects are smaller than those in advanced economies, emerging market policymakers ought to pay attention to how equity price swings will transmit business cycles and impact aggregate demand.

John Turner , Graeme Acheson , Charles Hickson, Qing Ye, 10 May 2008

Past performance is no guarantee, but history tells us that the equity risk premium has been persistent. This column shows that British investors enjoyed relatively high returns in the nineteenth century, though today’s UK market differs greatly from its formative ancestor.