Three essays on trade and investment

Qiang Xiao, Florida International University


From H. G. Johnson's work (Review of Economic Studies, 1953–54) on tariff retaliation, the questions of whether a country can win a “tariff war” and how or even the broader question of what will affect a country's strategic position in setting bilateral tariff have been tackled in various situations. Although it is widely accepted that a country will have strategic advantages in winning the tariff war if its relative monopoly power is sufficiently large, it is unclear what are the forces behind such power formation. The goal of this research is to provide a unified framework and discuss various forces such as relative country size, absolute advantages and relative advantages simultaneously. In a two-country continuum-of-commodity neoclassical trade model, it is shown that sufficiently large relative country size is a sufficient condition for a country to choose a non-cooperative tariff Nash equilibrium over free trade. It is also shown that technology disparities such as absolute advantage, rate of technology disparity and the distribution of the technology disparity all contribute to a country's strategic position and interact with country size. Leverage effect is usually used to explain the phenomenon of asymmetric volatility in equity returns. However, leverage itself can only account for parts of the asymmetry. In this research, it is shown that stock return volatility is related to firms’ financial status. Financially constrained firms tend to be more sensitive to the return changes. Financial constraint factor explains why some firms tend to be more volatile than others. I found that the financial constraint factor explains the stock return volatility independent of other factors such as firm size, industry affiliation and leverage. Firms’ industry affiliations are shown to be very weak in differentiating volatility. Firm size is proven to be a good factor in distinguishing the different levels of volatility and volatility-return sensitivity. Leverage hypothesis is also partly corroborated and the situation where leverage effect is not applicable is discussed. Finally, I examined the macroeconomic policy's effects on overall market volatility.

Subject Area

Economics|Economic theory|Finance

Recommended Citation

Xiao, Qiang, "Three essays on trade and investment" (2001). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3031611.