December 2023

IZA DP No. 16649: The Impact of New Free Trade Agreements on Incumbent Firms and Workers

Trade policies might affect firms' market power and their ability to reap product-market mark-ups. Thus, potentially they influence not only firms' economic performance, but also worker pay. Utilising panel-data on Norwegian Manufacturing exporters from 2005-18 and multi-product production function-estimation techniques and recent development within the literature on dynamic treatment effects in event studies with heterogeneous treatment effects, we show that free-trade agreements increase exports and return-on-assets for Norwegian incumbent exporters, but their mark-ups decline. On average, workers in these established firms benefit from free-trade agreements, but this depends on occupations, union strength and labour market tightness.