International audience; More than three years after the unexpected Brexit vote of June 2016, there is still no exit agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Although the conditions of Brexit and the corresponding economic consequences are still unknown, the referendum has already had a real economic impact. The long discussion surrounding Brexit can be seen as a long-lasting uncertainty shock, whiach has affected firms’ investment decisions.In this note we use highly detailed customs data before and after the vote to measure the impact of Brexit on French firms’ exports to the UK. We find that the referendum had no effect on average on the value of exports but depressed export growth in sectors such as transportation or chemical industries which are more upstream in value chains. The number of new trade relationships involving French exporters and British importers has significantly declined after the Brexit vote, in comparison with other destinations. This is consistent with the uncertainty shock reducing French firms’ investment in their customer base, which is likely to penalize French exporters in the future. These results are suggestive evidence that uncertainty has a real cost and that any decision of delaying the Brexit further should compare the benefit of reaching a better deal with the economic cost induced by uncertainty. It is also important that the next EU-UK trade agreement should guarantee the stability and predictability of the trade policy that European exporters will have to face.
International audience; Before spreading globally, the Covid-19 epidemic was concentrated in the Hubei province. To contain the spread of the virus, the Chinese government has imposed quarantine measures and travel restrictions, entailing the slowdown of economic activity. We study the propagation of this geographically concentrated productivity slowdown to the global economy, through global value chains. Reliance on Chinese inputs has dramatically increased since the early 2000s. As a consequence, most countries are exposed to the Chinese productivity slowdown, both directly through their imports of Chinese inputs and indirectly, through other inputs themselves produced with some Chinese value added. This note aims at quantifying the total exposure of France compared to other countries. First, we compute the share of Chinese value added in French production. Then, we use data at the country and sector levels to quantify the impact of travel restrictions on French GDP.