Academic Keynote by Professor Steven J. Davis


Stock Market Reactions to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Firm-level stock returns differ enormously in reaction to COVID-19 news. In this keynote, Professor Steve Davis will discuss on how he characterizes these reactions using pre-pandemic 10-K filings and two text-analytic approaches: expert-curated dictionaries and supervised machine learning (ML). By integrating elements of both approaches, Steve uncovers new shock exposures and sharpen our explanations for firm-level returns. Bad COVID-19 news lowers returns for firms with high exposures to travel, traditional retail, aircraft production and energy supply – directly and via downstream demand linkages – and raises them for firms with high exposures to healthcare policy, e-commerce, web services, drug trials and materials that feed into supply chains for semiconductors, cloud computing and telecommunications. Monetary and fiscal policy responses to the pandemic strongly impact firm-level returns as well, but differently than pandemic news. His text-based models of firm-level returns also predict future corporate earnings surprises.

12:00 pm – 12:10 pm (SGT)
12:10 pm – 1:10 pm
Academic Keynote by Professor Steven J. Davis

William H. Abbott Distinguished Service Professor of International Business and Economics, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Exco Member and Senior Fellow of ABFER

"Stock Market Reactions to the COVID-19 Pandemic"

1:10 pm

Program is subjected to change. Updated on 8 Apr 2021.


  • Professor Steven J. Davis

    Professor Steven J. Davis


    William H. Abbott Distinguished Service Professor of International Business and Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Exco Member & Senior Fellow of ABFER

    Steven J. Davis studies business dynamics, hiring practices, job loss, the effects of economic uncertainty and other topics. His research appears in the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics and other leading scholarly journals. He is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, research associate of the National Bureau ofEconomic Research, senior academic fellow with the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research, advisor to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, senior adviser to the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, and past editor of the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics. He is also an elected fellow of the Society of Labor Economists.

    Davis is known for his influential work using longitudinal data on firms and establishments to explore job creation and destruction dynamics and their relationship to economic performance. He is a co-creator of the Economic Policy Uncertainty Indices, and he co-organizes the Asian Monetary Policy Forum, held annually in Singapore. He has received research grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Ewing Marion Kauffmann Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and other organizations, including several grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation. In 2013, he received the Addington Prize in Measurement, awarded by the Fraser Institute for Public Policy, for his research on “Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty.”

    His teaching experience includes Ph.D. courses in macroeconomics and labor economics at the University of Chicago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Maryland; MBA courses in macroeconomics, money and banking, business strategy, and financial institutions for Chicago Booth; and executive MBA courses in macroeconomics for Chicago Booth in Barcelona, London, and Singapore. Davis has also taught undergraduate courses in microeconomics, econometrics, and money and banking at Brown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    In commercial consulting activities, Davis has developed new labor market indicators, advised a leading financial institution on its capital planning decisions and the macroeconomic outlook, and consulted and testified as an expert witness in many litigation matters. In antitrust matters, he has testified and consulted on market definition, dominance, competitive relationships, exclusionary practices, price discrimination and collusive conduct. In mortgage lending and consumer finance matters, he has testified and consulted on class certification, liability and damages. He has also offered testimony and analysis on damages in breach of contract, credit market discrimination, and other issues. Engagements include matters involving auto loans and leases, containerboard and corrugated products, microprocessors, mortgage loans, pharmaceuticals, software products and markets, trade shows, viatical and life settlements, and workers’ compensation insurance.

    Davis has written for the Atlantic, Bloomberg View, Financial Times, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and other popular media. He has appeared on BBC, Bloomberg TV, Channel News Asia, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, NBC Network News, and the U.S. Public Broadcasting System, among others.

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