Steven J. Davis

Senior Fellow

Steven Davis is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and William H. Abbott Distinguished Service Professor of International Business and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  

He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, an economic adviser to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, elected fellow of the Society of Labor Economics, member of the CNE Growth Commission for Puerto Rico, senior adviser to the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, and senior academic fellow of the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER). He also serves on the ABFER executive committee.

Past positions include Deputy Dean of the Faculty at Chicago Booth from 2012 to 2015, member of the governing committee of the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago from 2012 to 2015, and editor and founding co-editor of the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics from 2006 to 2011.

Davis studies business dynamics, labor markets, economic fluctuations and public policy.

He 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 creator of the Economic Policy Uncertainty Indices and the DHI Hiring Indicators. He co-organizes the Asian Monetary Policy Forum, held annually in Singapore. In 2013, he received the Addington Prize in Measurement for his research on “Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty.” 

In addition to his scholarly work, Davis has written for the Atlantic, Bloomberg View, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal and appeared on Bloomberg TV, Channel News Asia, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, NBC Network News and the U.S. Public Broadcasting System.

Davis was a national fellow at the Hoover Institution in 1988-89 and has held visiting faculty appointments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Maryland at College Park and the National University of Singapore. He received his undergraduate degree in economics from Portland State University and his masters and PhD degrees in economics from Brown University.


Awards and Honors:

Addington Prize in Measurement (2013)
Society of Labor Economics, Elected Fellow (2015)

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Firm-Level Stock Price Reactions To Pandemic News

by Steven J. Davis, Stephen Hansen, Cristhian Seminario-Amezvia Vox EU
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

COVID-19 will likely restructure economic activity in a variety of ways, and lead to the growth of some firms and the decline of others. This column uses stock markets to examine these effects as share prices are tied to expectations about future earnings growth. On days with large pandemic-related market moves, there is enormous dispersion in firm-level returns. 


Hong Kong: A Conversation With Jimmy Lai | Lai & Davis

interview with Steven J. Davisvia Stigler Center
Friday, October 23, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Steven Davis interviews Jimmy Lai concerning the struggle for political freedoms in Hong Kong, why the Chinese Communist Party and the PRC are hostile to those freedoms, the inherent conflict between the CCP system and Western values, and what that conflict means for China and the rest of the world.

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COVID, Election Uncertainty Weigh Heavily on Firms' Outlook

by Steven J. Davisvia Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Thursday, October 22, 2020
The book A Mathematician Plays the Market, written by the mathematician and writer John Allen Paulos, includes this line, which is a fitting description of the current economic outlook: "Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security."

Elections, Political Polarization, and Economic Uncertainty

by Scott R. Baker, Aniket Baksy, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davis, Jonathan Roddenvia Economics Working Papers
Friday, October 9, 2020

Economics Working Paper 20120

In the News

Zoom And Gloom

quoting Steven J. Davisvia The Economist
Thursday, October 8, 2020

[Subscription Required] The transition to remote work is welcome. But it will be painful.

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Businesses Say Their Travel Expenditures Won’t Return To Pre-COVID-19 Levels

by David Altig, Jose Maria Barrero, Nick Bloom, Steven J. Davis, Brent Meyer, Emil Mihaylov, Nick Parkervia Chicago Booth Review
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

In the months (and years) following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, airline travel was fundamentally altered. Despite a host of new measures to increase safety, not until April 2004 did airlines see passenger loads reach pre-9/11 levels. The COVID-19 pandemic is having an even more dramatic impact on plane travel, according to current and former airline executives.

Analysis and Commentary

Post-COVID Recovery? Not So Fast, My Friend

by David Altig, Jose Maria Barrero, Nick Bloom, Steven J. Davis, Brent Meyer, Emil Mihaylov, Nick Parkervia Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Thursday, October 1, 2020
The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) is a key indicator of economic activity, but the official estimate is released with a delay. Our GDPNow forecasting model provides a "nowcast" of the official estimate prior to its release by estimating GDP growth using a methodology similar to the one used by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Firm-level Risk Exposures and Stock Returns in the Wake of COVID-19

by Steven J. Davis, Stephen Hansen, Cristhian Seminario-Amezvia Economics Working Papers
Monday, September 21, 2020

Economics Working Paper 20118

Analysis and Commentary

COVID-19 Shifted Patent Applications Toward Technologies That Support Working From Home

by Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davis, Yulia Zhestkovavia Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago
Friday, September 18, 2020

From March To May 2020, New Patent Applications That Represent Work-from-home Technologies Were Well Above The January Level.

Analysis and Commentary

Businesses Anticipate Slashing Post-Pandemic Travel Budgets

by David Altig, Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davis, Brent Meyer, Emil Mihaylov, Nick Parkervia Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago
Friday, September 18, 2020

Firms expect to cut pre-pandemic travel expenditures by nearly 30 percent when concerns over COVID-19 subside.