Steven J. Davis

Senior Fellow
Biography: 

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

Trade Policy Is Upending Markets—But Not Investment

by Steven J. Davisvia Chicago Booth Review
Monday, March 18, 2019

While tariffs and tariff threats have become a leading source of stock market volatility, they have had little impact on US business investment.

Analysis and Commentary

Tariff Worries And U.S. Business Investment, Take Two

by Steven J. Davis, David Altig, Nick Bloom, Brent Meyer, Nick Parkervia Seeking Alpha
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Tariff hikes and trade policy tensions have continued to mount. U.S. stock market volatility also rose sharply in the last four months of 2018, partly in reaction to trade policy concerns.

Featured

Tariff Worries And U.S. Business Investment, Take Two

by Steven J. Davisvia Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Monday, February 25, 2019

Last summer, we reported that one fifth of firms in the July Survey of Business Uncertainty (SBU) were reassessing capital expenditure plans in light of then-recent tariff hikes and retaliation concerns. Roughly 6 percent had already cut or deferred capital spending as a result of tariff worries.

In the News

Global Uncertainty Gauge Enters 2019 At Record High Level

quoting Steven J. Davisvia Bloomberg
Monday, February 4, 2019

Chatter surrounding the 2020 presidential election, the government shutdown and tax policies are making Americans nervous. And the rest of the world feels uneasy too.

Analysis and Commentary

Dynamism Diminished: The Role Of Housing Markets And Credit Conditions

by Steven J. Davisvia University of Chicago
Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Great Recession of 2007-09 raised several issues about the relationship of housing markets to economic activity. One issue concerns the impact of housing prices on the development of new and young firms. Another involves how housing market ups and downs affect local economies.

Dynamism Diminished: The Role of Housing Markets and Credit Conditions

by Steven J. Davis, John Haltiwangervia Economics Working Papers
Thursday, January 10, 2019

Economics Working Paper 19102

In the News

Team Trump Should Be Careful What It Wishes For On China

by Steven J. Davisvia The Washington Post
Monday, January 7, 2019

For months, President Trump’s economic advisers have cheered Chinese economic suffering, celebrating every sign of weakness — in stock markets, manufacturing, retail sales, investment — since it surely means China is on the verge of a humiliating capitulation to Trump’s demands.

Featured

Trump’s Trade-Policy Uncertainty Deters Investment

by Steven J. Davisvia Chicago Booth Review
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

President Donald Trump has upended US trade policy: the particulars include a US pullout from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), threats to jettison the North American Free Trade Agreement, a refusal to affirm new World Trade Organization judges, tariff hikes on steel and other goods, frequent rhetorical attacks on major trading partners, and a wrong-headed obsession with bilateral trade deficits.

Featured

Trump’s Trade Policy Uncertainty Deters Investment

by Steven J. Davisvia Econbrowser
Monday, August 13, 2018

Donald Trump has upended U.S. trade policy. The particulars include a U.S. pullout from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), threats to jettison the North American Free Trade Agreement, a refusal to affirm new WTO judges, tariff hikes on steel and other goods, frequent rhetorical attacks on major trading partners, and a wrong-headed obsession with bilateral trade deficits.

Analysis and Commentary

Are Tariff Worries Cutting Into Business Investment?

by Steven J. Davisvia Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

"Nobody's model does a very good job of how uncertainty and hits to confidence affect behavior," says Deutsche Bank's Peter Hooper in a recent Wall Street Journal article. Count us as sympathetic to his viewpoint.

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