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

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.

Featured

What Are Businesses Saying About Tax Reform Now?

by Steven J. Davisvia Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Friday, March 23, 2018

In a recent macroblog post, we shared some results of a joint national survey that is an ongoing collaboration between the Atlanta Fed, Nick Bloom of Stanford University, and Steve Davis of the University of Chicago, and Jose Barrero of Stanford University. (By the way, we're planning on calling this work the "Survey of Business Executives," or SBE.).

Analysis and Commentary

Policy Uncertainty In Japan

by Elif C. Arbatli, Steven J. Davis, Arata Ito, Naoko Miake, Ikuo Saitovia Cato Institute
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Efforts to reinvigorate Japan’s economy have proved challenging. Despite significant policy accommodation, growth over the past two decades has been weak and the share of nonregular employment has increased. Wages have been stagnant, and inflation expectations lie below the Bank of Japan’s inflation target. 

Analysis and Commentary

Policy Uncertainty In Japan

by Steven J. Davisvia Cato Institute
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Efforts to reinvigorate Japan’s economy have proved challenging. Despite significant policy accommodation, growth over the past two decades has been weak and the share of nonregular employment has increased. Wages have been stagnant, and inflation expectations lie below the Bank of Japan’s inflation target. 

Higher Policy Uncertainty Could Be Bad News for Japan’s Economy

by Steven J. Davisvia International Monetary Fund
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Policy uncertainty remains a challenge in Japan, and can harm the country’s economic performance according to a new IMF study. The good news is that credible plans for taxation, spending and structural reforms, as well as greater clarity about monetary policy can reduce uncertainty.

Unpacking Policy Consequences: Discussion Section with Kevin Murphy and Steve Davis

by Steven J. Davisvia Becker Friedman Institute
Friday, May 6, 2016

How does the regulatory environment shape business behavior? In this episode, Murphy talks with Steven Davis, about the volumes and volumes of federal regulatory code and how compliance with their commandments becomes a barrier to entry by new businesses.

Names, Faces, and Ideas: Discussion Section with Kevin Murphy and Steve Davis

by Steven J. Davisvia Becker Friedman Institute
Friday, March 18, 2016

In this episode, Murphy talks with Steven Davis, William H. Abbott Professor of International Business and Economics at Chicago Booth and expert in the intersection how government policy—or uncertainty over how policy might change in the future—can shape the labor market and the macroeconomy at large.

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