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

In the News

Better Internet Access Could Boost US Output By $160 Billion A Year

featuring Steven J. Davisvia Chicago Booth Review
Wednesday, August 25, 2021

About one-fifth of paid workdays will take place at home in the postpandemic economy, according to research by Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology’s Jose Maria Barrero, Stanford’s Nicholas Bloom, and Chicago Booth’s Steven J. Davis.

Analysis and Commentary

Don’t Force People To Come Back To The Office Full Time

by Steven J. Davis, Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloomvia Harvard Business Review
Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Employees want to work from home 2.5 days a week on average, according to a monthly survey of 5,000 Americans. Desires to work from home and cut commuting have strengthened as the pandemic has lingered, and many have become increasingly comfortable with remote interactions. The rapid spread of the Delta variant is also undercutting the drive for a full-time return to the office any time soon. Tight labor markets are also a challenge for firms that want a full-time return.


Labour Market Reallocation In The Wake Of Covid-19

by Steven J. Davis, Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, Phil Bunn, Julia Leather, Brent Meyer, Emil Mihaylov, Paul Mizen, Greg Thwaites, Lena Anayi, Myrto Oikonomouvia (Centre for Economic Policy Research)
Friday, August 13, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic hit some firms and sectors especially hard. As economies bounce back, a key question is whether the recovery will re-employ all of the workers shed during the downturn, and whether they will go back to similar jobs.

Co-Authors: Lena Anayi, Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, Philip Bunn, Julia Leather, Brent Meyer, Myrto Oikonomou, Emil Mihaylov, Paul Mizen, Gregory Thwaites

Analysis and Commentary

Survey: How US Employees Feel About A Full Return To The Workplace

by Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davisvia The World Economic Forum
Friday, July 30, 2021
Employers in the US are making decisions about whether their employees should return to the workplace, or if they can continue working remotely. Four in 10 Americans who currently work from home at least one day a week would seek another job if employers ask for a full return to the workplace.

Internet Access And Its Implications For Productivity, Inequality, And Resilience

by Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davisvia Becker Friedman Institute
Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Moving to high-quality, fully reliable home internet service for all Americans would raise earnings-weighted labor productivity by an estimated 1.1% in the coming years, with implied output gains of $160 billion per year, or $4 trillion when capitalized at a 4% rate.

Analysis and Commentary

Let Me Work From Home, Or I Will Find Another Job

by Steven J. Davis, Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloomvia (Centre for Economic Policy Research)
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Employers in the US are grappling with whether and how to bring employees back to the office or other place of work. Using survey-based evidence, this column finds that four in ten Americans who currently work from home at least one day a week would seek another job if employers require a full return to business premises, and most workers would look favourably on a new job that offers the same pay with the option to work from home two or three days a week. 

Analysis and Commentary

Onboarding Remote Workers: A Hassle? Maybe. A Barrier? No.

by Steven J. Davis, David Altig, Jose Maria Barrero, Nick Bloom, Brent Meyer, Emil Mihaylov, Nick Parkervia Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Thursday, July 15, 2021

As the need for social distancing recedes and government restrictions ease, most people look to regain some notion of normalcy in their day-to-day lives. At the same time, many workers have come to like their office away from the office. And the COVID work-from-home experiment has gone well enough for it to stick around, possibly in a hybrid form. 

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Internet Access and its Implications for Productivity, Inequality, and Resilience

by Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davisvia Economics Working Papers
Saturday, July 10, 2021

Economics Working Paper 21115

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The (Heterogenous) Economic Effects of Private Equity Buyouts

by Steven J. Davis, John Haltiwanger, Kyle Handley, Ben Lipsius, Josh Lerner, Javier Mirandavia Economics Working Papers
Thursday, July 8, 2021

Economics Working Paper 21112