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

Immigration fears and policy uncertainty

by Steven J. Davisvia (Centre for Economic Policy Research)
Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The recent influx of refugees to Europe has stoked security fears and created anxiety about the social and economic consequences. This column provides new quantitative indicators for the intensity of migration-related fears and policy uncertainty, based on newspaper articles. The indices are presented for the US, UK, France, and Germany, and extend back to 1995. They show that recent levels of concern and uncertainty in European countries about migration are unprecedented. 

Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty

by Scott R. Baker, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davisvia Economics Working Papers
Monday, November 30, 2015

Economics Working Paper WP15111

Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty

by Steven J. Davisvia Cato Institute
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Concerns about policy uncertainty have intensified in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, serial crises in the Eurozone, and partisan policy disputes in the United States. For example, the Federal Open Market Committee and the International Monetary Fund suggest that uncertainty about U.S. and European fiscal, regulatory, and monetary policies contributed to a steep economic decline in 2008–2009 and to slow recoveries afterwards.

University of Chicago: “The Dog that Barked”

by Steven J. Davisvia StoryFirst Media
Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hoover Institution fellow Steven J. Davis discusses policy uncertainty on StoryFirst Media.

Labor Market Fluidity and Economic Performance

by Steven J. Davisvia Cato Institute
Saturday, November 1, 2014

As measured by flows of jobs and workers across employers, U.S. labor markets became much less fluid in recent decades. We document a large, broad-based decline in these labor market flows, drawing on multiple data sources. An aging workforce and a secular shift away from younger and smaller employers can partly account for the long-term decline in labor market fluidity, but these forces are not the main story. Instead, we find large declines in worker reallocation across employers within groups defined by gender and age or gender and education. 

Uncertainty and the Economy

by Scott R. Baker, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davisvia Policy Review
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Policy instability, rocky recovery. To listen to Steve Davis and Tod Lindberg, click below.

The 'Rocky Balboa' Recovery

by Steven J. Davisvia Fox News
Friday, August 17, 2012

Why does economic recovery keep getting knocked down?

Can DC Fix the Economy? (6:45)

by Steven J. Davisvia CNBC
Friday, July 6, 2012

"Nobody can imagine, whether you're in a business or any kind of situation, where you would go into this kind of uncertainty without a plan," says Jim Nussle, Growth Energy president & COO, discussing economic maneuvering in Washington and whether the government has the ability to create jobs. Also, tracking economic trends related to political policy, with Steven Davis, Chicago Booth School of Business.

Private Equity Is a Force for Good

by Steven J. Davisvia The Atlantic
Monday, January 16, 2012

What it really is, whom it really helps, and why it really matters to capitalism.