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Steven Davis receives Addington Prize for policy uncertainty research

March 15, 2013

Fraser Institute award shared with Nicholas Bloom and Scott Baker for ‘groundbreaking report’.

Steven J. Davis, the William H. Abbott Professor of International Business and Economics and deputy dean for faculty at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has been named an Addington Prize in Measurement recipient by the Fraser Institute.

The award is in recognition of “Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty,” a paper Davis wrote with Nicholas Bloom, a professor of economics at Stanford University, and Scott Baker, a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University.

“The Addington Prize recognizes the value of careful, imaginative measurement in economic research and in furthering the goal of better economic policymaking,” Davis said. “We are pleased to receive the prize and very grateful to the Fraser Institute. … It will bring greater attention to our measurement efforts and highlight the need for a well-functioning policymaking process.”

The Fraser Institute, a Canada-based think tank, said in a news release that a panel of academics chose the winning paper, and used “originality and significance of ideas presented, persuasiveness of the argument, and integrity of the data.”  They characterized the research as a “groundbreaking report [that] develops the first rigorous analytical framework for measuring the extent and impact of economic policy uncertainty in the United States.”

“Baker, Bloom and Davis conclude that U.S.-based economic policy uncertainty surged upward since 2008 and remains extremely high today, hindering recovery from the recession,” Stephen Easton, chair of the Fraser Institute’s Addington Centre for the Study of Measurement, said in the release. “Their research serves as a sober warning about the short- and long-term consequences of economic policy uncertainty, which foreshadows declines in economic growth and employment.”

As part of their research, Baker, Bloom and Davis created a new index to measure policy-related economic uncertainty for the United States.  In recent months, they have extended their methods and measurement efforts to develop new indexes of economic policy uncertainty for Canada, China, India and several European countries.  The indexes are updated frequently and freely available at http://www.PolicyUncertainty.com/.  The trio’s economic policy uncertainty research has been reported in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and elsewhere.

Davis’ research has been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, among other scholarly journals, and he has written for The Atlantic, Bloomberg View, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and other publications. He is a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, Senior Academic Fellow of the Asia Bureau of Finance and Economic Research, a member of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Technical Advisory Committee, a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and a member of the Panel of Economic Advisers of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. He served as Co-editor and Editor of the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics from 2006 to 2011. Davis joined the Booth faculty in 1985.

The Addington Prize is presented in honor of Raymond Addington, former chairman of the Fraser Institute Board of Trustees, and is given to researchers who have “researched a new, interesting and important concept in public policy, exemplifying the Fraser Institute’s motto: ‘If it matters, measure it.’” For more information, visit http://www.fraserinstitute.org.

For more information on the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, visit http://www.ChicagoBooth.edu; and for more on Davis’ research, visit http://www.chicagobooth.edu/faculty/directory/d/steven-j-davis.