Faculty & Research

Steven J. Davis

William H. Abbott Professor of International Business and Economics

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5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Steven J. Davis is an applied economist with research publications on employment and wage behavior, worker mobility, job loss, labor market institutions, business dynamics, industrial organization, economic fluctuations, public policy and other topics. In addition to a basic understanding of big macroeconomic issues, Davis hopes his students learn "an informed skepticism about data and economic argumentation and an analytical approach they can apply to business and economic problems."

Davis is former Editor of the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics and a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists. He is a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, an economic adviser to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Chicago, and a Senior Fellow with the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economics Research. Previously, he held positions at the National University of Singapore, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Milken Institute for Job and Capital Formation, and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. During a leave of absence, he was vice president in the Competition Practice at CRA International, an economics consulting firm. "This practical experience taught me that there is a market for analytical thinking skills, the hallmark of a Chicago Booth education," he said.

Davis has received research grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Ewing Marion Kauffmann Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, World Economic Forum and other organizations, including several grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation. In 2013, he received the Addington Prize in Measurement, awarded by the Fraser Institute for Public Policy, for his research on “Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty.”

In addition to many scholarly publications, Davis has written for the Atlantic, Bloomberg View, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and other popular media. He has made television appearances on Channel News Asia, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, NBC Network News, and the U.S. Public Broadcasting System, among others.

As a young man interested in economic, political, and social issues, Davis concluded that economics offered a powerful set of tools for understanding economic and social behavior. He pursued graduate studies in economics with the intention of "learning how to think." Davis earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Portland State University in Oregon in 1980, and a master's degree in 1981 and a PhD in 1986, both in economics from Brown University. He joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 1985.


With J. Haltiwanger and S. Schuh, Job Creation and Destruction (MIT Press, 1996).

With O. Attanasio, "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," Journal of Political Economy (1996).

With J. Faberman and J. Haltiwanger, “The Establishment-Level Behavior of Vacancies and Hiring,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, April 2013.

With others, “Private Equity, Jobs, and Productivity,” American Economic Review, December 2014.

With S. Baker and N. Bloom, “Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, forthcoming.