Yale School of Management

International Center for Finance

Providing academic and professional support for research in financial economics.

Yale SOM Finance Faculty on Covid-19

June 18, 2020

Covid-19 economyOver the last few months, the Yale SOM finance faculty have commented on a number of Covid-19 related topics and have used their research to further contribute to pressing topics such as: unemployment insurance claims, the stock market, the economy, and federal interventions.

Below is a collection of some of their recent work and comments on Covid-19 and the economy. For more, visit the ICF News archives.

RECORD UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE CLAIMS

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Professor Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham has been working with co-authors Aaron Sojourner and Elizabeth Pancotti to predict weekly unemployment insurance claims. Based on a model they built using Google trends, they have come incredibly close each week! Read more about their impressive research and press coverage.

Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham:


THE STOCK MARKET AND THE ECONOMY

In March, the stock market fell dramatically. The subsequent months provided unpredictability in the market’s volatility and uncertain path to recovery. Market predictability became challenging because of several unknown factors including investor anxiety, the toll of the tanking market on retirement savings, rising unemployment numbers, and the time it will take to create a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus.

James Choi

William Goetzmann & Robert Shiller

Robert Shiller

Tobias J. Moskowitz

Stefano Giglio

  • Inside the Mind of a stock Market Crash” WORKING PAPER

    Abstract: We analyze how investor expectations about economic growth and stock returns changed during the February-March 2020 stock market crash induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as during the subsequent partial stock market recovery. Read more.


THE FUTURE OF REAL ESTATE

Throughout the pandemic, many Americans have worried about being able to make their rent and mortgage payments during a time of economic hardship and uncertainty. This also prompted people to wonder what will happen to the real estate market post-Covid-19? Will people move away from densely populated cities and into the suburbs as working from home might become the new norm?

Matthew Spiegel:

Robert Shiller:


PUTTING THINGS INTO HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

If the saying, “history repeats itself,” is true, then financial history could give some sort of insight into the Covid-19 stock market volatility we are experiencing today. Although there are currently many unknown variables, similar situations such as the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and South Sea Bubble of 1720 provide insight into how investors reacted to an economic downturn and how the market recovered. Behavioral economics and behavioral finance also play a role here in examining investor behavior after crashes.

William Goetzmann:


FEDERAL INTERVENTIONS

During the pandemic, it became clear that the federal government needed to intervene and find ways to help save the economy. The federal government worked to provide stimulus packages to the American people while the Federal Reserve rolled out a “Main Street” loan program to help keep businesses afloat.

William English:

Andrew Metrick:


KILLER ACQUISTIONS

Professor Song Ma and his co-authors have defined the term “killer acquisitions” to mean the act of companies acquiring competitors with the sole purpose of  shutting them down. These companies want to  swiftly end competitor innovation which would threaten their control over the market. During the Covid-19 crisis, examples of “killer acquisitions” came to light when there was high demand for ventilators and major difficulty obtaining them.

Song Ma


SPORTING EVENTS

The implications of suspending live sporting events and restricting crowds will have an impact on the economy as well as on the sport itself. Sporting events are a major source of entertainment and revenue worldwide but with the possibility of playing in front of empty stands, Professor Tobias Moskowitz has found that referees may actually make fairer calls.

Tobias J. Moskowitz


TEACHING REMOTELY

The Yale finance faculty had to suddenly adapt to online teaching and acted quickly to learn how to effectively use Zoom for everyday teaching. At the end of the semester, faculty then reflected upon what worked and what can be improved for future online teaching.

Nicholas Barberis

Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham

About the author

Electra Ferriello

Assistant Director ICF