The Invisible Risk: Pandemics and the Financial Markets

18 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2020 Last revised: 15 Apr 2020

See all articles by Jordan Schoenfeld

Jordan Schoenfeld

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business

Date Written: April 1, 2020

Abstract

Are pandemics systemically important to modern-day financial markets? This study uses the COVID-19 pandemic as a natural experiment for testing how large-scale pandemics affect the financial markets. Using hand-collected data at the firm level, I find that managers systematically underestimated their exposure to pandemics in their SEC-mandated risk factors, and the vast majority of firms decreased in value at the pandemic's onset. I also find that the pandemic triggered unprecedented changes in U.S. employment levels and the values of bonds, commodities, and currencies. These types of findings suggest that pandemics are systemically important to the financial markets. Overall, this study provides some of the first large-scale evidence on how pandemics affect the financial markets.

Keywords: Asset Prices; Business Risk; Coronavirus; Corporate Disclosure; Pandemic

JEL Classification: E44, G01, G10, J21, M41

Suggested Citation

Schoenfeld, Jordan, The Invisible Risk: Pandemics and the Financial Markets (April 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3567249 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3567249

Jordan Schoenfeld (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

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