Firm-Level Exposure to Epidemic Diseases: Covid-19, Sars, and H1n1

67 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2020 Last revised: 22 Apr 2020

See all articles by Tarek Alexander Hassan

Tarek Alexander Hassan

Boston University

Stephan Hollander

Tilburg University - Tilburg School of Economics and Management

Laurence van Lent

Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

Ahmed Tahoun

London Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2020

Abstract

We introduce a new word pattern-based method to automatically classify firms’ primary concerns related to the spread of epidemic diseases raised in their quarterly earnings conference calls. We construct text-based measures of the costs, benefits, and risks listed firms in the US and over 80 other countries associate with the spread of Covid-19 and other epidemic diseases. We identify which firms and sectors expect to lose/gain from a given epidemic and which are most affected by the associated uncertainty. Our new automatic pattern-based method shows how firms’ primary concerns (varying from the collapse in demand and disruptions in their production facilities or supply chain, to financing concerns) are changing over time and varying geographically as epidemics spread regionally and globally. We find that the Covid-crisis manifests itself at the firm-level as a simultaneous shock to both demand and supply. In prior epidemics, in contrast, firm discussions center more on shortfalls in demand. In 2020, supply and financing-related concerns are relatively more salient in regions where the spread of Covid-19 is less contained.

Suggested Citation

Hassan, Tarek Alexander and Hollander, Stephan and van Lent, Laurence and Tahoun, Ahmed, Firm-Level Exposure to Epidemic Diseases: Covid-19, Sars, and H1n1 (April 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w26971, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3574435

Tarek Alexander Hassan (Contact Author)

Boston University ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

Stephan Hollander

Tilburg University - Tilburg School of Economics and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 8288 (Phone)
+31 13 466 8001 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uvt.nl/people/s.hollander

Laurence Van Lent

Frankfurt School of Finance and Management ( email )

Adickesallee 32-34
Frankfurt am Main, 60322
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.laurencevanlent.org

Ahmed Tahoun

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

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