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16 September 2021 Research Supervision label Working Papers

This paper documents a durable increase in the cross-sectoral dispersion of earnings expectations during the COVID-19 crisis. An empirical analysis shows that the rise in dispersion of earnings forecasts can be explained by the introduction of lockdown measures, which had a particularly adverse impact on the travel sector. Accordingly, in terms of earnings
expectations, countries that are relatively independent from the travel sector were least affected by a tightening of lockdowns. At the same time, the start of vaccination campaigns has been a game changer: more stringent lockdown measures added far less to the cross-sectoral
dispersion in earnings expectations once vaccines started to be rolled out in late 2020. Going forward, the dispersion in earnings expectations remains elevated, implying that
analysts may expect the effects of the crisis to be of a rather structural nature.

Key words: COVID-19; Financial markets; Earnings expectations; Cross-sectoral dispersion; Lockdown measures; Vaccinations
JEL codes: E44; G10; G12

DNB Working Paper No. 724

The rise in the cross-sectoral dispersion of earnings expectations during COVID-19

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authors

  • Joost Bats
  • William Greif
  • Daniel Kapp