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Covid-19, firm exposure, and firm value: a tale of two lockdowns

We study how a public health crisis affects firms at different phases of outbreak. Using an event study approach, we find that the stock market in China responded significantly to two symbolic events in the outbreak of Covid-19: (1) the lockdown of Hubei province; and (2) the containment of the disease in China and its spread to overseas. It responded negatively (positively) to the first (second) event. Further regression analysis reveals that, following the first event, firms with Hubei exposures earned significantly lower returns while those with foreign exposures earned significantly higher returns. Foreign exposures, however, had significantly negative effects on returns following the second event. The valuation effects of Hubei and foreign exposures also vary across firm ownership and industries. Our results highlight the values and risks associated with having an international status. They also indicate that both within-firm internal networks and crossfirm input-output linkages play crucial roles in the propagation of shocks.

Lead investigator:

Haoyuan Ding

Affiliation:

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Primary topic:

Business, big & small

Region of data collection:

Asia and Oceania

Country of data collection

China

Status of data collection

Complete

Type of data being collected:

From private company

Unit of real-time data collection

Firms

Start date

1/2020

End date

2/2020

Frequency

Daily

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