The Finance Brown Bag Seminar is held by the Institute for Finance, Banking and Insurance (WU Vienna) and the Vienna Graduate School of Finance (VGSF). It serves as a presentation platform for PhD students, faculty members, and visitors. An overview of BBS on the website of the Institute for Finance, Banking and Insurance.
Jiri Knesl, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
Working from Home During Covid-19: Corporate Announcements, Market Valuation, and Operating Performance
Financial markets significantly valued observable work-from-home adoption during the Covid-19 crisis. Further, work-from-home adoption was predicted by prior industry-level measures of labor suitability, controlling for firm characteristics. To establish these facts, we develop a unique dataset of voluntary work-from-home announcements. In the five days after an announcement, cumulative abnormal stock returns reached 5%, and abnormal default probabilities declined by ten basis points, with stronger effects in non-essential businesses. Non-announcers with similar characteristics experienced up to half the short-run valuation gains. Operating metrics show Covid-period outperformance for both work- from-home adopters and their characteristic-matches relative to other firms, with reversal appearing in the second quarter of 2021.