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Ross Levine - Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, CA, US

Ross Levine Ross Levine

Professor | Willis H. Booth Chair in Banking and Finance | Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley


Expert on how finance shapes the economy


Areas of Expertise (3)

Finance, Growth, and Economic Prosperity


Financial Regulation


Ross Levine is the Willis H. Booth Chair in Banking and Finance at Berkeley Haas. He completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University earned his Ph.D. in economics from UCLA. He worked at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the World Bank, where he conducted and managed research and operational programs. His research focuses on two areas: how financial regulations and the operation of financial systems shape economic growth and economic prosperity more generally; and the cognitive and non-cognitive traits of successful entrepreneurs. His two most recent books, “Rethinking Bank Regulation: Till Angels Govern” and “Guardians of Finance: Making Regulators Work for Us,” stress that regulatory policies often stymie competition and encourage excessive risk-taking, with deleterious effects on living standards. Levine advises governments, central banks, regulatory agencies, and multilateral organizations.

Education (2)

UCLA: PhD, Economics

Cornell University: AB, Economics

Media Appearances (7)

ESG funds: Green or grift?

Built In  online


According to some estimates, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) assets now total more than $30 trillion. Research by Prof. Ross Levine, the Willis H. Booth Chair in Banking and Finance, indicates that stocks at companies with strong sustainability and ethics metrics fared better than those with low scores during the pandemic-induced market downturn of 2020.

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Refocusing on sustainability in 2021

New Hope Network  online


Companies active in social responsibility issues saw their stocks drop less than other companies’ stock during the pandemic, according to Ross Levine, a professor of economic analysis and policy at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

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U.S. social unrest presents opportunities for firms to enhance ESG credentials, bolster ties with other stakeholders

Reuters  online


How U.S. companies react to social upheaval may become a critical factor in how they are perceived by investors and other stakeholders. "There is really quite a bit of evidence that corporations that invest in non-shareholder stakeholders can obtain long run benefits,” said Prof. Ross Levine, the Willis H. Booth Chair in Banking and Finance. Recent research by Levine found that as the coronavirus spread from January to March, stocks of companies with high corporate social responsibility scores dropped an estimated 19% less than those with low scores.

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Which companies are most immune to the pandemic?

The Economist  online


A new working paper by Prof. Ross Levine found that stock price-drops were milder among companies with more cash, less debt, and larger profits; among those with less exposure to COVID-19 through global supply chains and customer locations; and among those with less entrenched executives. Companies engaged in corporate social responsibility activities also saw significantly smaller stock-price drops.

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Hedge Funds’ Favorite Stocks Were Hit Hardest in the Coronavirus Crash

Institutional Investor  online


Hedge funds likely contributed to steeper declines in the stocks they owned as equity markets sank in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Greater hedge fund ownership of publicly traded companies was found to be correlated with worse first-quarter stock performance in a new study co-authored by Prof. Ross Levine.

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Coronavirus wipes out decade of US jobs growth

BCC World Business Report  online


More than 20 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefit in the past four weeks. The BBC's Michelle Fleury takes us through the latest figures. Also in the programme, we consider the significance of the growing governmental debt burden as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Dr Ross Levine is professor of banking and finance at UC Berkeley's Haas Business School, and Dr Atif Mian is professor of economics and public policy at Princeton University.

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Better Regulations Needed for Competitive Banking System to Work, Paper Says

The Wall Street Journal  online


In the paper, economists Dean Corbae, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Ross Levine, of the University of California at Berkeley, found that while intense competition among banks indeed spurs greater efficiency, it also tends to squeeze profit margins and encourage riskier investments. That leaves banks more fragile—an outcome that can have devastating consequences when the effects ripple across the financial system.

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