Faculty & Research

Thomas Covert

Assistant Professor of Economics

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5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Thomas Covert studies industrial organization, energy economics, finance, and applied econometrics. His research has appeared in the Journal of Financial Economics.

Prior to joining Booth, Covert was a postdoctoral scholar in the University of Chicago Department of Economics & EPIC. Additionally, he was a senior analyst at Cornerstone Research (Boston) before pursuing his Ph.D. studies.

Covert holds a Ph.D. in business economics from Harvard University, and a S.B. in mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


2016 - 2017 Course Schedule

Number Name Quarter
42001 Competitive Strategy 2017 (Winter)

REVISION: Experiential and Social Learning in Firms: The Case of Hydraulic Fracturing in the Bakken Shale
Date Posted: Feb  04, 2016
Little is known about how firms learn to use new technologies. Using novel data on inputs, profits, and information sets, I study how oil companies learned to use hydraulic fracturing technology in North Dakota between 2005-2012. Firms only partially learned to make profitable input choices, capturing just 60% of possible profits in 2012. To understand why, I estimate a model of input use under technology uncertainty. Firms chose fracking inputs with higher expectations but lower uncertainty about profits, consistent with passive learning but not active experimentation. Most firms over-weighed their own information. These results provide evidence of impediments to learning.

New: Will We Ever Stop Using Fossil Fuels?
Date Posted: Jan  22, 2016
Scientists believe significant climate change is unavoidable without a drastic reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases from the combustion of fossil fuels. However, few countries have implemented comprehensive policies that price this externality or devote serious resources to developing low carbon energy sources. In many respects, the world is betting that we will greatly reduce the use of fossil fuels because we will run out of inexpensive fossil fuels (i.e., decreases in supply) and/or technological advances will lead to the discovery of less expensive low carbon technologies (i.e., decreases in demand). The historical record indicates that the supply of fossil fuels has consistently increased over time and that their relative price advantage over low carbon energy sources has not declined substantially over time. Without robust efforts to correct the market failures around greenhouse gases, relying on supply and/or demand forces to limit greenhouse gas emissions is relying ...

New: The Effects of Mandatory Transparency in Financial Market Design: Evidence from the Corporate Bond M
Date Posted: Sep  05, 2013
Many financial markets have recently become subject to new regulations requiring transparency. This paper studies how mandatory transparency affects trading in the corporate bond market. In July 2002, TRACE began requiring the public dissemination of post-trade price and volume information for corporate bonds. Dissemination took place in Phases, with actively traded, investment grade bonds becoming transparent before thinly traded, high-yield bonds. Using new data and a ...

REVISION: The Market for Borrowing Corporate Bonds
Date Posted: Oct  25, 2011
This paper describes the market for borrowing corporate bonds using a comprehensive dataset from a major lender. The cost of borrowing corporate bonds is comparable to the cost of borrowing stock, between 10 and 20 basis points, and both have fallen over time. Factors that influence borrowing costs are loan size, percentage of inventory lent, rating, and borrower identity. There is no evidence that bond short sellers have private information. Bonds with CDS contracts are more actively lent ...

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