We asked our panel of strategy experts to tell us how strongly they agree with this statement:

The increase in stock market volatility that began in 2018 will last for another three to five years.

After a tranquil market run in 2017, 2018 marked one of the more volatile years in recent past, and it saw 50% of the 10 biggest single-day gains and declines for the Dow Jones to date. In some cases, investors may be betting on continued stock market volatility as political uncertainty prevails with Brexit and the rise of populism continues in European elections. Should organizations be wary of continued whipsawing in the market, or does recent calming mean that lower volatility is on the way?


Raw Responses

Responses weighted by panelists’ level of confidence

Panelist Vote Confidence Comments Profile & Vote History
Stern, Scott

Scott Stern

Agree 2 “Definitely not my area of expertise, but significant global uncertainty and differences in beliefs among investors seem likely to persist.” Profile / Vote History
Florida, Richard

Richard Florida

University of Toronto
Agree 7 “If anything, I think it may increase. We are living through a period of significant turmoil, crisis, and resetting in the U.S. and global economies. These are generational events to sort out.” Profile / Vote History
Gans, Joshua

Joshua Gans

University of Toronto
Neither Agree nor Disagree 10 “I see this question as your regular reminder that nothing with regard to the stock market, including its volatility, is predictable over any time period.” Profile / Vote History
McGahan, Anita

Anita McGahan

University of Toronto
Agree 8 “Structural changes in value have not been built into many valuation models, which makes them less reliable. These structural changes will not slow over the next five years. The only question is whether approaches to valuation will catch up.” Profile / Vote History
Henderson, Rebecca

Rebecca Henderson

Harvard University
Agree 8 “I’m struck by how much uncertainty there is in the business world right now. Many of the managers I talk to are expecting a correction, if not a crash — and making their investment plans accordingly. I’d be very surprised if we don’t see a lot more volatility.” Profile / Vote History
Arora, Ashish

Ashish Arora

Duke University
Neither Agree nor Disagree 1 Profile / Vote History
Brynjolfsson, Erik

Erik Brynjolfsson

Neither Agree nor Disagree 1 Profile / Vote History
Lyon, Tom

Tom Lyon

University of Michigan
Disagree 3 “This is hard to assess. With respect to U.S. stocks, a significant amount of volatility today is due to policy uncertainty around tariffs, other trade issues, whether the ACA will be repealed or not, whether the U.S. will continue to tear down relationships with allies and support autocrats, corruption, etc. It is possible the 2020 election will usher in greater stability.” Profile / Vote History
Holden, Richard

Richard Holden

University of New South Wales
Neither Agree nor Disagree 6 “There are good reasons — perhaps most notably U.S.-China tensions — for a lot of investor fear at the moment. For that to continue uninterrupted for several more years would be sufficiently damaging that it would involve a serious failure of the political process. Yet, it is hard to argue that political processes are working well globally.” Profile / Vote History
Van Reenen, John

John Van Reenen

Agree 5 “Trade wars, end of tax cut sugar high, China slowdown, and Brexit all contribute to volatility.” Profile / Vote History
Schilling, Melissa

Melissa Schilling

New York University
Neither Agree nor Disagree 6 “Three to five years out is a long window to make predictions about the stock market. There are plenty of drivers of volatility we could consider, but it is still difficult to predict with any certainty.” Profile / Vote History
Nalebuff, Barry

Barry Nalebuff

Yale University
Neither Agree nor Disagree 2 “If I could predict volatility, I could make a lot of money buying or selling options on the VIX.” Profile / Vote History
Rosenkopf, Lori

Lori Rosenkopf

University of Pennsylvania
Agree 4 “The outcome of the 2020 election will bear heavily on this issue. Reelection would mean ongoing erratic information about policy, which promotes uncertainty and volatility. A transition of power, in contrast, could reduce uncertainty, but this wouldn’t be immediate.” Profile / Vote History
Simcoe, Timothy

Timothy Simcoe

Boston University
Agree 3 “My confidence is low on any question about market forecasting. But a working hypothesis is that current volatility reflects some combination of political uncertainties and the length of the expansion. I see few signs that politics will get less volatile over the next few years.” Profile / Vote History
Chatterji, Aaron

Aaron Chatterji

Duke University
Neither Agree nor Disagree 5 Profile / Vote History
Feldman, Maryann

Maryann Feldman

University of North Carolina
Agree 7 “Markets like stability. Uncertainty over trade wars, border disputes, and U.S. fiscal policy increase risk and make it difficult to forecast future earnings.” Profile / Vote History
Greenstein, Shane

Shane Greenstein

Harvard University
Neither Agree nor Disagree 1 “Many factors move the stock market. I do not think I can forecast 1% of them, so I do not think I am capable of forecasting volatility that results from their accumulation.” Profile / Vote History