Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Mathematical Economics

Reader 1

Patrick Van Horn

Reader 2

Angela Vossmeyer

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© 2022 Kathrine S Kaidantzis


The COVID-19 pandemic created significant turmoil in the U.S. economy. This paper examines the impact of the pandemic on the sectoral returns for the Standard and Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) index. Panel data from S&P 500 firms in 2021 is employed to determine aggregate financial performance between the years of 2016 to 2021 using the autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (ARCH) model and a fixed effects model to control for firm-level heterogeneity. The findings imply that the information technology and materials sectors experienced increased returns as a result of the pandemic, likely due to being well-positioned to support a remote format. Conversely, the consumer discretionary, consumer staples, financial, industrials, utilities, and real estate sectors faced negative returns as they were more adversely impacted by lockdown restrictions. These results accentuate the disproportionate effects of the pandemic on the economy and emphasize the importance of pandemic prevention.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.