David R. Henderson

Research Fellow
Biography: 

David R. Henderson is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution. He is also an associate professor of economics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Henderson's writing focuses on public policy. His specialty is in making economic issues and analyses clear and interesting to general audiences. Two themes emerge from his writing: (1) that the unintended consequences of government regulation and spending are usually worse than the problems they are supposed to solve and (2) that freedom and free markets work to solve people's problems.

David Henderson is the editor of The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (Warner Books, 2007), a book that communicates to a general audience what and how economists think. The Wall Street Journal commented, "His brainchild is a tribute to the power of the short, declarative sentence." The encyclopedia went through three printings and was translated into Spanish and Portuguese. It is now on the web at http://www.econlib.org/library/CEE.html. He coauthored Making Great Decisions in Business and Life (2006). Henderson's book, The Joy of Freedom: An Economist's Odyssey (Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2001), has been translated into Russian. Henderson also writes frequently for the Wall Street Journal and Fortune and, from 1997 to 2000, was a monthly columnist with Red Herring, an information technology magazine. He currently serves as an adviser to LifeSharers, a nonprofit network of organ and tissue donors.

Henderson has been on the faculty of the Naval Postgraduate School since 1984 and a research fellow with Hoover since 1990. He was the John M. Olin Visiting Professor with the Center for the Study of American Business at Washington University in St. Louis in 1994; a senior economist for energy and health policy with the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1982 to 1984; a visiting professor at the University of Santa Clara from 1980 to 1981; a senior policy analyst with the Cato Institute from 1979 to 1980; and an assistant professor at the University of Rochester's Graduate School of Management from 1975 to 1979.

In 1997, he received the Rear Admiral John Jay Schieffelin Award for excellence in teaching from the Naval Postgraduate School. In 1984, he won the Mencken Award for best investigative journalism article for his Fortune article "The Myth of MITI."

Henderson has written for the New York Times, Barron's, Fortune, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Public Interest, the Christian Science Monitor, National Review, the New York Daily News, the Dallas Morning News, and Reason. He has also written scholarly articles for the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, the Journal of Monetary Economics, Cato Journal, Regulation, Contemporary Policy Issues, and Energy Journal.

Henderson has spoken before a wide variety of audiences, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, the St. Louis Discussion Club, the Commonwealth Club of California (National Defense and Business Economics Section), the Cato Institute, and the Heritage Foundation. He has also spoken to economists and general audiences at many universities around the country, including Carnegie-Mellon, Brown, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, Davis, the University of Rochester, the University of Chicago, Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School, and the Hoover Institution. He has given papers at annual conferences held by the American Economics Association, the Western Economics Association, and the Association of Public Policy and Management. He has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. He has also appeared on the O'Reilly Factor (Fox News), C-SPAN, CNN, the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, and regional talk shows.

Born and raised in Canada, Henderson earned his bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Winnipeg in 1970 and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1976.

Filter By:

Topic

Type

Recent Commentary

Interest Rates
Blogs

McArdle on 15-Year Mortgages

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, July 21, 2014

Megan McArdle has a good post on why it can make sense to switch from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage. I agree with most of her reasoning. Her point that I think is most important for most people, based on my observations of lots of people over many years, is that a 15-year mortgage, compared to a 30-year mortgage, is a way to make yourself save. For her and her husband, as for my wife and me, this doesn't apply because we have greater than usual discipline in saving.

Oil Drilling
Blogs

Who Caused the August 1990 Spike in Oil Prices?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, June 30, 2014

Who caused the August 1990 spike in oil prices? If you learned that someone had reduced the supply of oil substantially just before the spike, wouldn't you think that that someone caused the price increase?

Latino students in class
Blogs

Bonding with Immigrants

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It was a beautiful scene in so many ways. Such diversity, such shared joy in suffering, such determination to push through and triumph over the odds.

Economics Abstract
Blogs

Tyler Cowen versus Frederic Bastiat

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I never hold a writer responsible for a title because, almost invariably, an editor, not the writer, chooses the article's title.

Blogs

Sports are Life

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, June 12, 2014

One reason I'm enjoying the NBA playoffs so much is that I like both teams so much. The San Antonio Spurs have an incredible coach and one of the things I like most about them is their everyday humility--not phony humility but just feet-on-the-ground humility.

Markets
Blogs

Reply to Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, June 8, 2014

At a conference titled "Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism," Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga attacked the free market, calling it "a new idol."

water
Blogs

My Small Victory

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

People in my area of California yesterday voted on Measure O. Here's the exact wording of the measure:

Man opening a car door
Blogs

Is the Sharing Economy a Rip-Off?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, May 29, 2014

Don't buy Dean Baker's hype.

Markets
Blogs

"Rationally Inactive"

by David R. Hendersonvia Library of Economics and Liberty
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

In a problem set for an Energy Economics course I'm teaching this quarter, I asked the following question:

Economics Abstract
Blogs

Noah Smith on Modern Economics

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, May 17, 2014

Pages