Robert E. Hall

Robert and Carole McNeil Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Econometric Society (elected fellow)
National Academy of Sciences
Biography: 

Robert E. Hall holds a joint position endowed by Robert and Carole McNeil as a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor in the economics department, Stanford University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society and the Society of Labor Economists.

Hall is an applied economist with interests in technology, competition, employment issues, and economic policy. He is a frequent contributor to discussions of national economic policy, including monetary policy, fiscal policy, and competition policy. Hall's research focuses on levels of activity and stock market valuations in market economies and on the economics of high technology, particularly the Internet. His most recent book, Digital Dealing: How e-Markets Are Transforming the Economy, was published by W. W. Norton in 2001.

Along with Hoover colleague Alvin Rabushka, Hall is an active proponent of the flat tax. Their article in the Wall Street Journal in December 1981 was the starting point of an upsurge of interest in the flat tax. This led to their book, The Flat Tax (Hoover Institution Press, 1985 and 1995). The pair was recognized in Money magazine's Money Hall of Fame for their contributions to financial innovation over the past twenty years.

Hall is coauthor, with Marc Lieberman, of Economics: Principles and Applications, 3rd edition (South-Western, 2004).

Hall also serves as director of the research program on economic fluctuations and growth of the National Bureau of Economic Research, an interuniversity research organization. He is chairman of the bureau's Committee on Business Cycle Dating, which maintains the semiofficial chronology of the U.S. business cycle.

Hall has advised a number of government agencies on national economic policy, including the Justice Department, the Treasury Department, and the Federal Reserve Board. He served on President-elect Ronald Reagan's Task Force on Inflation Policy and was a member of the National Presidential Advisory Committee on Productivity. He has testified on numerous occasions before congressional committees concerning national economic policy. He presented the Ely Lecture to the American Economic Association in 2001.

Before coming to Stanford, Hall was a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Born in Palo Alto, California, he attended school in Palo Alto and Los Angeles, received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Hall is married to economist Susan Woodward and lives in Menlo Park, California.

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Recent Commentary

US Economy
Featured Commentary

Quantifying The Lasting Harm to the U.S. Economy From the Financial Crisis

by Robert E. Hallvia National Bureau of Economic Research
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
The financial crisis and ensuing Great Recession left the U.S. economy in an injured state. In 2013, output was 13 percent below its trend path from 1990 through 2007. Part of this shortfall—2.2 percentage points out of the 13—was the result of lingering slackness in the labor market in the form of abnormal unemployment and substandard weekly hours of work. The single biggest contributor was a shortfall in business capital, which accounted for 3.9 percentage points. 

An Economist’s Economist

by Robert E. Hall, Douglas Clementvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hoover fellow Robert E. Hall talks about job creation, flat taxes, and
the art (and science) of declaring a recession.

Federal Reserve
Other Media

The Fed Needs to Make a Policy Statement

by Robert E. Hallwith John B. Taylorvia Financial Crisis and Recession (Blog)
Monday, April 13, 2009

More and more one hears the concern that the Fed has embarked on an expansionary policy that will result in high inflation once the economy returns to normal...

an image
Other Media

Options for Stimulating the Economy

by Robert E. Hallvia Financial Crisis and Recession Blog
Monday, December 8, 2008

In 2009, GDP in the U.S. is expected to be about $900 billion below its normal growth path...

Hoover fellows testify at congressional hearings
Featured Commentary

Dueling Economists: Experts Voice Support for Bailout Bill

by Michael J. Boskin, Robert E. Hall, George P. Shultzvia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, October 1, 2008

As economists, we write to support the plan before Congress dealing with the financial crisis...

The Flat Tax

The Flat Tax

by Robert E. Hall, Alvin Rabushkavia Books by Hoover Fellows
Monday, January 1, 2007

This new and updated edition of The Flat Tax sets forth the flat-tax plan developed by Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka, senior fellows at the Hoover Institution, who believe it is the most fair, efficient, simple, and workable plan on the table.

Featured Commentary

The Revolution in Air Travel

by Robert E. Hallvia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, December 2, 2002

As JetBlue and others continue to expand rapidly, the traditional airlines will suffer further reductions in profit unless they update their models.

Featured Commentary

The Remarkable Prosperity of College Graduates

by Robert E. Hallvia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, September 18, 2000

There is a striking relationship between college intensity and stock market return in the 1990s.

American Commercial Law: A Brief Celebration

by Robert E. Hall, Susan E. Woodwardvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 30, 1997

Hoover fellow Robert E. Hall and economist Susan E. Woodward examine our much-maligned system of commercial law-and find that it works pretty darned well. Why the United States doesn't have too many lawyers.