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.

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Blogs

The Miracle Of Compound Interest (And Dividends): A Personal Story

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, March 30, 2015

Last summer, I highlighted famous Canadian whisky producer Sam Bronfman's claim that the greatest invention in history is interest. I then posted on how to get rich slowly and drew strongly on the idea of compound interest. Of course, I take the principle to mean compound dividends also; that is, investing in stocks and then reinvesting the dividends in more stocks.

Blogs

Russ Roberts On Adam Smith's Rules For Living

by David R. Hendersonfeaturing Russell Robertsvia EconLog
Saturday, March 28, 2015

The prudent man, claims Roberts, does not smoke, is "physically active and keeps his weight under control," and "works hard and avoids debt."

Blogs

Richer Than Rockefeller?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, March 27, 2015

I gave a talk at UNC Wilmington on Monday night. The talk was titled "Seven Myths about Free Markets." One of the myths is that with free markets, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Blogs

He Had Me At Page One

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, March 27, 2015

This is the opening paragraph of "You Had Me at Page One," my review of Where Does It Hurt? by Jonathan Bush with Stephen Baker.

Coffee
Blogs

A Rare Disagreement With Bryan Caplan

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, March 22, 2015

Last week I highlighted Bryan Caplan's comprehensive notes, homework sets, and keys to homework for the courses he teaches.

David R. Henderson
Blogs

The Boys In The Boat

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, March 21, 2015

On my flight from Chicago to Phoenix on Thursday, I finished The Boys in the Boat. It's subtitled "Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics." I highly recommend it.

Blogs

A Partial Defense Of David Friedman

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, March 20, 2015

Scott Alexander, about whom both David Friedman and co-blogger Bryan Caplan have raved, has a lengthy book review of David's The Machinery of Freedom. As I write this, there are 479 comments on his post and I looked only at about the first 100 or so to see if anyone was making the point I want to make. I didn't find it, so I'll make it here.

Poverty in the US
Blogs

Gerson's Confusion About Inequality

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

"Putnam's goal is to reveal the consequences of inequality on kids. This unfairness is rooted in various, interrelated trends: family instability, community dysfunction and the collapse of the blue-collar economy."

Blogs

The Ides Of March: Gordon Tullock Strikes Again

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Phil Edwards over at Vox has written a fun piece on the assassination of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March. Most of us know what we "know" about it from Shakespeare. Bad idea, says Edwards, and he shows why. His piece is appropriately titled "6 myths about the Ides of March and killing Caesar."

Blogs

Bryan Caplan's Notes

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, March 16, 2015

In a post this morning, co-blogger Bryan Caplan made the following statement:
Furthermore, when there's a surplus of workers, the cost of outright bigotry sharply falls.

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