David R. Henderson

Research Fellow
Biography: 

David R. Henderson is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution. He is also a 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 online at the Library of Economics and Liberty. 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, CNBC Squawk Box, MSNBC, BBC, CBC, the Fox News Channel, RT, 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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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Tyler Cowen, Milton Friedman, and Bailouts

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, August 31, 2009

In my responses (here and here) to Tyler Cowen's posts (here and here) on whether Milton Friedman would have supported the bailout of banks, I let myself be distracted by Tyler's use of the word "pretend."...

Analysis and Commentary

Dr. Ouelett on Canada's Medicare

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, August 30, 2009

Early this morning (PDT), C-SPAN carried an interesting interview and call-in show with Dr. Ouelett, outgoing president of the Canadian Medical Association...

Analysis and Commentary

How American Health Care Killed My Father

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, August 28, 2009

Not my father: David Goldhill's father...

Analysis and Commentary

Caplan's Talk in Sweden

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

There is more than one way to make economics fun, and I hope that future research will compare and contrast the effectiveness of different approaches...

Analysis and Commentary

Kennedy and Airline Deregulation

by David R. Hendersonwith Thomas Gale Moorevia EconLog
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Hoover colleague, Thomas G. Moore, has a letter on his office wall from Senator Kennedy thanking him for his contributions to transportation deregulation...

Analysis and Commentary

The Best Question I Heard Yesterday

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I sat in on Jeff Hummel's graduate course in Monetary Theory at San Jose State University last night...

Analysis and Commentary

Tyler Cowen on Pretense

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On his blog today, Tyler Cowen, who does not usually use harsh language, does use it when referring to libertarians...

Analysis and Commentary

Correction on Corporate Campaign Contributions

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, August 24, 2009

How's that title for alliteration?...

Analysis and Commentary

What Would Coase Say?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ronald Coase won the Nobel prize for, in part, what has become known as the Coase Theorem...

Analysis and Commentary

Why oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, August 23, 2009

Those who read Brad DeLong's blog will recognized his oft-asked question...

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