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

How to Tame the AMT

by David R. Hendersonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 19, 2007

There’s a silver lining to the alternative minimum tax: tweak it the right way, and you can establish a flat tax. By David R. Henderson.

The FDA’s Risky Risk-Aversion

by Henry I. Miller, David R. Hendersonvia Policy Review
Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Misplaced priorities for drug approval

In the News

The Invisible Heart

by David R. Hendersonwith Russell Robertsvia LewRockwell
Saturday, July 21, 2007

Are you ready for a novel that appeals to your intellect and your heart at the same time?

Analysis and Commentary

A Rise-able Fallacy

by David R. Hendersonwith Milton Friedmanvia Wall Street Journal
Friday, July 20, 2007

The idea that an increase in economic growth leads to an increase in inflation -- and that decreased growth reduces inflation -- is reflected endlessly in the media...

Analysis and Commentary

How to Fix the Alternative Minimum Tax

by David R. Hendersonvia National Center for Policy Analysis
Monday, July 16, 2007

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is an income tax monstrosity that denies middle-to-high-income people deductions that would otherwise be legitimate....

Analysis and Commentary

Controlling Our Borders

by David R. Hendersonwith Charles L. Hoopervia New York Sun
Thursday, June 14, 2007

One of the principles Charles Hooper and I state in our book, "Making Great Decisions in Business and Life," is that in solving a problem, any alternatives you consider must be feasible...

Analysis and Commentary

Our Lawless FDA

by David R. Henderson, Charles L. Hooperwith Henry I. Millervia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Food and Drug Administration spends your money and acts in your name to regulate medicines...

Governmental influences on drug development: striking a better balance

by Henry I. Miller, David R. Henderson
Friday, May 11, 2007

There is much debate worldwide over how governmental policies affect pharmaceutical innovation. Ensuring the safety of drugs must be offset against providing timely access to potentially life-saving or life-enhancing therapies. The authors argue that there is a need for a more balanced approach to governmental interventions.

Analysis and Commentary

Don't Abolish the AMT

by David R. Hendersonvia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, May 2, 2007

In the late 1970s, supply-side economists and journalists, many of them writing on this page, began and won a debate in economics...

Analysis and Commentary

Deal or No Deal for Organs?

by David R. Hendersonvia New York Sun
Tuesday, April 3, 2007

We've got a deal for you...

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