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

Unintended Consequences of Regulation

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, September 23, 2009

From yesterday's Wall Street Journal, two good old-style news stories on the consequences of regulation...

Analysis and Commentary

Competition in Media Works

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, September 21, 2009

When I read that President Obama would make the rounds of all the major network news shows except that of Fox News Channel, I was skeptical that any hard information would come out...

Analysis and Commentary

The Feds' Attack on Freedom of Speech

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, September 21, 2009

Not the Fed, as in Bernanke, but the Feds, as in the federal government...

Analysis and Commentary

Former President Carter Presents Us With a Teachable Moment

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, September 19, 2009

One of the terms most misused in recent years is the charge of ad hominem...

Analysis and Commentary

Obama's Bait and Switch

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, September 19, 2009

In the spring of this year, President Obama argued that one reason for health care reform was to get long-term spending on government health care under control...

Analysis and Commentary

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, September 19, 2009

That's a question asked by Louis J. Prues and answered by the Wall Street Journal's Kelly Greene in the weekend Journal...

Analysis and Commentary

One More Step toward Fascism

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, September 18, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reports the following today: Policies that set the pay for tens of thousands of bank employees nationwide would require approval from the Federal Reserve as part of a far-reaching proposal to rein in risk-taking at financial institutions...

Analysis and Commentary

Economics of Mandated Health Insurance

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Today's Wall Street Journal contains an interesting front-page news story about mandated health insurance, focusing on the case of Massachusetts...

Analysis and Commentary

Tea and Empathy

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, September 14, 2009

I've been following the discussion of the tea parties, intellectuals, etc...

Analysis and Commentary

The Fed's Hold on Economists

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, September 11, 2009

And celebrity is no shield against Fed excommunication...

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