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

Hurray for Frank Quattrone; Rotten Tomatoes for the Media

by David R. Hendersonvia TCS Daily
Monday, August 28, 2006

Hurray for Frank Quattrone…

Analysis and Commentary

Hurray for Frank Quattrone; Rotten Tomatoes for the Media

by David R. Hendersonvia TCS Daily
Monday, August 28, 2006

Hurray for Frank Quattrone...

Analysis and Commentary

Should the US Nuke Iran and Syria?

by David R. Hendersonvia Anti-war.com
Monday, August 28, 2006

In a recent article, "Will the U.S. Defend Itself?", economist Walter Williams seems to make a case for nuclear war on Syria and Iran. His case cries out for a response...

Analysis and Commentary

Claims I Didn't Make Turned Into Straw Men

by David R. Hendersonvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, August 24, 2006

In his Aug. 16 Letter "Who Wants to Work for $5.15 an Hour?" responding to my criticism of the minimum wage ("If Only Most Americans Understood," editorial page, Aug. 1), Robert A. Steinberg makes up three quotes that he claims were from my article -- and then goes on to attack his fabricated quotes...

Analysis and Commentary

If Only Most Americans Understood

by David R. Hendersonvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, August 1, 2006

"The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00…

Analysis and Commentary

Remembering Hiroshima

by David R. Hendersonwith Herbert Hoovervia Anti-war.com
Monday, July 31, 2006

Sometimes, something happens that is so awful that we find ourselves rationalizing it, talking as if it had to happen, to make ourselves feel better about the horrible event…

Why We Don't Need a Stiff New Tax on Oil

by David R. Hendersonvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, July 30, 2006

A steep increase in the oil tax would endanger our freedom, harm consumers, and stall the economy. And to what end? By David R. Henderson.

Why Spending Has Got to Give

by David R. Hendersonvia Policy Review
Saturday, April 1, 2006

Because taxes will only go so high

Income Mobility: Alive and Well

by David R. Hendersonvia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 30, 2006

Has income mobility in America stalled? No way. It hasn’t even slowed. By David R. Henderson.

Analysis and Commentary

Vioxx's Runaway Jury

by David R. Hendersonvia Hoover Daily Report
Wednesday, September 21, 2005

You'd think that a reputable company has at least the same chance of a fair trial as an accused murderer. But as the recent Angleton, Texas, jury's verdict against Vioxx shows, you'd be wrong.

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