John Raisian, the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and a senior fellow, assumed his position as director in 1989. He is an economist who has specialized in labor market and human resource issues, both nationally and internationally. He joined the Hoover Institution in 1986 as a fellow, serving as associate director during 1986–88 and deputy director during 1988–89.
He received his B.A. in economics and mathematics from Ohio University in 1971 and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1978.
Raisian was a consultant to the Rand Corporation from 1974 to 1975, after which he was appointed at the University of Washington as a visiting assistant professor of economics in 1975–76.
From 1976 to 1980, he was an assistant professor of economics at the University of Houston, where he received a distinguished teaching award from the College of Social Sciences.
In 1980, he entered public service as a senior economist in the Office of Research and Evaluation, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 1981, he joined the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, in two capacities: special assistant for economic policy, a position he held until 1983, and director of research and technical support, which he left in 1984.
As a result of his work for the U.S. Department of Labor, he received the department's Distinguished Service Award. In 1983, he took a leave of absence from the labor department to serve as executive director of the President's Task Force on Food Assistance.
After leaving the Department of Labor, Raisian became president of Unicon Research Corporation, an economic consulting firm in Los Angeles, where he worked until joining the Hoover Institution in 1986.
His past research interests have included the extent of wage and employment variability experienced by the U.S. workforce during the course of business cycles and, comparatively, by the Japanese workforce; the projected impacts of proposed comparable-worth solutions to pay inequities in the U.S.; union-nonunion characteristics of labor markets; the effects of minimum wage legislation; and the incidence of disability in the U.S. workforce.
He has published numerous articles on the economics of labor markets, one of which garnered an award for the best publication of the year in Economic Inquiry, awarded by the Western Economic Association in 1979. Other articles have appeared in the American Economic Review, Journal of Labor Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Labor Research, and Contemporary Policy Issues.
His current policy interests include the application of economic principles to public policy formation, the appropriate role of government in society, and the importance of human capital accumulation for productivity growth and economic prosperity.