Lee Ohanian

Senior Fellow

Lee E. Ohanian is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of economics and director of the Ettinger Family Program in Macroeconomic Research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

He is associate director of the Center for the Advanced Study in Economic Efficiency at Arizona State University and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he codirects the research initiative Macroeconomics across Time and Space. He is also a fellow in the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory.

His research focuses on economic crises, economic growth, and the impact of public policy on the economy. Ohanian is coeditor of Government Policies and Delayed Economic Recovery (Hoover Institution Press, 2012). He is an adviser to the Federal Reserve Banks of Minneapolis and St. Louis, has previously advised other Federal Reserve banks, foreign central banks, and the National Science Foundation, and has testified to national and state legislative committees on economic policy. He is on the editorial boards of Econometrica and Macroeconomic Dynamics. He is a frequent media commentator and writes for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Investor’s Business Daily. He has won numerous teaching awards at UCLA and the University of Rochester.

He previously served on the faculties of the Universities of Minnesota and Pennsylvania and as vice president at Security Pacific Bank. He received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his PhD in economics from the University of Rochester.

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Recent Commentary


4% Economic Growth? Yes, We Can Achieve That

by Lee Ohanian, Andrew Atkeson, William E. Simon Jr.via Investor's Business Daily
Thursday, September 3, 2015

It is no secret that the recovery from the recession that ended in June of 2009 has been virtually non-existent. More striking, however, is the impact that this recession and its aftermath have had on the conventional wisdom in Washington regarding America's long-term economic future.

© Frederic de Villamil / LeWeb / Creative Commons

A Better Start for Startups

by Lee Ohanian, Edward Prescottvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

New businesses drive productivity—unless taxes and regulation strangle them.

Analysis and Commentary

European Economic Errors for the U.S. to Avoid

by Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, Lee Ohanianvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, December 29, 2014

The story of the Continent’s moribund economy began long before the European Central Bank was founded.

Analysis and Commentary

U.S. Income Inequality Isn't Soaring, It's Falling

by Lee Ohanian, Kip Hagopianvia Investor's Business Daily
Thursday, October 9, 2014

Google "income inequality" and you will find almost 9 million references. Every day seems to bring new reports on the magnitude or the growth of U.S. income inequality. These reports often include claims that middle-class incomes have been stagnant for two or more decades, implying a link between the two.

Business Abstract
Analysis and Commentary

Behind the Productivity Plunge: Fewer Startups

by Lee Ohanian, Edward Prescottvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, June 26, 2014

In the first quarter of 2014, GDP in the U.S. plunged at a 2.9% annual rate, and productivity—the inflation-adjusted business output per hour worked—declined at a 3.5% annual rate.

US Money Ladder
Analysis and Commentary

How in the world can the Los Angeles Clippers be worth $2 billion?

by Lee Ohanianvia Washington Post
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

As the powers that be of the world’s most popular sport gather in Brazil this week for the FIFA World Cup, they ought to offer a toast to Donald Sterling. 

The War on Poverty Is Lost

by Lee Ohanianvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 21, 2014

An army of programs didn’t just fail to defeat poverty. It created a culture of permanent government assistance.

Economic Crisis
Analysis and Commentary

U.S. Productivity Growth Has Taken a Dive

by Lee Ohanian, Edward Prescottvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In his State of the Union address last Tuesday, and in speeches across the country since, President Obama has emphasized that Washington needs to "do more to help the entrepreneurs and small business owners who create most new jobs in America." He's right.

Poverty in the US
Analysis and Commentary

Why We Continue to Lose the War on Poverty

by Lee Ohanianvia FoxNews.com
Monday, January 13, 2014

The War on Poverty has not been won is because too many Americans are not able to economically succeed without permanent and substantial government assistance.

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Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

What Economic Recovery?

by Lee Ohanian, John B. Taylorvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Thanks to bad government policies, we are not fully out of the recession yet.