Stephen Haber

Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow

Stephen Haber is the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the A.A. and Jeanne Welch Milligan Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University. In addition, he is a professor of political science, professor of history, and professor of economics (by courtesy), as well as a senior fellow of both the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and the Stanford Center for International Development.

From 1995 to 1998, Haber served as associate dean for the social sciences and director of Graduate Studies of Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences. He is among Stanford’s most distinguished teachers, having been awarded every teaching prize Stanford has to offer. He was honored with Stanford’s highest teaching honor in 2011, the Walter J. Gores Award.

Haber has spent his academic life investigating the political institutions and economic policies that delay innovation and improvements in living standards. Much of that work has focused on how regulatory and supervisory agencies are often used by incumbent firms to stifle competition, thereby curtailing economic opportunities and slowing technological progress.

His current research focuses on three areas: the creation of regulatory barriers to entry in finance; the economic and political consequences of holdup problems created by different systems of agricultural production; and the comparative development of patent systems. He is a regular consultant to the World Bank and has been a visiting faculty member at the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Chicago. He currently serves as director of Hoover’s Working Group on Innovation and Intellectual Property.

Haber’s most recent book (coauthored with Charles Calomiris), Fragile by Design, from Princeton University Press, examines how governments and industry incumbents often craft banking regulatory policies in ways that stifle competition and increase systemic risk.

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Recent Commentary

A Deeper Kind of Revolution

by Stephen Habervia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 13, 2009

In most of Latin America, living standards are rising and stability is growing—no thanks to populist rhetoric. By Stephen H. Haber.

Analysis and Commentary

Latin America's Quiet Revolution

by Stephen Habervia Wall Street Journal
Friday, January 30, 2009

The Mexican government is locked in a vicious war against powerful drug cartels which assassinate public officials seemingly at will...

Analysis and Commentary

EU antitrust nonsense

by Stephen Haber, F. Scott Kieffvia Washington Times
Friday, October 5, 2007

Last month, a European court upheld a decision against Microsoft for anticompetitive conduct...

Analysis and Commentary

Microsoft's European experience troubling for U.S. companies

by Stephen Habervia McClatchy Newspapers
Thursday, March 15, 2007

The latest regulatory actions by the competition unit of the European Union against Microsoft could have a profound impact on other U.S. companies doing business in Europe. Consumers may end up paying the freight for runaway regulation...

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The Conduit

by Stephen Habervia Hoover Digest
Sunday, July 30, 2006

To us, it's a border. But to Mexico, it's an escape valve. Why closing that valve would destabilize our southern neighbor—and damage our own interests. By Stephen Haber.

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The Left Turn

by Stephen Habervia Hoover Digest
Saturday, July 30, 2005

Throughout Latin America during the last five years, leftist politicians have unseated conservative leaders. What accounts for this radical change? ¡Es la economía, estúpida! By Stephen Haber.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Has Latin America Turned Left?

by Stephen Habervia Hoover Daily Report
Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The implication for U.S. policy is clear: if policymakers are concerned about the leftward shift in Latin America, they should concentrate on helping the region grow.

LATIN AMERICA GOES SOUTH: Political Reform in Latin America

with Stephen Haber, Alvaro Vargas Llosavia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, October 21, 2004

Over the last quarter century, Latin America appears to have made remarkable political and economic progress—an undeniable shift towards democratic government and free market economics. Yet during the last five years, several Latin American countries have experienced one political and economic crisis after another. Why? Have democratic and free market reforms failed Latin America? Or are enduring problems of governmental structure still to blame? Peter Robinson speaks with Stephen Haber and Alvaro Vargas Llosa.

Analysis and Commentary

When Globalization Isn't Enough

by Stephen Habervia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, April 12, 2004

Among the most crucial reforms are those related to Latin America's domestic financial systems, most of which are inadequate.

TRADING PLACES: Is Outsourcing Good for America?

with Stephen Haber, Kenneth L. Judd, Harley Shaikenvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, March 26, 2004

Does outsourcing—whether it means the transfer of customer service and high-tech jobs to India or of manufacturing jobs to China—benefit the American economy or harm it? And if American workers are being harmed by outsourcing, what should be done about it? Do we need legislation to prevent corporations from sending jobs overseas? Or should we focus our attention on creating new opportunities for the American labor force through education and job training?