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.

Filter By:

Topic

Type

Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

The New York Times' Shoddy Reporting

by David R. Hendersonvia Econlib
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

So read the first two paragraphs of a front-page article in today’s New York Times

Analysis and Commentary

Whose Tariff Rates Are Higher?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

I’ve been having discussions with a number of pro-Trump friends who favor Trump’s raising of tariffs as a way to induce other countries’ governments to reduce their tariffs. They think my fear of a trade war is overstated.

Analysis and Commentary

War Fighting And The Loss Of Liberty

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, June 11, 2018

But if we forswear military intervention in other countries, are there any tools left to affect the world in a positive way? Yes, and one of the main ones is free trade. In 1750, the Baron de Montesquieu, whose philosophy influenced the Founding Fathers, opined that "the natural effect of commerce is to bring peace."

Analysis and Commentary

Chronology Of Past Jobs I Have Had, Part 2

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, June 10, 2018

Occasionally our family didn't spend the whole summer at our cottage and so I had to come up with ways of making money other than hunting golf balls.

Analysis and Commentary

Chronology Of Past Jobs I Have Had, Part 1

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, June 9, 2018

On Facebook in the last few months, various friends have listed jobs they had chronologically. I've gotten quite a lot of enjoyment from reading them, but in many cases I wanted to know more: (1) how old were you when you had it? (2) what did you do in that job? (3) what did you learn from that job?

water
Analysis and Commentary

How Republican John Cox Can Win California

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, June 8, 2018

One word: water. This bill [AB 1668] would require the State Water Resources Control Board, in coordination with the Department of Water Resources, to adopt long-term standards for the efficient use of water, as provided, and performance measures for commercial, industrial, and institutional water use on or before June 30, 2022.

Analysis and Commentary

Trump's Dangerous Game

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, June 7, 2018

Some of my pro-Trump friends argue that Trump is right in threatening tariffs on other countries as a way of getting governments of other countries to reduce their tariffs on imports from the United States.

Analysis and Commentary

Compassionate Diversified Capitalist

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, June 7, 2018

Early Tuesday morning, a car crashed into a local McDonald's restaurant in Seaside, California, about 5 miles from where I live. The McDonald's caught on fire and collapsed. Fortunately all the employees were able to get out safely.

Amy Zegart on American attitudes toward torture
Analysis and Commentary

Obama Trumped Trump

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

One of the great things about blogging is the frequent times one learns from commenters. The Trump tweet on the unemployment rate is a case in point.

Analysis and Commentary

A Cure For Our Health Care Ills

by Charles L. Hooper, David R. Hendersonvia Econlib
Monday, June 4, 2018

"Nobody knew health care could be so complicated," was Donald Trump's now famous pronouncement on the issue. The Congressional Republicans were struggling too. Not only did they fail to reach a legislative solution, but, even worse, they were confused about where to even search for a solution. All told, health care begins to look insoluble. But is it really that complicated? Actually, no.

Pages