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

The Case Against Higher Tax Rates

by David R. Hendersonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

On incentives, deadweight loss, and economists who should know better.

Analysis and Commentary

The Harder Question I Raise For James R. Rogers

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Over at our sister publication Law & Liberty, political science professor James R. Rogers has a piece titled “The Harder Question Tucker Carlson Raises for Conservatives.” If it were a question Carlson raises only for conservatives, I would be less interested than otherwise. But Professor Rogers makes clear in the article that Carlson raises this question for libertarians too. 

Analysis and Commentary

Walls Around Houses Differ From Walls Around Countries

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, January 22, 2019

My wife and I were at a dinner party on Saturday at which one of the guests, who favors President Trump’s proposal for a wall, claimed that if you object to a wall, you have no right to object to someone coming on your property without your permission. I said that one doesn’t follow from the other: a wall keeps people from coming into the country without the government’s permission whereas a wall around your property prevents people from coming on to your property without your permission.

Analysis and Commentary

The Causes Of The Detroit Riot

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, January 21, 2019

On this day that commemorates the birthday of the late Martin Luther King, Jr., one of my favorite bloggers, Timothy Taylor, aka the Conversable Economist, revisits the Kerner Commission Report of 1968 that examined the causes of the racial riots. I don’t claim to know all the causes of all the riots, but I do think that much of the commentary on the Kerner Commission’s report has missed some key facts in the report about the causes of the Detroit riot. That’s understandable because the Kerner Commission, despite reporting these facts, seemed to have missed their significance also.

Analysis and Commentary

Workplace Challenges

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, January 19, 2019

One of the panelists, Susan Athey, a Stanford economist, said she had bought “khakis and loafers” to fit in with the men in the lunchroom of her first economics department, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She did so even though the department was the “most supportive environment” she has encountered in her career.

Analysis and Commentary

Find The Contradiction

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, January 18, 2019

In a Reason story about a humane man who tried to save a deer’s life and got nailed by the government for doing so, Pennsylvania Game Commission Press Secretary Travis Lau admits that there’s “a good possibility the deer would have been euthanized…because deer are poor candidates for rehabilitation.”

Analysis and Commentary

A Hearty Henderson Salute To John Bogle

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, January 17, 2019

As is probably well-known by now, John Bogle, the man who started Vanguard Financial, died on Wednesday. He helped save millions of people like me thousands of dollars in fees. His basic insight was that it’s hard to beat the market and so the best idea is to have a broad portfolio of stocks that roughly matches the overall stock market.

Analysis and Commentary

Does Losing Less Mean That You Are Winning?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

I started to write a blog post critical of an article by Lawrence Solomon, in Canada’s Financial Post, titled “Remember Trump’s supposedly ‘lose-lose’ trade war? He’s winning, China’s losing.” (Financial Post, January 11, 2019.) I thought he was making a basic mistake. I was wrong. It was my mistake. But you will see why the title above is not ideal, given the conclusion I’ve now come to.

Analysis and Commentary

Lipow On Stiglitz On Green New Deal

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, January 15, 2019

My former colleague at the Naval Postgraduate School Jonathan Lipow posted something on Facebook that I think deserves wider readership. We don’t see eye to eye on everything and we don’t even see eye to eye on what’s in his Facebook post. But he says it well and makes some valid points.

Analysis and Commentary

Lipow On Stiglitz On Green New Deal

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, January 15, 2019

My former colleague at the Naval Postgraduate School Jonathan Lipow posted something on Facebook that I think deserves wider readership. We don’t see eye to eye on everything and we don’t even see eye to eye on what’s in his Facebook post. But he says it well and makes some valid points.

Pages