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.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

The Tragedy Of Modern Academia

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Alternate title: Don Boudreaux explains my motivation in two paragraphs.

Analysis and Commentary

Perspective On Yellen

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Donna Borak of CNN Money interviewed me early in February for her piece on outgoing Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.The piece is "Yellen's historic legacy: Wise caution and a successful recovery," CNN Money, February 3, 2018.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Bryan Caplan Won His Gasoline Bet

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

For some reason, I didn't know about co-blogger Bryan Caplan's bet about gasoline prices with Tyler Cowen, but if I had, I would have taken his side of the bet.

Analysis and Commentary

Caligula's Wish

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

It was the spring of 1960, and a group of military officers had just seized control of the government and the national media, imposing an information blackout to suppress the coordination of any threats to their coup. But inconveniently for the conspirators, a highly anticipated soccer game between Turkey and Scotland was scheduled to take place in the capital two weeks after their takeover. Matches like this were broadcast live on national radio, with an announcer calling the game, play by play. People all across Turkey would huddle around their sets, cheering on the national team.

Olympic Gold Medal
Analysis and Commentary

Economics Everywhere Even In Sports

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, February 12, 2018

Early February in even years not divisible by 4 is one of my favorite times. First, the AT&T golf tournament is here and, although I'm not a big fan of golf (cue Mark Twain), I get to see gorgeous views from the Goodyear blimp of an area less than 2 miles as the crow flies (and that crow does fly straight) from where I live.

 
an image
Analysis and Commentary

The Tea Party Is Dead

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, February 11, 2018

"It has finally happened: The Tea Party is dead." So writes Matt Kibbe, one of the original organizers of the Tea Party, in "The Tea Party Is Officially Dead. It Was Killed By Partisan Politics." Reason, February 11. Matt gives a nice brief history of its organization, pointing out how decentralized it has always been.

Analysis and Commentary

We're Number 17

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, February 10, 2018

Last year the Cato Institute, along with the Fraser Institute and the Liberales Institut at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, published the Human Freedom Index 2017. In it, the authors, Ian Vasquez and Tanja Porcnki, assign scores to various key components of what they call "economic freedom" and "personal freedom" and then rank the various countries on those two. They take the average of the two indices to get the overall Human Freedom Index.

Analysis and Commentary

Oxfam Or Oxgov?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, February 9, 2018

There are two ways to close the gap [between rich and poor]. The first is to concentrate on making the poor better off. Mostly that has happened, thanks to liberalized international trade and reduced costs for shipping goods. Just as Walmart and Amazon have cut costs for Americans, the introduction of container shipping crushed transportation costs for the world.

Analysis and Commentary

Richer Than Rockefeller?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, February 8, 2018

I gave a talk late yesterday afternoon at the branch of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute operated by California State University, Monterey Bay. Thanks to Michele Crompton and her very competent aide, Leslie.

Featured

A War On The Rich Won’t Help The Poor

by David R. Hendersonvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, February 8, 2018

Oxfam notes that poverty has declined sharply, then ignores the quickest way to reduce it even more.

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