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

Oops. My Mistake

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Commenters on my post last night pointed out something I had not been aware of: the special treatment local governments give Bass Pro Shops to set up. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

I Love Capitalism, Again

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Driving home from skiing today--it was a gorgeous day in California, by the way--I saw a Bass Pro Shops in a city called Manteca. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

The Social Security "Trust Fund"

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, March 15, 2010

This is from "Social Security to Start Cashing Uncle Sam's IOUs," by the Associated Press today. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Does Schooling Create Positive Externalities?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, March 13, 2010

Last night, I was a guest of San Jose State University's economics department on a bus ride through Pebble Beach, complete with drinks and hors d'oeuvres. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Cognitive Dissonance on Vehicle Safety

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, March 12, 2010

In this morning's Monterey Herald are two articles from the Associated Press, the first co-authored by Ken Thomas and Natasha Metzler and the second co-authored by Ken Thomas and Natasha Metzler. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Confusing Health Care and Health Insurance

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, March 11, 2010

President Obama Walks Into His Own Trap. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

We Smell a Rat

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, March 11, 2010

The FDA is getting worse and worse. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Taxation of Unemployment Benefits

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On the comments yesterday on my post on the effect of unemployment benefits on unemployment, Noah Yetter wrote: You have to pay taxes on unemployement benefits? . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Letters: Professors went too far

by David R. Hendersonvia Monterey Herald
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

In a story Friday about the student protests of budget cuts, The Herald reported, "Some professors took students from their classrooms to the rally.". . .

Analysis and Commentary

The Effect of Unemployment Insurance on Unemployment

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Last week, I addressed the issue of how much of the current unemployment is due to the many extensions of unemployment benefits. . . .

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