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

CEA on "Reforming Health Care"

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The chapter, "Reforming Health Care," in the Economic Report of the President February 2010, is chock full of interesting facts and arguments. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Reply to DeLong

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Brad DeLong, in a belated comment at the end of my post, writes: So is your argument really that if not for the stimulus package wages would be falling--and falling wages would be inducing employers to hire lots more workers? . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Ralph Nader and Campaign Finance

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, February 22, 2010

At the event I was at on Saturday, Ralph Nader gave an excellent speech. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Fun With Ralph Nader

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, February 21, 2010

Yesterday, I was at an all-day meeting of "left and right" in Washington to see if we could put together a coalition against the various wars that the U.S. is in but not in. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Cross-Country Musings

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm a congenital optimist. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Raise the Age

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

Whenever I've talked to college audiences over the last 10 years, I've told them that the biggest domestic political issue for the whole rest of their adult lives is likely to be spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Budgetary Implications of Defense: Bleg

by David R. Hendersonvia EconTalk
Monday, February 15, 2010

On the KQED interview I did on the federal budget, I made the following statement: I'm actually an advocate of having the defense budget be the defense budget, not the offense budget. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Buy Local

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, February 14, 2010

My friend Ted Levy sent me the following story: I'm walking through a local Phoenix mall and pass a kiosk for Rosetta Stone, the language-learning software. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Tom Sowell's Latest Book

by David R. Henderson with Thomas Sowellvia EconLog
Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Hoover colleague, Thomas Sowell, has come out with yet another book. Titled Intellectuals and Society, it has been sitting on my pile for about two weeks. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Are Conspiracies Always Implausible?

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

Bryan, in posting on Arnold's view of what Ben Bernanke is doing, wrote: Arnold's story fits the facts, but it just seems too conspiratorial. . . .

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