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

Obama's Contradiction on Health Care: II

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, September 10, 2009

Three commenters on my post last night (ed, mark, and Karl Smith) pointed out, correctly, it turns out, that I missed Obama's point...

Analysis and Commentary

Friedman vs. Bernanke, II

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

As noted in my previous post on this, Tyler Cowen and I have converged: we agree that Bernanke's and Friedman's views on the causes of the Great Depression differed and that, although there is some ambiguity, there is no clear evidence that Friedman would have favored the Paulson-Bernanke bailouts...

Analysis and Commentary

Obama's Baby Step on Free Trade

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Finally, I have something positive to say about Obama's economic policy...

Analysis and Commentary

Obama's Contradiction on Health Care

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Here are two segments of Obama's speech this evening...

Analysis and Commentary

Pfizer's $2.3 Billion-Dollar Settlement

by Charles L. Hooper, David R. Hendersonvia Forbes
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Even Google didn't believe it...

Analysis and Commentary

Labor Day is Not Union Day

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, September 7, 2009

The present recession has increased private-sector unemployment to over ten percent, and feckless attempts by government to ameliorate the recession have greatly expanded government employment...

Analysis and Commentary

Casey Mulligan on Employment

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, September 6, 2009

Casey Mulligan's blog is a gold mine...

Analysis and Commentary

Implicit Marginal Tax Rate Could be 131 Percent

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, September 5, 2009

University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan, in his latest NBER piece, finds greater than 100 percent marginal tax rates across a large swath of the U.S. population...

Analysis and Commentary

Friedman vs. Bernanke

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, September 4, 2009

In the back and forth between Tyler Cowen and me, with a lot of heavy hitters commenting, we have actually made progress...

Analysis and Commentary

Capitalism and the Jews

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, September 3, 2009

My co-blogger, Arnold Kling, posted yesterday on American Jews and politics...

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