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

My WSJ Article on Samuelson

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My article on Paul Samuelson's work is in today's (Tuesday's) Wall Street Journal. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Wall Street Journal on Health Care

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, December 14, 2009

Today's lead unsigned editorial on health care in the Wall Street Journal is one of the best they have run. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Why Everyone Read Samuelson

by David R. Hendersonvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, December 14, 2009

The late Nobel laureate's mathematical approach to economics has been a mixed blessing. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Borenstein's Biased Reporting

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, December 13, 2009

I posted last week on Andrew C. Revkin's and John M. Broder's New York Times news story, to show how clever journalists can bias the reader at every turn. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Ayn Rand and the World She Made

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, December 12, 2009

I posted briefly on Anne C. Heller's book, Ayn Rand and the World She Made, and have now finished it. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

The Best Sentence of the Week

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, December 11, 2009

Some students and I, in a special readings class, were working our way through some chapters of David Friedman's law and economics book, Law's Order. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Murphy on Geo-Engineering

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

Murphy compares the cost of doing nothing about global warming with the cost of Waxman-Markey and writes: Of the estimates in the eleven studies published since the year 1995, the worst case is a global GDP loss of 1.9 percent. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

CBS Sixty Minutes: Insider Trading in Sports

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Last week, I blasted CBS's show 60 Minutes. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

NY Times' Non-Reporting Reporting

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

If you want to see a great example of a purported news story in which the reporters try to bias the story one way, check out today's New York Times story on Climategate. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

A Glimmer of Hope on Freedom

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

In some ways, Canada has much less freedom of speech than we have in the United States. . . .

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