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 Real Meaning of Privilege

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, October 5, 2009

Once we start using the word "privilege" where what we really mean is "wealth," we start applying this term to those who came by their wealth without special privilege-the Bill Gateses of the world, sure, but also the more-common successful businessmen or professionals who are earning a few million dollars a year down to a few hundred thousand dollars a year and who don't show up on any "richest people" lists...

Analysis and Commentary

Mad About Trade

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, October 4, 2009

I've been enjoying Daniel Griswold's new book, Mad About Trade...

Analysis and Commentary

Soviet Shoes

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I mentioned in Tuesday's post that one of my favorite passages from Scott Shane's Dismantling Utopia is the passage about shoes...

Analysis and Commentary

My First Day of Class

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I started my Executive MBA economics class today that I teach in front of a camera to 3 remote locations: D.C., Norfolk, and Oceana...

Analysis and Commentary

Weird Economics at G-20 Summit

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, September 25, 2009

From the September 22 Wall Street Journal: Those countries running current account deficits, most notably the U.S., would have to define ways to boost savings...

Analysis and Commentary

Data on Canadian Medical Care

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, September 24, 2009

My wife had breast cancer in 1986 and is an active consumer of information about breast cancer...

Analysis and Commentary

Unintended Consequences of Regulation

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, September 23, 2009

From yesterday's Wall Street Journal, two good old-style news stories on the consequences of regulation...

Analysis and Commentary

Competition in Media Works

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, September 21, 2009

When I read that President Obama would make the rounds of all the major network news shows except that of Fox News Channel, I was skeptical that any hard information would come out...

Analysis and Commentary

The Feds' Attack on Freedom of Speech

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, September 21, 2009

Not the Fed, as in Bernanke, but the Feds, as in the federal government...

Analysis and Commentary

Former President Carter Presents Us With a Teachable Moment

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, September 19, 2009

One of the terms most misused in recent years is the charge of ad hominem...

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