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

Mad About Trade, II

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, October 17, 2009

Further highlights from Daniel Griswold's new book, Mad About Trade, which I first blogged about here...

Analysis and Commentary

Are Taxes “Passed On”?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In arguing with the recent study done by Price Waterhouse Coopers for the American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the White House bloggers say the following:...

Analysis and Commentary

A Nobel for Practical Economics

by David R. Hendersonvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, October 12, 2009

Yesterday's award of the Nobel Prize in economics to Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson at first struck me as a good choice. Now I think it's a great choice...

Analysis and Commentary

Take That, Math Geeks

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, October 12, 2009

That was the title I gave my Wall Street Journal article on the Nobel prize that appears on line now and will appear in print tomorrow...

Analysis and Commentary

Britain's Central Planning Death Panels

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hazel Fenton, from East Sussex, is alive nine months after medics ruled she had only days to live, withdrew her antibiotics and denied her artificial feeding...

Analysis and Commentary

Economies of Scale in Compliance

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, October 11, 2009

This morning, after a highly-productive Liberty Fund seminar in Santa Fe, I went over to Pasquale's for breakfast. I sat with a woman who runs a Mexican restaurant in a small town in Colorado...

Analysis and Commentary

Free Market M.D.

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, October 11, 2009

The doctor then takes a history and physical, spending about 30 minutes with me, for which the flat fee is $50...

Analysis and Commentary

What Leonhardt Leaves Out

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In a positive article, almost a puff piece, on Bruce Bartlett, New York Times reporter David Leonhardt highlights Bruce's advocacy of a value-added tax for the United States...

Analysis and Commentary

Economic Therapy

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, October 6, 2009

As events have unfolded during the past year and a half, a growing number of people have asked me what I think of the economy...

Analysis and Commentary

Multiply Scott Sumner

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

It seems to me that there are two ways of thinking about how monetary policy would react to fiscal stimulus...

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