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

O'Grady on Haiti

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, January 25, 2010

Apparently-serious people are suggesting that Bill Clinton be made the aid czar. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

60 Minutes "Gets" Minimum Wage, Kind Of

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's hard to tell whether Pelley gets the irony of the U.S. Congress "helping" Samoa by destroying its tuna industry. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Too Small to Succeed?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, January 23, 2010

Indeed, one of the major contributors to bank failures during the Great Depression was the National Banking Act of 1864. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Adverse Selection by Law

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, January 22, 2010

Finally, Krugman admits the problem with a ban on pre-existing conditions clauses in health insurance. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Making Banks Too Small to Succeed?

by David R. Henderson with Charles Calomirisvia Sphere (aol.com)
Friday, January 22, 2010

On Thursday, the Obama administration introduced its proposal for dealing with the "too big to fail" problem for banks. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Boone Pickens Illustrates Becker's Theory of Discrimination

by David R. Henderson with Gary S. Beckervia EconLog
Thursday, January 21, 2010

In his latest TV ad for subsidies for wind-generated power, T. Boone Pickens states words to the effect: Much of our oil is imported from countries that hate us. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Huge News Story I Missed in December

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just before Christmas, I read somewhere that Mitch McConnell, the minority leader in the U.S. Senate, had made it easier for Harry Reid to pass the ugly Senate health care bill. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Let Them In

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jacob Hornberger has an interesting post today comparing Obama and FDR. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

McArdle Advocates 376,537.65% Marginal Tax Rate

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Here's what Megan McArdle advocated today: eliminate the tax-deductibiity of health insurance benefits for people making more than $150K a year in household income, $100K for singles. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Gifts in Kind vs. Gifts in Money

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, January 18, 2010

A standard thing we teach our students is that it's more efficient to give money to people than to give stuff. . . .

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