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

Paul Peterson On Compulsory Schooling And His Best Teacher

by David R. Hendersonfeaturing Paul E. Petersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

One of my more-delightful colleagues at the Hoover Institution (there are actually many to choose from) is Paul Peterson, the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government at Harvard University. He's also Senior Editor of Education Next.

Analysis and Commentary

Free The Jesuit Slaves!

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Much of the confusion prevailing in the historical study of liberalism can be traced to John Stuart Mill, who occupies a vastly inflated position in the conception of liberalism entertained by English-speaking peoples.

Analysis and Commentary

Kling On Rules For Life

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, January 28, 2018

Former co-blogger Arnold Kling recently posted 4 rules for work life and financial life. They're excellent. I'll give each rule and comment on how they relate to my own life. You be the judge of whether they relate to yours.

Analysis and Commentary

The Economics Of Canada's Coming Marijuana Legalization

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, January 27, 2018

Bill Bewick, whose bio identifies him as "an Edmonton-based political consultant and public policy analyst who served as the Wildrose Official Opposition Director of Policy from 2010-2017," has written an excellent analysis of the coming legalization of marijuana on or about July 1, Canada Day, which is as close as Canada has to July 4. Cannabis Day?

Analysis and Commentary

Henderson On Monopsony Power In Labor Markets

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, January 27, 2018

David R. Henderson, an economist at the conservative Hoover Institution, said the existence of additional options outside a worker's current occupation or city made him skeptical that concentration was having an effect on wages. Skilled workers, he said, can seek out opportunities in other cities. Less-skilled workers can change occupations relatively easily.

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No More Hot Air

by David R. Henderson, John H. Cochrane via Hoover Digest
Friday, January 26, 2018

If the climate is changing, political rhetoric won't help. Hard economic data can.

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Aye, Robot

by David R. Hendersonvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 26, 2018

Yes, the robots are coming, but not for our jobs. Automation will bring new kinds of work, and new chances to create wealth. 

Analysis and Commentary

Burger King Has It Its Way

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, January 26, 2018

Clemson University economist, and expert on the FCC and net neutrality, Thomas W. Hazlett, wrote the following on Facebook yesterday (he gave me permission to quote) about Burger King's now-famous (infamous) exposition of net neutrality.

Analysis and Commentary

Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Her servants. Today Google has highlighted author Virginia Woolf, who was born 136 years ago today.

Analysis and Commentary

My Interview With Murphy-Lara

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Robert Murphy, who is one of the heavy hitters for Econlib, interviewed me by email last month and it's out in the Lara-Murphy Report. The report is by paid subscription but Bob gave me permission to post the whole interview.

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