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.

Filter By:

Topic

Type

Recent Commentary

Blank Section (Placeholder)

Debt and Taxes

by David R. Hendersonvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Despite rising budget deficits, few in Washington propose fiscal prudence. Instead, there are unconscionable proposals for vast new spending programs.

Analysis and Commentary

Henderson On French Government's 3% Tax On Techs

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, July 14, 2019

I was interviewed on KCBS in San Francisco last Thursday while I was at my cottage in Canada. It’s just over 3 minutes.

Interviews

David Henderson: France Slaps US Tech Giants With Tax, White House Investigates

interview with David R. Hendersonvia KCBS Radio
Thursday, July 11, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow David Henderson discusses the 3-percent tax France imposed on revenues generated by tech giants Facebook, Google, and Amazon.

Analysis and Commentary

Trump's Deregulatory Successes

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, July 8, 2019

Do the authors [of the Council of Economic Advisers’ report on Trump’s deregulations] make a good case for their estimate? Yes, and in the rest of this article, I’ll lay out their case. I wonder, though, what the numbers would look like if they included the negative effects on real income of increased restrictions on immigration and increased restrictions on trade with Iran. (I’m putting aside increased tariffs, which also hurt real U.S. income, because tariffs are generally categorized as taxes, not regulation.)

Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

Trump's Deregulatory Successes

by David R. Hendersonvia Defining Ideas
Sunday, July 7, 2019

The power to engage in judicious deregulation is the power to allow creation.

 

 

Analysis and Commentary

Arthur Hailey On How The Profit Motive Undercuts Prejudice

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, July 7, 2019

As with the other query, Christine knew the credit manager would feel his way warily. Part of his job–equally important with preventing fraud–was not offending honest guests.

Analysis and Commentary

Happy July 4th

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, July 4, 2019

Any revolution that brings about benefits for a large sector of the population faces serious free-rider problems. Revolutionary activity is extremely risky and, once the revolution succeeds, excluding from any general benefits those who did not participate is difficult if not impossible. This explains why revolutions are always so messy and produce mixed results.

Analysis and Commentary

In Memory Of Crony Capitalist Lee Iacocca

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Since the summer of 1979, Chrysler executives have sought a federal subsidy to save their company from possible bankruptcy, and they appear to be near their goal. (Because the subsidy Congress passed December 21, 1979, will be given only if Chrysler receives private financing and reduces employees’ wages, whether the company will get the subsidy is uncertain at this writing.)

Analysis and Commentary

If The Popular Vote Had Been What Mattered, Would Hillary Have Won?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, July 3, 2019

People who want to abolish the electoral college, currently mostly Democrats, typically say things like this: “If the 2016 election had been decided by popular vote, then it follows that Hillary Clinton would now be president.” This assertion is blatantly false. 

Analysis and Commentary

Jim Acosta Shows His Bias

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, July 1, 2019

And so does CBS. As I mentioned in a post some time ago, I record CBS Sunday morning mainly so I can watch the beautiful nature shots right at the end, but also so I can watch some of the other good segments. I rarely watch the political parts, but when they said, on the June 9 show (which I watched on June 30) that they would interview Jim Acosta of CNN, I was curious. I wanted to see him in a non-threatening environment and see how it came off.

Pages