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

Henderson And Williams On Free To Exchange

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, January 8, 2018

My long-time friend Ben Powell, a professor of economics at Texas Tech University and the director of the Free Market Institute there, is quite a good interviewer: asking good questions and coming up with good lines apparently on the fly.

Analysis and Commentary

Kathleen Wynne Is Wrong

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, January 4, 2018

What do economists predict employers of low-wage workers will do when a government raises the minimum wage by a large amount, say, $2.40 an hour?

Analysis and Commentary

Play the Hand You're Dealt

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, January 4, 2018

In response to co-blogger Bryan Caplan's post about being on the Fox News Channel (FNC), one commenter wrote: The Fox News Network, and Carlson in particular, are basically running propaganda operations for the Trump administration.

Analysis and Commentary

The Unintended Consequences Of Drug Reimportation

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Allowing U.S. consumers to engage in parallel trade would require pharmaceutical companies to lower prices here, negotiate price increases with other OECD governments, contracturally prohibit buyers from re-selling, or reduce drug sales to low-price countries so that they have no surplus to export. None of those options are as easy as lobbying the U.S. government to prevent parallel trade and preserve America's status as a lone cash cow in a world of price controls.

Analysis and Commentary

Money As Coined Liberty

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, December 30, 2017

Here is another installment of the questions I asked as discussion leader of a colloquium on Ken Rogoff's and others' proposals to abolish $100, $50, and possibly $20 bills.

Analysis and Commentary

Tales Of Chicago Workshops

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, December 29, 2017

A number of economists are posting on Facebook this morning about the article on Princeton economist Anne Case's view on why so few women go into economics. The piece is short and I have nothing to add to it, other than that I think she is probably right.

Analysis and Commentary

Bombing Makes People Mad

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, December 28, 2017

This study uses discontinuities in U.S. strategies employed during the Vietnam War to estimate their causal impacts. It identifies the effects of bombing by exploiting rounding thresholds in an algorithm used to target air strikes. Bombing increased the military and political activities of the communist insurgency, weakened local governance, and reduced noncommunist civic engagement.

Analysis and Commentary

Mark Steyn Agrees With Bryan Caplan On Immigration

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My fellow Canadian Mark Steyn wrote recently about what he sees as some of the harmful effects of Muslim immigration into Europe. I hasten to say that I don't disagree with everything he says.

Analysis and Commentary

Market Failure Or Market Success?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Rising incomes also have contributed to our expanding waistlines. U.S. GDP per capita and calorie intake have risen virtually in tandem since 1970. At the same time, the growth of the service sector and the use of workplace technology have made our working lives more sedentary, so we burn fewer calories.

Analysis and Commentary

Would Rogoff's Preferred Policy Reduce Liberty And Privacy?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, December 24, 2017

I've posted a few times on Kenneth Rogoff's proposals to get rid of the $100, $50, and possibly $20 bill. Here are a few more questions I asked about his writing at the colloquium.

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