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

Analysis and Commentary

Was Segregation Of Movie Theaters Due To Laws Requiring It?

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, May 11, 2018

An economic study that caused me to change my mind. I have believed for a long time that racial segregation would have been a small problem if not for laws requiring it.

Analysis and Commentary

Another Thought About Why U.S. Wages Haven't Risen Much

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Regular reader Ryan P. Long, in response to my post a few days ago, "Krugman on a Wage Puzzle," writes: I've quite enjoyed your recent blog posts. The one on Paul Krugman's idea about wage stagnation was particularly interesting to me. Both his post and yours had me thinking about a hypothesis I've had since the big recession hit, and I want to ask your thoughts.

Analysis and Commentary

The Posner And Weyl Historical Error

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

In a recent article in which they lament the timidity of modern economists, Eric Posner and Glen Weyl recently wrote: The upshot is that economics has played virtually no role in all the major political movements of the past half-century, including civil rights, feminism, anti-colonialism, the rights of sexual minorities, gun rights, antiabortion politics, and "family values" debates.

Analysis and Commentary

Henderson On Leland Yeager

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, May 7, 2018

H.L. Mencken once called Henry Hazlitt "one of the few economists in human history who could really write." Another was Leland B. Yeager, who died April 23 at 93. A professor emeritus at both the University of Virginia and Auburn, Yeager passionately defended free trade, including in currencies. He defended economic freedom on the grounds that it was not only efficient but also ethical.

Analysis and Commentary

Murphy On National Defense As A Justification For Tariffs

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, May 7, 2018

Even Adam Smith recognized national security as a possible justification for tariffs on strategically important commodities. But is it a good justification for tariffs on steel and aluminum in the 21st century when the United States has many potential sources of those two items? This month's Feature Article author, Jon Murphy, a fan of Adam Smith, says no.

Analysis and Commentary

Cleopatra's Contribution To Starvation

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, May 6, 2018

Regular reader Cyril Morong sent me a link to a PBS special on Cleopatra, queen of Egypt. Unfortunately, I need to pay a membership fee to get access, but the good news is that Cyril sent me excerpts from the transcript.

Analysis and Commentary

Leland Yeager, An Economist Who Could Write

by David R. Hendersonvia Wall Street Journal
Sunday, May 6, 2018

Fixed exchange rates, he explained, led the U.K. to favor ‘serious cheese’ over the French stuff.

Analysis and Commentary

Weissman Interview With Robin Hanson

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, May 5, 2018

My favorite part: "Jordan Weissman: Isn't the simplest explanation [for the fact that people treat the idea of sex redistribution different from the way they treat wealth redistribution] that money's really important and you can't live without it?"

Analysis and Commentary

Krugman On A Wage Puzzle

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, May 4, 2018

Paul Krugman has an excellent post today titled "Is the Great Recession Holding Down Wages? (Wonkish)", New York Times, May 4, 2018. It appears the same day that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an unemployment rate that has broken below 4 percent for the first time this century.

Analysis and Commentary

The Neglected Supply Side In Health Care

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, May 3, 2018

I have an economist friend who nags me (appropriately) for not sufficiently discussing supply-side solutions to the high cost of medical care in the United States. Here's one step in righting the balance.

Pages