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

New York Times Reporters Don't Understand Incentives

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, April 30, 2020

In a New York Times news item this morning that has since been changed, the reporters state: Another 3.8 million U.S. workers filed jobless claims last week, despite trillions of dollars in stimulus spending.

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David Henderson On Liberation From Lockdown Now

interview with David R. Hendersonvia Juliette's Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow David Henderson talks about why the COVID-19 lockdowns should end now.

Analysis and Commentary

Results On Henderson/Wolfers Debate On Ending The Lockdowns

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Gene Epstein, who hosted the Soho Forum debate between Justin Wolfers and me, sent Justin and me the voting results this afternoon. Recall that the debate resolution read: The US economy should be liberated from the governments’ lockdowns right away.

Analysis and Commentary

Best Paragraph Of The Day

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, April 26, 2020

Although the day is young.

Analysis and Commentary

The Anti-Stimulus Bill

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, April 25, 2020

Yet the CARES Act cannot properly be called a stimulus bill, as an examination of the various provisions shows, nor should it be a stimulus bill. The act really is industrial policy in all but name, with a large dose of cronyism thrown in. One major provision, a federally provided $600 weekly addition to unemployment insurance, will delay a recovery until August. 

Interviews

David Henderson: Should The Coronavirus Lockdowns End Immediately? A Soho Forum Debate

interview with David R. Hendersonvia Reason
Friday, April 24, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow David Henderson discusses ending the lockdowns.

Interviews

Seminar With Edward Stringham, Knut Wittkowski, David Henderson, And Bill Luddy

interview with David R. Hendersonvia American Institute for Economic Research
Friday, April 24, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow David Henderson debates whether we have to choose between health and wealth.

Interviews

David Henderson: Pandemic Lockdowns And Valuing Lives

interview with David R. Hendersonvia CATO Daily Podcast
Friday, April 24, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow David Henderson discusses the lockdowns related to COVID-19 and believes the lockdowns need to end sooner rather than later.

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The Anti-Stimulus Bill

by David R. Hendersonvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, April 23, 2020

The CARES Act cannot properly be called a "stimulus" bill. 

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David Henderson: Webinar: COVID-19: Must We Choose Between The Economy And Health?

interview with David R. Hendersonvia AIERvideo
Thursday, April 23, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow David Henderson discusses how the coronavirus pandemic seems to have created and unprecedented false narrative to the world's nations: choose between the economy and health.

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