David R. Henderson

Research Fellow

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:



Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Victims of Communism Day

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, November 7, 2021

Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, advocates that we make November 7 (today) the Victims of Communism Day. I agree.

Analysis and Commentary

The FDA's War Against The Truth On Ivermectin

by David R. Hendersonvia Village News
Saturday, November 6, 2021

On July 28, the Wall Street Journal ran our article “Why Is the FDA Attacking a Safe, Effective Drug?” In it, we outlined the potential value of the antiparasitic drug ivermectin for Covid-19, and we questioned the FDA’s vigorous attack on ivermectin. Many people praised us and many criticized us. We had clearly covered a sensitive subject. It didn’t help that one of the studies we referenced was retracted shortly before we submitted our article. 

Co-author: Charles L. Hooper

Analysis and Commentary

Trade Follies

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, November 5, 2021

Josh Hawley is a man of system.

Analysis and Commentary

Schools Should Teach Distinctions

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Friday, November 5, 2021

My letter to the Carmel Pine Cone was the lead letter in the November 5-11 edition. It’s about a local issue involving a teacher who thought it was important to teach her students using the text of Martin Luther King’s famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” I learned about the MLK letter relatively late in my life, at about age 31, when my wife told me she used it in her English composition class at Santa Clara University.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Hawley’s Folly

by David R. Hendersonvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, November 4, 2021

Protectionism and central planning don’t create a bonanza of jobs and factories. They never have.

Analysis and Commentary

Danish Resistance to Nazi Government

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Wednesday, November 3, 2021

We also heard stories about growing discontent in Northern Germany. 

Analysis and Commentary

Enright on Caplan on Immigration, Part Trois

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, November 2, 2021

I’ve posted twice now (here and here) on Sam Enright’s critique of my co-blogger Bryan Caplan’s case for open borders.

Analysis and Commentary

Moving Toward Normal

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Monday, November 1, 2021

As regular readers of my posts know, I oppose lockdowns, favor vaccines, oppose government hyping the threat of Covid to children, and oppose government mask mandates.

Analysis and Commentary

The Curse of a Government Job

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Sunday, October 31, 2021

I remember when Dr. Deborah Birx was called out after hosting a holiday gathering of her family. It was the kind of gathering that she had urged her fellow Americans not to have.

this is an image
Analysis and Commentary

Heather Cox Richardson's False History

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Saturday, October 30, 2021

Historian Heather Cox Richardson, on her public Facebook page on October 28, 2021, wrote a long post about the Great Depression, Herbert Hoover, and FDR.