John F. Cogan

Leonard and Shirley Ely Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
Biography: 

John F. Cogan is the Leonard and Shirley Ely Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a faculty member in the Public Policy Program at Stanford University.

John Cogan’s research is focused on U.S. budget and fiscal policy, federal entitlement programs, and health care.  He has published widely in professional journals in both economics and political science.  His latest book, The High Cost of Good Intentions (2017) is the recipient of the 2018 Hayek Prize.  The book traces the history of U.S. federal entitlement programs from the Revolutionary War to modern times.  His previous books include Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Five Steps to a Better Health Care System, coauthored with Glenn Hubbard and Daniel Kessler, and The Budget Puzzle, (with Timothy Muris and Allen Schick).

At Stanford, he has served on faculty advisory boards for the Stanford-in-Washington campus and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. He is a recipient of the Stanford-in-Government's Distinguished Service Award.

Cogan has devoted a considerable part of his career to public service. He served under President Ronald Reagan as assistant secretary for policy in the U.S. Department of Labor from 1981 to 1983, as associate director in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from 1983 to 1985, and as Deputy (OMB) Director in 1988-89.  His responsibilities included developing and reviewing Reagan Administration policies in the areas of health care, Social Security, disability, welfare, and employment training.

Cogan has served on numerous congressional, presidential, and California state advisory commissions. At the federal level, he has served on President George W. Bush's Commission to Strengthen Social Security, the U.S. Bipartisan Commission on Health Care (the Pepper Commission), the Social Security Notch Commission, and the National Academy of Sciences' Panel on Poverty and Family Assistance. He has also served on the California State Commission on the 21st Century Economy and the California Public Employee Post-Employment Benefits Commission.  

Cogan is a member of the Board of Directors of Gilead Sciences where he is the Lead Independent Director and a member of the board of trustees of the Charles Schwab Family of Funds where he is Chairman of the Governance Committee.

Cogan received his A.B. in 1969 and his Ph.D. in 1976 from the University of California at Los Angeles, both in economics.  He received his M.A. in Economics from California State University at Long Beach in 1970.  He was an associate economist at the RAND Corporation from 1975 to 1980. In 1979, Cogan was appointed a national fellow at the Hoover Institution; in 1980 he was appointed a senior research fellow; and in 1984 he became a senior fellow.

Filter By:

Topic

Type

Recent Commentary

Policy InsightsFeatured

Infrastructure

by Russell Roberts, Lee Ohanian, Michael J. Boskin, Richard A. Epstein, John B. Taylor, John F. Cogan, Daniel Heilvia PolicyEd
Thursday, May 28, 2020

With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the economy, some in Congress are proposing a large increase in infrastructure spending. Supporters claim that increased spending will boost the economy while ensuring future generations will benefit from improved transportation, power, and communication systems. But will increased federal spending on infrastructure deliver on these promises, or are there reasons to be skeptical?

Featured

Remdesivir Affirms The American Way

by John F. Cogan, George P. Shultzvia The Wall Street Journal
Friday, May 1, 2020

Gilead Sciences failed for years to prove its efficacy, but patent law and markets helped it to persevere.

Lessons From The Hoover Policy Boot CampFeatured

Federal Entitlement Programs And The Fiscal Challenge With John Cogan

by John F. Coganvia PolicyEd
Thursday, April 9, 2020

Long-run fiscal problems in federal government are due entirely to entitlement programs. Their continued growth is imposing a large cost on society by slowing down the economy and limiting improvements to standards of living. In order to control these costs, we need bipartisan reform that preserves the values of entitlement programs while making them sustainable and affordable.

Featured

Some Thoughts On The Business Roundtable's Statement Of Corporate Purpose

by George P. Shultz, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, John B. Taylorvia Real Clear Markets
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

From time to time in the last 150 years, a socialist impulse has taken hold among a significant segment of the U.S. population. This impulse was a primary driver behind the 1880s populists’ movement and among progressives in the 1910s. It was dominant ideology among socialists in the 1930s and among young radicals and intellectuals in the 1960s. Today, there is a similar collectivist sentiment running through America. 

Blank Section (Placeholder)

Warren’s Senior Moment

by John F. Coganvia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 20, 2020

The candidate would lavish money on Social Security recipients, even on the millions of seniors who don’t need it, by imposing a new and unfair tax. Her plan is just an election-year soaking.

In the News

Opinion: The Future Of Social Security Impacts Almost Every Person In America. Why Aren’t The Presidential Candidates Talking About It?

quoting John F. Coganvia Market Watch
Friday, October 11, 2019

An extra $24 a month. That’s how much the average Social Security recipient will get in 2020. That’s according to the Social Security Administration, which said Thursday that the cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) is being bumped up 1.6%.

FeaturedPolitics

Warren’s Profligate Sop To Seniors

by John F. Coganvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

It’s a strange campaign season, loaded with fantastical promises of government handouts for health care, college and even a guaranteed national income. But Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Social Security plan takes the cake. With trillion-dollar federal budget deficits and Social Security heading for bankruptcy, Ms. Warren proposes to give every current and future Social Security recipient an additional $2,400 a year. She plans to finance her proposal, which would cost more than $150 billion annually, with a 14.8% tax on high-income individuals.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

Why Here, Why Now? Why Did The United States Enjoy Dramatic Improvements In The Standard Of Living During The Last Century?

interview with John F. Cogan, Lee Ohanian, Terry Anderson, George P. Shultzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, August 26, 2019

Hoover Institution economists John Cogan, Lee Ohanian, Terry Anderson, and George Shultz examine the causes for and the reasons behind so many improvements being made to the quality of life in the United States over the past century. They analyze the role that free markets, property rights, innovation, regulation, taxes, and national security played in these remarkable achievements.

Uncommon Knowledge new logo 1400 x 1400
Blank Section (Placeholder)

Why Here, Why Now? Why Did The United States Enjoy Dramatic Improvements In The Standard Of Living During The Last Century?

interview with Terry Anderson, John F. Cogan, Lee Ohanian, George P. Shultzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, August 26, 2019

Hoover Institution economists John Cogan, Lee Ohanian, Terry Anderson, and George Shultz examine the causes for and the reasons behind so many improvements being made to the quality of life in the United States over the past century. They analyze the role that free markets, property rights, innovation, regulation, taxes, and national security played in these remarkable achievements.

Pages