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.

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Recent Commentary

A Policy too Far

by George P. Shultz, Scott W. Atlas, John F. Coganvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 21, 2014

Yes, we need to make affordable health insurance available. But to do so we need to scrap the “cover everything” mentality.

Healthcare warning
Analysis and Commentary

It's Time to Rethink Health Insurance

by George P. Shultz, Scott W. Atlas, John F. Coganvia Los Angeles Times
Monday, January 6, 2014

As the acute problems of the Affordable Care Act become increasingly apparent, it also has become clear that we need new ways of ensuring access to healthcare for all Americans. We should begin with an examination of health insurance.

an image
Analysis and Commentary

A Better Strategy for Faster Growth

by George P. Shultz, Gary S. Becker, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, Allan H. Meltzer, John B. Taylorvia Wall Street Journal
Sunday, March 24, 2013

Washington has become a city of tactics, obsessed with finger pointing, fear mongering and political spin. These maneuvers—designed for temporary political or personal gain—have produced incoherent policies and left the nation's pressing problems unaddressed.

 

Analysis and Commentary

How the House Budget Would Boost the Economy

by John B. Taylor, John F. Coganvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, March 18, 2013

This week the House of Representatives will vote on its Budget Committee plan, which would bring federal finances into balance by 2023. The plan would do so by gradually slowing the growth in federal spending without raising taxes.

 

Start Now

by George P. Shultz, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, Allan H. Meltzer, John B. Taylorvia Analysis
Friday, January 25, 2013

This should be the president’s overwhelming top priority: deal with the looming debt. By George P. Shultz, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, Allan H. Meltzer, and John B. Taylor.

Economics Abstract
Analysis and Commentary

The Magnitude of the Mess We're In

by George P. Shultz, John B. Taylor, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, Allan H. Meltzervia Wall Street Journal
Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sometimes a few facts tell important stories. The American economy now is full of facts that tell stories that you really don't want, but need, to hear.

 

Where are we now?

 

man sitting on California

A Golden Opportunity

by Michael J. Boskin, John F. Coganvia Hoover Digest
Monday, August 13, 2012

Can’t anyone free California from deficits and dysfunction? By Michael J. Boskin and John F. Cogan.

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