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

Analysis and Commentary

2 commission members tout plan's promise

by John F. Coganvia Sacramento Bee
Sunday, October 11, 2009

As members of the Commission on the 21st Century Economy, we spent nine months diligently addressing problems created by California's outdated and deeply flawed tax system...

Analysis and Commentary

How California Can Get Its Groove Back

by Michael J. Boskin, John F. Coganvia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

For many decades California residents enjoyed a rising standard of living, an outstanding education system, and unprecedented upward mobility...

Analysis and Commentary

Doubling Down on a Flawed Insurance Model

by John F. Cogan, Daniel P. Kesslervia Wall Street Journal
Friday, September 25, 2009

“What this plan will do is make the insurance you have work better for you....And here’s what you need to know, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits—either now or in the future. Period.”...

Analysis and Commentary

The Stimulus Didn't Work

by John F. Cogan, John B. Taylor with Robert J. Barrovia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 working?...

A Health Care Plan for California

by John F. Cogan, George P. Shultzvia Analysis
Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our objective is to make health care in California more affordable and more accessible. There is virtual universal access now, but it is carried out in emergency rooms, which take all comers. Such an undesirable method not only heavily burdens emergency rooms but means that many people wind up without care because they do not have an organized way of obtaining it.

John F. Cogan

New Keynesian versus Old Keynesian

by John F. Cogan, Tobias Cwik, John B. Taylor, Volker Wielandvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, May 21, 2009

Renewed interest in fiscal policy has increased the use of quantitative models to evaluate policy. We find that the models currently being used to evaluate fiscal policy stimulus proposals are weak.

In the News

New Keynesian versus Old Keynesian

by John F. Cogan, John B. Taylorvia Hoover Daily Report
Saturday, February 28, 2009

Renewed interest in fiscal policy has increased the use of quantitative models to evaluate policy...

Personal income tax burden as a percentage of GDP

The Coming Tax Hike

by John F. Cogan, R. Glenn Hubbardvia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 27, 2008

Letting the Bush tax cuts expire would wreak havoc on our economy—while doing virtually nothing to shrink the deficit. By John F. Cogan and R. Glenn Hubbard.

Analysis and Commentary

The Coming Tax Bomb

by John F. Cogan, R. Glenn Hubbardvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, April 8, 2008

As the presidential campaign enters its final stages, there will be increased debate over budget priorities and how they will be paid for...

Analysis and Commentary

Bringing the Market to Health Care

by John F. Coganvia Wall Street Journal
Saturday, September 15, 2007

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's recent health-care reform proposals, which rely on free-market principles and federalism, will go a long way to fixing our health-care system's woes...

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