John F. Cogan

Leonard and Shirley Ely Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:

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

Bipartisan Tax Advice? You’ve Got It

by John F. Cogan, Christopher Edley Jr.via Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 14, 2010

California’s politicians are famously addicted to division and status quo. Can’t this time be different? By John F. Cogan and Christopher Edley Jr.

Lead On, California

by Michael J. Boskin, John F. Coganvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 14, 2010

How sweeping tax reforms could put the Golden State back on its feet. By Michael J. Boskin and John F. Cogan.

Stimulus was only a temporary boost to personal income

The Stimulus Didn’t Work

by John F. Cogan, John B. Taylor, Volker Wielandvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 14, 2010

Government transfers and rebates were just pebbles in a pond. Private-sector resilience made the real waves. By John F. Cogan, John B. Taylor, and Volker Wieland.

By John F. Cogan, R. Glenn Hubbard, and Daniel P. Kessler.

Trouble, Doubled

by John F. Cogan, R. Glenn Hubbard, Daniel P. Kesslervia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 14, 2010

Comprehensive, low-deductible, low-copayment insurance isn’t the solution—it’s the problem. By John F. Cogan, R. Glenn Hubbard, and Daniel P. Kessler.

John F. Cogan

Doubling Down on a Flawed Insurance Model

by John F. Cogan, R. Glenn Hubbard, Daniel P. Kesslervia Defining Ideas
Thursday, October 15, 2009

Obama’s health care plan takes the problems of the current system and makes them worse.

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?...