Lee Ohanian

Senior Fellow
Biography: 

Lee E. Ohanian is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of economics and director of the Ettinger Family Program in Macroeconomic Research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

He is associate director of the Center for the Advanced Study in Economic Efficiency at Arizona State University and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he codirects the research initiative Macroeconomics across Time and Space. He is also a fellow in the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory.

His research focuses on economic crises, economic growth, and the impact of public policy on the economy. Ohanian is coeditor of Government Policies and Delayed Economic Recovery (Hoover Institution Press, 2012). He is an adviser to the Federal Reserve Banks of Minneapolis and St. Louis, has previously advised other Federal Reserve banks, foreign central banks, and the National Science Foundation, and has testified to national and state legislative committees on economic policy. He is on the editorial boards of Econometrica and Macroeconomic Dynamics. He is a frequent media commentator and writes for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Investor’s Business Daily. He has won numerous teaching awards at UCLA and the University of Rochester.

He previously served on the faculties of the Universities of Minnesota and Pennsylvania and as vice president at Security Pacific Bank. He received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his PhD in economics from the University of Rochester.

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Recent Commentary

EconomyFeatured

The Simple Analytics Of Why California Home Prices Will Soon Fall

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The median price of a single-family home in California has increased to about $546,000. This is a record high, and is more than 80 percent above the 2012 median of $300,000. California home prices are likely peaking now, and I expect that they will decline soon. 

EconomyFeatured

After Spending $5.4 Billion, California’s Bullet Train Is Still Going Nowhere

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Governor Jerry Brown will leave office next month with a legacy of presiding over one of the biggest public policy failures in the state’s history. The California High-Speed Rail project began in 2008 at an estimated cost of about $39 billion to build high-speed train service between Northern California, Southern California, and the Central Valley. Despite the project having been significantly scaled back, the price tag for the down-sized system is likely approaching $100 billion.

EconomyFeatured

California Budget Realities And The Coming Backlash Against The Democratic Party

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Since the midterm elections, California political discussions have been focused on the implosion of the California Republican party and the increased dominance of the Democratic party. Despite these trends, there are several reasons why I expect to see enormous pressure on the California Democratic party to significantly change their future economic priorities and policies. And this may happen sooner rather than later, just as there was a strong and unexpected national reaction against the Democratic party in 2010 and in 2016.

The StateFeatured

A Leading Physician And Health Policy Researcher Explains How To Reform Health Care

by Lee Ohanian interview with Scott W. Atlasvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

This week’s California on Your Mind commentary presents a question and answer session with Scott W. Atlas, MD about health care policy. Dr. Atlas is uniquely positioned to explain what is wrong with our current health care policies and what should be done to reform the system. Dr. Atlas is the David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

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Sunny Delusion

by Lee Ohanianvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 29, 2018

California recently enacted a law requiring solar roofs on all new homes. Wasteful and pointless, the measure will damage the state’s economy while doing nothing about climate change.

Blank Section (Placeholder)PoliticsFeatured

Housing Policy Reform: Economic Policy Challenges Facing California’s Next Governor

by Lee Ohanian, Jesús Fernández-Villaverdevia Hoover Institution
Monday, October 29, 2018

California is ranked forty-ninth in housing affordability. According to Zillow, the median home value in California in July 2018 was $541,800, compared to the national median price of $218,000, which is a premium of about 150 percent over the national average. Only Hawaii and Washington, DC, have higher median home values than California.

PoliticsFeatured

The Economic Realities Of A Gavin Newsom Governorship

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

“Guaranteed health care for all. A ‘Marshall Plan’ for affordable housing. A master plan for aging with dignity. A middle-class workforce strategy. A cradle-to-college promise for the next generation. An all-hands approach to ending child poverty. Put California on a path for 100% renewable energy. Double down on the production of organic and sustainable food.” These are some of gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom’s proposals for California.

EconomyFeatured

After Five Years Of Forced Unionization, Farmworkers Are Now Free To Negotiate On Their Own

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Imagine hiring an organization to represent you in negotiations, but after hiring them you find out that their representation is unsatisfactory. So you fire them.

The StateFeatured

$541,800 And Climbing: California Policy Makers Drive Up Housing Costs Yet Again

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

In June, the California Energy Commission voted to require that almost all new California housing construction (beginning in 2020) have rooftop solar panels, as well as expensive energy-efficient appliances, windows, insulation, and lighting. 

The StateFeatured

How The California Supreme Court Is Eliminating Many Of The State’s Independent Contractors

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court reclassified what it means to be an independent contractor in the state.

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