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

Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

Area 45: California And Economics On Your Mind With Lee Ohanian

interview with Lee Ohanianvia Area 45
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Lee Ohanian talks about California On Your Mind and his latest article on California’s economic health, its new governor, and the state’s role as the lead in the anti-Trump “resistance.”

EconomyFeatured

The Extremely Bad Economics Of Single-Payer Healthcare For California

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

“Medicare for All.” “Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.” “You will never be denied treatment under single-payer healthcare.”

These are some of the slogans that you will hear from politicians, including all current Democratic presidential candidates. In the most extreme versions of “Medicare for All” plans, such as that advocated by Bernie Sanders, private health insurance would be eliminated in favor of a government-run, single-payer plan.

PoliticsFeatured

Is California’s Governor Already Prepping For The 2024 Presidency?

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

California governor Gavin Newsom is winding up his first 100 days as governor. This is of course way too soon for him to be thinking of higher political office. Or is it? Last week, Newsom solicited new campaign contributions, motivated by his “bold and unprecedented actions” during his first three months in office.

In the News

California Doesn’t Have To Be Like Texas – Following Florida’s Lead Will Work

quoting Lee Ohanianvia Pasadena Star-News
Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Texas, it’s been said recent years, should inspire California to recapture its lost promise, to polish its fading luster. While the Golden State grapples with a host of Blue State struggles, housing is more affordable in the Lone Star state, taxes are lower, business is welcomed rather than handcuffed, and its economic and employment prospects are high.

BusinessFeatured

How Many Of California’s 1.5 Million Food-Service Jobs Will Be Lost To The Minimum Wage?

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

In 2022, California’s minimum wage will rise to $15 per hour (by 2023 for businesses with fewer than 25 employees), including restaurant workers. As one California food wholesaler, who services a number of restaurants, told me, “Get ready for the $25 lunch burger at your favorite decent, non–fast food restaurant.” 

Interviews

Lee Ohanian: What Can We Expect From The Economic Policies Of The 2020 Presidential Candidates?

interview with Lee Ohanianvia Lars Larson Show
Friday, March 22, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lee Ohanian discusses what to expect from the economic policies of Democrat presidential candidates running in the 2020 election.

EducationFeatured

College In Light Of The Bribery Scandal: The Economics Of Admission To An “Elite College”

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Last week, the world of colleges was rocked by a scandal in which some students were alleged to have gained admission to universities including Yale, Wake Forest, and Georgetown, as well as the California campuses of Stanford, USC, and UCLA through $25 million in bribes. This occurred through a complex process that often involved admitting students through athletic channels, in which admissions criteria may be considerably different.

The StateFeatured

California’s Bullet-Train Fiasco Continues: $20 Billion For 120 Miles?

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Last month, California governor Gavin Newsom announced that California’s ill-fated high-speed rail project would be scaled back enormously due to cost overruns and delays. The original project, which had an initial cost estimate of $33 billion, would have provided high-speed train service (speeds on some segments in excess of 200 miles per hour) beginning in San Diego, traveling through Los Angeles and the Central Valley up to the state capital of Sacramento, and would have also included the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley. With possible federal contributions, this idea sounded promising enough that nearly 53 percent of California taxpayers voted for a $9 billion bond in 2008 to help finance it.

In the News

Commentary: Rent Control May Hurt Those It’s Meant To Help

quoting Lee Ohanianvia HeraldNet.com
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Rent control has been shown to discourage the availability of housing stock, increasing rent costs.

Featured

The Green New Deal Is A Pipe Dream, Not A Serious Policy Proposal

by Lee Ohanianvia The Hill
Friday, March 1, 2019

The Green New Deal (GND), which is being spearheaded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), is a long list of proposed environmental regulations and goals, combined with several social policies that would redistribute income.

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