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

HousingAnalysis and Commentary

Does California Need 770 New Laws? No. Will Any Move The Needle On What Needs Fixing? No.

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Governor Newsom just finished signing 770 laws into the books, about 92 percent of those hitting his desk. Talk about writers’ cramp. But does the state really need so many new laws? 

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: The Little Dutch Boy

interview with Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Thursday, October 14, 2021

What this year’s legislative batch of bills says about the Golden State.

BusinessFeatured

Leaving California: Elon Musk Moves To Texas And Takes Tesla With Him

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, October 14, 2021

At one time, California was a “big tent” state, inclusive and welcoming to all, particularly to innovators with big ideas. Once established in California, those innovators would stay. But California’s welcoming spirit has faded, as has its ability to economically compete with other states. And this is a major reason why California is losing unique businesses and transformational entrepreneurs.

EducationAnalysis and Commentary

Why Is the Education Of 600,000 Kids In The Hands Of A Union Boss?

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Marxist. Demagogue. Makes it easy for parents to support school choice.

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: Home Depot?

interview with Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Golden State’s housing conundrum.

EconomyAnalysis and Commentary

How Does A Single State Agency Lose $31 Billion? No Accountability

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, September 30, 2021

Bungled. BlunderBlasted. This is how some of the news media has described the management by California’s Employment and Development Department (EDD) of the enormous unemployment benefit fraud that began last year, and which was harshly criticized by the state auditor. And this was when the amount of fraud was reported to be in the $2 billion to $6 billion range.

PoliticsFeatured

Requiem For California’s Governor Recall Election

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

All the political stars fell into alignment for Gavin Newsom as the state recall proposal failed by about a 2-to-1 margin. Less than two months ago, recall polls were evenly split as Newsom was fighting for his political life. 

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: A Recall Recap

interview with Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Thursday, September 16, 2021

The policy implications of the recall for the Golden State and the nation moving forward.

Featured CommentaryEureka

An Ugly (Media) Campaign against California’s Governor Recall Candidates

by Lee Ohanianvia Eureka
Friday, September 10, 2021

I’ve had the privilege of advising some of the candidates running for California governor in the state’s recall election, including Larry Elder, Kevin Faulconer, and Caitlyn Jenner. (While I offer advice, I’m not a paid adviser nor do I make endorsements—my door is open to any candidate of any affiliation who wants to talk about moving the state forward).

PoliticsFeatured

The Simple Economics behind California’s Governor Recall Election

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Friday, September 10, 2021

For the last three years, my Hoover colleague Bill Whalen and I have been writing weekly in this space about California policies and politics. During this time, I have become painfully aware of how life is quickly deteriorating for many California families, including those running small and medium-sized businesses, and this deterioration reflects a decline in the quality and accountability of state and local governance.

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