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

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.

Economic PolicyFeatured

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.

CaliforniaFeatured

$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. 

CaliforniaFeatured

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.

California PoliticsFeatured

David Versus Goliath: A School Reformer Takes On The Democratic Party And Unions

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A few months ago Marshall Tuck, a Democratic candidate who is running for the state office of California Superintendent of School Instruction, went to the California Democratic Party Convention to speak to his party about how to create better K–12 education in California. He went to the podium, but didn’t get a word out.

Economic GrowthFeatured

How To Improve California’s Poorly Performing Education System? Reforming Antiquated Teacher Compensation Practices Will Have A Big Effect

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

In a market economy, employee compensation inevitably depends on employee performance and productivity. But there is one incredibly important occupation in which compensation depends very little on performance—public school teaching. 

CaliforniaFeatured

Why California Has A Housing Shortage—And Why Housing Prices Are So High

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

Silver Lake is a three-square-mile neighborhood in central Los Angeles and home to roughly 32,000 residents. A dispute between a Silver Lake service station owner who wishes to build fourteen residential units at that location and local government that is trying to prevent this new development illustrates why real estate prices are so high in California, and why it is so difficult to build new housing in the state.

California PoliticsFeatured

The Supreme Court’s Union Decision Can Dramatically Improve California’s Education System

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The recent Supreme Court decision on Janus vs. ASFCME ruled that collecting public-sector union fees from employees who are not union members violates their First Amendment rights. The majority opinion interprets public-sector unions as political organizations in which effectively all union activity has significant political implications.

Featured

The Good Times Can Roll On

by Edward Prescott, Lee Ohanianvia The Wall Street Journal
Thursday, August 23, 2018

[Subscription required] Some Keynesian economists argue that the U.S. economy’s recent uptick is only a “sugar high.” They predict that the slow-growth conditions of the Obama years will soon return. But this pessimistic view is misguided. Better economic policies are the primary reason the economy has improved since 2016. If pro-growth policies remain in place, the economy’s strong performance will likely continue.

California PoliticsFeatured

The Upside-Down World Of San Francisco Policies: Outlawed Cocktail Swords And Subsidized IV Drug Use

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The priorities of successful governments are public safety, policies that broadly enhance economic opportunity, and policies that provide a sensible safety net. Alas, I suspect it is hard to find any example of public policies that deviate more sharply from these principles than recent San Francisco policies involving two very different types of sharp objects.

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