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

PoliticsFeatured

As California Teeters Toward Recession, Will Voters Finally Demand Better Policies?

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Is California heading for a recession? According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were fewer people working in October 2019 than in October 2018. 

HousingFeatured

Only In California: Housing Deregulation Increases Housing Regulations

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, December 3, 2019

This would be a head-scratcher anywhere but in California. Two years ago, state lawmakers passed legislation to expedite housing approval by exempting some projects from environmental lawsuits and zoning appeals. This legislation can cut the approval process by a decade or more and reduce costs enormously. So why is hardly anyone using it? 

HousingFeaturedEconomy

Bernie Sanders Goes Completely Sideways On California’s Housing Crisis

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

Bernie Sanders is downright angry with Apple for its efforts to address California’s housing crisis. Last month, Apple announced it would contribute $2.5 billion, including $1 billion in new housing, $1 billion in mortgage assistance, and $300 million of Apple-owned land to be used for affordable housing.

FeaturedEconomy

Warren Buffett, Taxing Capital Income Is A Bad Idea

by Lee Ohanianvia The Hill
Monday, November 11, 2019

In 2011, superstar investor Warren Buffett made headlines not for his investment recommendations but for his opinion that tax rates on high earners should substantially increase.

Interviews

Lee Ohanian: Seattle Deriding Math As "Western"

interview with Lee Ohanianvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, November 8, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lee Ohanian discusses his California On Your Mind article "Seattle Schools Propose To Teach That Math Education Is Racist—Will California Be Far Behind?"

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EducationFeatured

Seattle Schools Propose To Teach That Math Education Is Racist—Will California Be Far Behind?

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

California’s latest K–12 test scores were released earlier this month. Despite spending 26 percent more per pupil after inflation since 2011, test scores remain low, and improvement is proceeding at a glacial pace. Just 40 percent of California schoolchildren are proficient at math. What should be done? Seattle’s idea is to teach their students that US math education is racist, is used to oppress people of color and the disadvantaged, and has been used to exploit natural resources.

PoliticsFeatured

By Placing Profits Over Principles, The NBA Shows What It's Really Made Of

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Last week, Daryl Morey, the general manager of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, tweeted “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong” in support of Hong Kong citizen protests against mainland China. These seemingly harmless seven words created a political firestorm within the world’s premier basketball league that shows that the NBA’s highly publicized and proud commitment to social justice, freedom, and equality is largely abandoned when such principles affect their bottom line.  

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Untangling Homelessness

by Lee Ohanianvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Throwing money at the problem while blocking development just worsens housing problems. What would help? Unleashing homebuilders and job-creating businesses, especially in the Central Valley and the hinterlands

PoliticsFeatured

The Intriguing Economics Of College Athletes Licensing Their Images

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Last week, California governor Gavin Newsom signed into law California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, which will allow California college athletes to sign commercial deals for the use of their identities and likenesses.  The law, which will also allow student athletes to hire agents to negotiate on their behalf, will take effect in 2023. This could be the law that upsets the NCAA’s long-standing cozy apple cart that has successfully funneled almost all collegiate athletic revenue to universities, and the economics of this law are fascinating.

The StateFeatured

Why Drug Addicts Outnumber High School Students In San Francisco

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

San Francisco is one the most productive cities in the world and is the headquarters for several remarkably innovative and creative businesses, including Twitter, Uber, Lyft, and Fitbit, among others. But drug abusers have taken over several of its most densely populated neighborhoods and much of its central business district.

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