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

Lawmakers Hijack A Tax Cut To Create A Tax Increase—And They Won’t Own It

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Only in California could a tax cut bill turn into a tax increase. This all began when Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) saw how many Californians, particularly low- and middle-income families, were being hit hard by high gasoline prices. 

HousingAnalysis and Commentary

Will California Eliminate Public Golf Courses?

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 29, 2022

To address California’s housing shortage, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D–Bell Gardens) wants to tear up California’s public golf courses and use the land to build new housing. Assembly Bill 672 would provide subsidies, along with an exemption from California’s environmental quality regulations to replace municipal golf fairways with new housing, provided 25 percent of the new construction is for low-income households.

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: Sacramento’s Rebate Debate

interview with Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalen, Jonathan Movroydisvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Thursday, March 24, 2022

The feasibility of the California rebates, plus the latest on California’s K-12 math curriculum, the Golden State’s role in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the centrists’ inability to advance criminal justice reforms.

EducationAnalysis and Commentary

California’s Socialist K–12 Math Proposal, Take Two

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 22, 2022

“Mathematics education in the United States was initially structured . . . to prepare privileged, young, white men for entrance into elite colleges.” 

PoliticsFeatured

Gavin Newsom’s State Of The State Speech Highlights What Is Wrong With California

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 15, 2022

The “California Way” was the theme of Gavin Newsom’s State of the State address as the governor tried to draw parallels between California today and the state’s remarkable history of economic success and growth. 

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: The Hornet’s Nest Over The Door

interview with Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalen, Jonathan Movroydisvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Friday, March 11, 2022

How market volatility may upend state budgeting, the latest on K-12 ethnic studies, the future of UC-Berkeley student enrollment, plus the field of contenders looking to oust Gavin Newsom this November.

EducationAnalysis and Commentary

California Returns To A Divisive And Highly Politicized Ethnic Studies Curriculum

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 8, 2022

California high school students will soon be required by state law to take courses in ethnic studies. The state’s Department of Education (CDE) oversaw the development of a model curriculum, one that took four drafts and was years in the making before approval. 

HousingAnalysis and Commentary

Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Could Teach California A Thing Or Two About Affordable Housing

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 1, 2022

My good friend and Hoover colleague John Cochrane gave me the following idea for a brain teaser. Take the numbers 8, 3, and 7 and assemble them in any order you like to create a three-digit number. For example, 837. Next, add as many zeroes as you think are needed at the end of your number to estimate the average cost of building a housing unit (around 600 square feet, based on a recently completed complex) for a homeless person in Los Angeles. Think of this as a 21st-century version of the old TV game show, "The Price Is Right."

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: “Nothing Is Over Until We Decide It Is”

interview with Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalen, Jonathan Movroydisvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Thursday, February 24, 2022

Is the San Francisco recall a harbinger of political rebukes to come and is Gavin Newsom’s prolonged “emergency” an abuse of executive authority?

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California
EducationFeatured

San Francisco Voters Boot School District Progressives

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Seventy-eight percent. Seventy-four percent. Seventy-one percent. These are the vote percentages in favor of recalling all three San Francisco school board members who were eligible for removal from office in last week’s special election, the first recall election in San Francisco since 1983. 

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