Lee Ohanian

Senior Fellow

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


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.


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.


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.


Lee Ohanian On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Lee Ohanianvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, February 22, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lee Ohanian says that the Green New Deal will cost incalculably more than the Second World War.

In the News

Anxiety Plus Ignorance: Why Millennials Are Embracing Socialism

quoting Lee Ohanianvia The Sydney Morning Herald
Friday, February 22, 2019
If a week is a long time in politics, as British prime minister Harold Wilson once famously remarked, then 30 years is an eternity.

So You Want To Move To California And Buy A Decent Home? Here Is How Much You Need, And Why

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

In an earlier California on Your Mind column, I discussed how California is ranked 49th among US states in housing affordability, 42nd in public school quality, and 40th in tax rates, all of which negatively affect Californians, particularly those with school-age children.  

Ohanian: Green New Deal Is Unrealistic, Socialistic

interview with Lee Ohanianvia Hoover Daily Report
Friday, February 15, 2019

Senior Fellow Lee Ohanian of the Hoover Institution says the Green New Deal cannot be paid for and represents a huge step toward a socialistic, command-driven economy in the United States that would reduce freedom for all individuals.


Lee Ohanian: Climate Change, The Green New Deal And ‘Socialism’

interview with Lee Ohanianvia KCRW
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lee Ohanian discusses the Green New Deal, which includes universal health care, a national minimum wage, increased business taxes, etc.