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


Bouncing Back: The Role Of Social Safety Nets

by Lee Ohanianvia Policyed.org
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Social safety nets exist to help those who have fallen on hard times. However, when poorly designed they can lead to long-term dependence. It is crucial to design social safety nets to encourage people to transition from government assistance back into the workforce.

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Putting Words into Action

by Lee Ohanianvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 27, 2017

The new administration’s economic policies range from good to not so good. The time is short to straighten them out. 


What Adds Up, And What Doesn’t, In Trump’s Plan For Economy

by Lee Ohanianvia San Francisco Chronicle
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

[Registration Required] President-elect Donald Trump’s economic vision for America is an unprecedented and unlikely combination of economic policies from both the far left and the far right that he argues will right America’s economic ship.

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Prescott, Ohanian: How The Golden State Lost Its Luster

by Edward Prescott, Lee Ohanian quoting Eric Hanushekvia San Jose Mercury News
Monday, July 11, 2016

Last month's $167 billion dollar budget deal forged by Gov. Jerry Brown and California lawmakers is four times as large in per capita terms as it was in the early 1960s under Brown's father, Gov. Pat Brown. But despite spending less, the budgets of yesteryear contributed considerably more to economic growth.

Analysis and Commentary

U.S. Needs A President Who Understands Benefits Of Free Trade

by Lee Ohanian, Jesús Fernández-Villaverdevia Investors Business Daily
Monday, April 4, 2016

Donald Trump claims his negotiating skills are far better than those of any other candidate, and that these skills will allow him to achieve much better economic and political deals than anyone else.

Analysis and Commentary

Notable & Quotable: On FDR And The Depression

by Lee Ohanian, Harold L. Colevia The Wall Street Journal
Thursday, January 28, 2016

Roosevelt’s policies prolonged the Depression: ‘We found that a relapse isn’t likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies.’

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The Free Market Way To Help The Poor

by Lee Ohanianvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Reforming K-12 education and our immigration policy will help society’s most vulnerable members succeed.


4% Economic Growth? Yes, We Can Achieve That

by Lee Ohanian, Andrew Atkeson, William E. Simon Jr.via Investor's Business Daily
Thursday, September 3, 2015

It is no secret that the recovery from the recession that ended in June of 2009 has been virtually non-existent. More striking, however, is the impact that this recession and its aftermath have had on the conventional wisdom in Washington regarding America's long-term economic future.

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A Better Start for Startups

by Lee Ohanian, Edward Prescottvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

New businesses drive productivity—unless taxes and regulation strangle them.

Analysis and Commentary

European Economic Errors for the U.S. to Avoid

by Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, Lee Ohanianvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, December 29, 2014

The story of the Continent’s moribund economy began long before the European Central Bank was founded.