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

IntellectionsFeatured

What Democratic Socialism Does To Economic Prosperity

by Lee Ohanianvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Democratic socialism diminishes economic prosperity and ultimately requires a return to market-based policy.

Housing
HousingFeatured

The Economics Of Why Homelessness Worsens As Governments Spend Even More On The Problem

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

California’s homeless population is rising rapidly despite substantially higher government spending on the problem.

PoliticsFeatured

2020 Democratic Candidates Visit California And Show Just How Much The Party Has Changed

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, June 11, 2019

California’s decision to move its 2020 primary from June to early March suddenly makes the state more important for choosing the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee than in past elections.

Lee Ohanian discussed the lack of job growth in the United States
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Lee Ohanian: The Economic Policies of the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates

with Lee Ohanianvia Fellow Talks
Thursday, June 6, 2019

How choosing the right candidate in the 2020 presidential election can transform the country.

HousingFeatured

How Long Does It Take To Build A New Community In California? 25 Years And Still Counting

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The year is 1994. Only about one in four American homes has a personal computer. The internet is virtually unknown. Blockbuster Video rentals are the go-to source for home entertainment. And a development group submits plans to California regulators for a new 22,000-home planned community about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles. With luck, now that all lawsuits have been resolved, the first homes will go on sale in 2021—27 years after the application process started.

HousingFeatured

Regulations And Failed Governance Are The Root Causes Of California’s Housing Crisis

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

State and local governments claim they desperately want more residential construction to increase housing affordability. But what politicians say and what they do are two very different things. This is the only explanation for why a San Franciscan recently spent over six years and paid $1.2 million in legal fees and application costs before finally obtaining approval to build an apartment building. I can think of no better example that showcases how badly-designed regulations and remarkably poor governance have created California’s housing crisis.

BusinessFeatured

California’s Proposition 13: Do Likely Changes Forebode Higher Business Property Taxes?

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Proposition 13, which has defined the rules for California property taxation for forty years, will likely change for businesses, and perhaps as soon as 2021. A ballot measure will appear on California’s November 2020 ballot that would fundamentally change property taxes on non-agricultural businesses with more than fifty employees.

HousingFeatured

How Government Extortion Is Driving California Housing Costs Higher

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Nearly $50,000. About $60 per square foot. That is the city fee that a San Jose developer was asked to pay to obtain a permit to convert a recreation room in an existing apartment building into two small studio apartments. These “pay to build” schemes are now commonplace in California as municipalities face increasingly severe budget pressures and look to developers for the deep pockets that can fill in the gaps between municipal spending and tax revenue.

Minimum Wage Laws Hurt Those They Claim to Help

interview with Lee Ohanianvia Hoover Daily Report
Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Minimum wage laws are job-killing policies that create barriers to prosperity and fail to reflect the most basic understanding of supply and demand economics, says Lee Ohanian, an economist at the Hoover Institution.

BusinessAnalysis and Commentary

Will Mandatory “Unconscious Bias” Training For California Health Workers Actually Reduce Patient Deaths?

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, May 7, 2019

California lawmakers are introducing a set of bills that would require state healthcare workers to undergo “implicit bias and racism” training every two years. The reason? Maternal mortality rates among black women are about three times as high as for non-Hispanic white women, Hispanic women, and Asian women. 

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