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

PoliticsBlank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Coronavirus And The Cost Of Progressivism

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, April 14, 2020

California is the most politically progressive state in the country, but even the most fervent progressives are finding out that progressivism is extraordinarily costly, and even deadly.

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

California Lawmakers Unwittingly Make Surgery Much More Dangerous

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, April 7, 2020

California’s population of nearly 40 million is served by just 8,500 anesthesiologists, 2,200 of whom are certified registered nurse anesthesiologists (CRNAs). California’s recent anti–independent contractor bill, AB5, is making this shortage much worse and making anesthesiology more dangerous for patients.

PoliticsBlank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

What Happens When Someone Dies While Health Care Workers Sit At Home, Prohibited From Working?

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

A broad group of economists, including Nobel prize winners, advisers to US presidents and California governors, former US Treasury officials, and advisers to the Federal Reserve and other central banks agree that California’s destructive Assembly Bill 5, which prevents many health-care workers and delivery drivers, among others, to work as independent contractors, should be suspended immediately.

Policy InsightsFeatured

Fixing The Way We Regulate

by Michael J. Boskin, Richard A. Epstein, David R. Henderson, Lee Ohanian, John Yoo, Daniel Heilvia PolicyEd
Thursday, March 26, 2020

Health care is not the only industry where regulations often do more harm than good. From state and local policies on housing and labor rules to federal environment and banking laws, misguided regulations can hurt the economy, reduce opportunities for workers, and limit choices for consumers.

EconomyBlank Section (Placeholder)Featured

As COVID-19 Spreads, California Wages War With Gig Businesses That Would Save The Most Vulnerable

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Late last week, California governor Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order for nearly all California residents, shuttering most of the world’s fifth largest economy. This shutdown remarkably increases the need for on-demand drivers for delivery of groceries, medications, and prepared food to California households, particularly the oldest and most vulnerable.

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

California’s Most Egregious Union Giveaway Ever

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Last year, California lawmakers passed a large and purely gratuitous union giveaway that thus far has managed to sneak under the radar. Assembly Bill 378 allows about 40,000 childcare workers to unionize. This is the most egregious union giveaway ever, because the issue that unionization is supposed to address was created by—guess who—state lawmakers. 


Lee Ohanian On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Lee Ohanianvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lee Ohanian discusses his California On Your Mind article "California And Vermont Primaries Show Sanders’s Candidacy Will Soon Be Over."

Perspectives on PolicyFeaturedEconomy

Addressing The Housing Crisis

by Lee Ohanianvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Well-intentioned housing policies, like zoning laws and environmental rules, have made it expensive and often impossible to build enough homes to meet rising demand.


California And Vermont Primaries Show Sanders’s Candidacy Will Soon Be Over

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

It is just a matter of time. Democratic primary outcomes, particularly in the exceptionally liberal states of California and Vermont, clearly show that Bernie Sanders is not generating nearly the support or enthusiasm needed to win the Democratic nomination, even though Sanders won both these primaries.


Lee Ohanian On The Guy Benson Show

interview with Lee Ohanianvia The Guy Benson Show
Monday, March 9, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lee Ohanian discusses California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) , which extends employee classification status to gig workers.