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

Featured

Has The G-7 Outlived Its Usefulness?

by Lee Ohanianvia The Hill
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The conclusion of the G-7 economic summit was among the strangest in the group’s history. It produced no significant accomplishments, unless one counts President Trump signaling a willingness to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about Iran’s nuclear program, and chatter about possibly including Russia in next year’s G-7 meeting.

EconomyFeatured

How A California Corporation Creates More Social Good Than Any Government

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

There is growing pressure on corporations to stop prioritizing profits and to act in “the best interest of society.” Elizabeth Warren started the ball rolling last year with the Accountable Capitalism Act. If passed, this would dramatically change corporate governance and decision making. Its requirements include that at least 40 percent of board directors be elected by employees and that corporate decisions create a “general public benefit” rather than narrowly benefiting shareholders.

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Why Here, Why Now? Why Did The United States Enjoy Dramatic Improvements In The Standard Of Living During The Last Century?

interview with John F. Cogan, Lee Ohanian, Terry Anderson, George P. Shultzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, August 26, 2019

Hoover Institution economists John Cogan, Lee Ohanian, Terry Anderson, and George Shultz examine the causes for and the reasons behind so many improvements being made to the quality of life in the United States over the past century. They analyze the role that free markets, property rights, innovation, regulation, taxes, and national security played in these remarkable achievements.

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Why Here, Why Now? Why Did The United States Enjoy Dramatic Improvements In The Standard Of Living During The Last Century?

interview with Terry Anderson, John F. Cogan, Lee Ohanian, George P. Shultzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, August 26, 2019

Hoover Institution economists John Cogan, Lee Ohanian, Terry Anderson, and George Shultz examine the causes for and the reasons behind so many improvements being made to the quality of life in the United States over the past century. They analyze the role that free markets, property rights, innovation, regulation, taxes, and national security played in these remarkable achievements.

PoliticsFeatured

California’s Divisive Ethnic Studies Curriculum Proposal Fails

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

In 2016, California lawmakers passed a bill requiring that ethnic studies be added to the state’s secondary school curriculum. A curriculum was subsequently drafted and made available for review.

Featured

Why The Markets Turned Volatile—And Why You Shouldn't Panic

by Lee Ohanianvia The Hill
Monday, August 19, 2019

Financial market volatility has skyrocketed in recent days. The Standard and Poors 500 Index, which consists of the 500 largest, publicly traded corporations, lost 6 percent of its value in May. This was followed by an 8 percent rise in June, but the index was down about 5 percent through August 16 from its July peak. Other stock market indexes recorded similar patterns.

Single-Payer Health Care

featuring Scott W. Atlas, Richard A. Epstein, Lee Ohanian, Lanhee J. Chen, Tom Churchvia Policy Insights | A Succinct Guide to Important Policy Questions
Thursday, August 15, 2019

Single-payer health care is when the government acts as the only payer of health care costs in the economy. Rather than individuals purchasing insurance for payment of medical expenses through their employer or on the open market, the federal government typically covers all such costs.

Policy InsightsFeatured

Single-Payer Health Care

by Scott W. Atlas, Richard A. Epstein, Lee Ohanian, Lanhee J. Chen, Tom Churchvia PolicyEd
Thursday, August 15, 2019

Single-payer health care is when the government acts as the only payer of health care costs in the economy. Rather than individuals purchasing insurance for payment of medical expenses through their employer or on the open market, the federal government typically covers all such costs.

PoliticsFeatured

San Francisco’s “Overpaid CEO Tax” Won’t Solve Its Mental-Health And Drug Epidemics

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

It is now commonplace to criticize corporate CEOs within progressive political circles, so it is no surprise that San Francisco, one of the most politically progressive cities in the country, has proposed a tax on CEOs. But just not any CEO, only those with exceptionally high salaries compared with others in the company. Dubbed the “CEO Excessive Salary Tax,” the proposal would tax a company’s gross receipts depending on the difference between its CEO’s pay and the median salary of its workers.

PoliticsFeatured

Deconstructing Kamala Harris’s “Medicare For All” Plan

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

California senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris just released her “Medicare for All” plan. Some claim her plan, which retains private insurance, is better than Bernie Sanders’s plan, which eliminates private insurance. But the economics of Harris’s plan shows that private insurance has no significant role in “Medicare for All,” even if it is advertised that way.

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