Michael J. Boskin

Wohlford Family Senior Fellow
Biography: 

Michael J. Boskin is the Wohlford Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Tully M. Friedman Professor of Economics at Stanford.  He is also Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research.  In addition, he advises governments and businesses globally.

He served as Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) from 1989 to 1993, when he helped resolve the Third World Debt and Saving and Loan financial crises, and place the first effective controls on government spending while protecting the defense budget.  His CEA was rated by the Council for Excellence in Government as one of the five most respected agencies in the federal government.  Earlier, on Presidential Candidate Reagan’s Tax Policy Task Force, he helped develop the policies that substantially lowered marginal tax rates, indexed tax brackets for inflation, accelerated depreciation, and created IRAs and 401ks, the economic rationale for which was predicated on his research on the effects of taxes on saving.  He later chaired the highly influential blue-ribbon Commission on the Consumer Price Index, whose report has transformed the way government statistical agencies around the world measure inflation, GDP and productivity. 

Boskin serves on several corporate and philanthropic boards of directors, including Exxon Mobil Corporation and Oracle Corporation.

In addition to Stanford and the University of California, Boskin has taught at Harvard and Yale. He is the author of more than one hundred and fifty books and articles. He is internationally recognized for his research on world economic growth, tax and budget theory and policy, US saving and consumption patterns, and the implications of changing technology and demography on capital, labor, and product markets. His op-eds appear regularly in the Wall Street Journal and other leading newspapers. He also writes a bimonthly column on global economics syndicated in 145 countries.

Boskin has received numerous professional awards and citations, including Stanford's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1988, the National Association of Business Economists' Abramson Award for outstanding research and its Distinguished Fellow Award, the Medal of the President of the Italian Republic in 1991 for his contributions to global economic understanding, and the 1998 Adam Smith Prize for outstanding contributions to economics.

Boskin received his BA with highest honors and the Chancellor's Award as outstanding undergraduate in 1967 from the University of California at Berkeley, where he also received his MA in 1968 and his PhD in 1971.

His research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives or his personal website.

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Recent Commentary

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Hopeless in Gaza

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Palestinians, in refusing even to consider taking economic aid in exchange for reforms, are only harming themselves.

Featured

Will The Civil Majority Please Stand Up?

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

With deepening political polarization constantly being amplified by social and partisan media, it is little wonder that Americans are at each others' throats. But just because the loudest voices have decided to embrace scorched-earth rhetoric doesn't mean that everyone else should also surrender their civility.

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Area 45: Michael Boskin Discusses The Left’s Agenda

interview with Michael J. Boskinvia Area 45
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Are Democratic hopefuls offering sound ideas (Green New Deal, Universal Basic Income, Medicare-For-All) or economic illiteracy?

EssaysEconomyFeatured

A Closer Look At The Left’s Agenda: Scientific, Economic, And Numerical Illiteracy On The Campaign Trail

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Institution Press
Monday, July 8, 2019

Many of the Left’s recent policy proposals are not only quite radical, but scientifically, economically, and numerically illiterate. They are crowding out discussion of serious proposals to deal with the legitimate issues raised. A closer look reveals, for example, that Medicare for All and the Green New Deal wildly violate the laws of supply and demand, physics, and arithmetic.

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Economist Michael Boskin On Tariffs, Immigration, And Social Security

interview with Michael J. Boskinvia The Federalist
Monday, July 8, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Michael Boskin discusses President Trump’s trade war with China, global economic and immigration trends in Europe, and the economics behind popular 2020 platforms like the Green New Deal and Medicare For All.

Blueprint for AmericaFeatured

The Domestic Landscape: Blueprint For America

by Michael J. Boskinvia PolicyEd
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Economic policies are the critical foundation for raising living standards, growing government revenue for necessary national purposes, and reducing social conflict. 

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Is Economic Development The Key To Mideast Peace?

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Now that the Trump administration has offered a blueprint for economic development and reform in the Palestinian territories, the opportunity costs of maintaining the status quo are clear for all to see. Although the Palestinians remain opposed to the plan, at least now they can start to consider the economic potential of peace.

John Shoven
In the News

John B. Shoven, A King Of Retirement Economics, Retires

featuring John Shoven, Michael J. Boskinvia Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

John B. Shoven has been a dean, a director and a chair. He’s been a consultant, an adviser and a mentor. And now, at 72, the Stanford economist well known for urging Americans to postpone collecting Social Security benefits for as long as possible is taking on a new title: professor, emeritus.

Policy InsightsFeatured

The US Debt—Causes And Consequences

featuring John B. Taylor, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, John H. Cochrane, Daniel Heilvia PolicyEd
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The federal government is borrowing at unprecedented rates. Spending regularly exceeds revenue, and this shortfall is predicted to grow dramatically in the near future. The result is a large and growing federal debt that threatens future Americans’ prosperity and security. What are the consequences of this higher federal debt and what can we do about it?

Friedman FundamentalsFeatured

Fellows With Friedman

featuring John H. Cochrane, Michael J. Boskin, David R. Henderson, Thomas Sowell, Richard A. Epstein, Alvin Rabushka, Robert E. Hallvia PolicyEd
Thursday, May 16, 2019

In a Wall Street Journalop-ed, “America Needs an Alternative Maximum Tax,” John Cochrane proposes a new kind of tax that caps the amount that people would pay in taxes to prevent indefinite tax-rate hikes. He asks, “How much is the most anyone should have to pay? When do taxes indisputably start to harm the economy and produce less revenue—when government takes 50% of people's income? 60%? 70%?” If there is a maximum amount that an individual pays, then once past that cap they wouldn’t pay any further federal income tax for that year.

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Please note:

Michael Boskin has been the subject of recent attempted identity theft and hacking.  If you receive an email communication from him that seems unusual or unexpected, please verify the correspondence by contacting his office officeofmichaelboskin [at] gmail.com (subject: Hoover.org%20Boskin%20Profile%20Request) (here).