Michael J. Boskin

Senior Fellow
Biography: 

Michael J. Boskin is a 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

Analysis and Commentary

Office Hours: Michael Boskin On Tax Reform

by Michael J. Boskinvia Policyed.org
Friday, January 26, 2018

Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Michael Boskin responds to your questions related to tax reform. The primary goal of America’s tax code should be to raise the revenue to finance the necessary functions of government in the least distortionary manner possible. Tax systems with broad bases and low tax rates are the most effective foundation for an efficient, growing economy. While consumption taxes are efficient, all forms of taxation should be considered as long as they are revenue-neutral and accompanied by rigorous, enforceable spending controls.

Featured

The World Economy In 2018

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Thursday, December 21, 2017

In the tenth year since the start of the global financial crisis, the US economy reached a new high-water mark, and the global economy exceeded expectations. But whether these positive trends continue in 2018 will depend on a variety of factors, from fiscal and monetary policymaking to domestic politics and regional stability.

Featured

Another Look At Tax Reform And Economic Growth

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

With the Republican tax package now finalized and coming to a vote in both houses of Congress, a debate has been raging over the bill's possible growth effects. In that debate, those who oppose the package seem to be underestimating the outsize impact of equipment investments.

Featured

Economists Respond To Summers, Furman Over Mnuchin Letter

by Robert J. Barro, Michael J. Boskin, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, R. Glenn Hubbard, Lawrence B. Lindsey, Harvey S. Rosen, George P. Shultz, John B. Taylorvia The Washington Post
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dear Lawrence Summers and Jason Furman, We read with interest your Dear Colleague letter in The Washington Post in response to ours in the Wall Street Journal. You ask if we have considered several points you make. The answer is yes — we have considered each before coming to our conclusion.

Featured

How Tax Reform Will Lift The Economy

by Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, George P. Shultz, John B. Taylorvia The Wall Street Journal
Sunday, November 26, 2017

 [Subscription required] We believe the Republican bills could boost GDP 3% to 4% long term by reducing the cost of capital.

Featured CommentaryFeatured

California Dreamin’: Of Bolder Leaders Unafraid To Challenge The Vested Interests Running The Golden State—And Ruining Its Future

by Michael J. Boskinvia Eureka
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Californians long led an idyllic version of the American Dream: lots of sunshine, jobs, upward mobility, home and automobile ownership, inviting ample space and tremendous mobility.  Long a harbinger of national trends and an incubator of innovation, the Golden State used to be home to steadily rising standards of living, outstanding public schools and universities, and enviable infrastructure.

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Centrifugal And Centripetal Forces On Economic Areas

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Monday, October 30, 2017

The flurry of secessionist around the world today raises important questions about optimal political and economic arrangements. But if there is any clear takeaway, it is that "optimal" is a moving target: good governance entails adaptability to constantly changing circumstances and accommodation of diversity.

Featured

Can Trump Turn His Presidency Around?

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Friday, August 25, 2017

The United States’ economy is growing at a modest pace, with low unemployment and inflation. Normally, these conditions would strengthen a US president’s standing with the public. And yet Donald Trump’s approval rating is well below 40%, as one would expect to see during a recession.

Featured

Tax Reform

by Michael J. Boskinvia Policyed.org
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The primary goal of America’s tax code should be to raise the revenue to finance the necessary functions of government in the least distortionary manner possible. Tax systems with broad bases and low tax rates are the most effective foundation for an efficient, growing economy. While consumption taxes are efficient, all forms of taxation should be considered as long as they are revenue-neutral and accompanied by rigorous, enforceable spending controls.

Featured

Is A Trump Doctrine Taking Shape?

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

US President Donald Trump’s transactional approach to multinational agreements is very different from that of his predecessors. Whereas previous presidents have viewed international accords in the context of broader US trade and security strategy, Trump looks at them in isolation. To his mind, many agreements to which the US is a signatory are poorly negotiated, overly burdensome, or outdated and ill-suited for changing economic and security conditions.

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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).