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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Michael Boskin On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Michael J. Boskinvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Michael Boskin discusses his Project Syndicate article "America’s Uncertain Recovery."

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America’s Uncertain Recovery

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Thursday, June 25, 2020

Predicting the speed and strength of the United States' recovery from the current recession is extremely difficult. But what is clear is that policymakers must boost incentives to work in normal times when jobs are plentiful, while strengthening the safety net for when they are not and for those who are unable to work.

Policy InsightsFeatured

Infrastructure

by Russell Roberts, Lee Ohanian, Michael J. Boskin, Richard A. Epstein, John B. Taylor, John F. Cogan, Daniel Heilvia PolicyEd
Thursday, May 28, 2020

With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the economy, some in Congress are proposing a large increase in infrastructure spending. Supporters claim that increased spending will boost the economy while ensuring future generations will benefit from improved transportation, power, and communication systems. But will increased federal spending on infrastructure deliver on these promises, or are there reasons to be skeptical?

Interviews

Michael Boskin: April Jobs Numbers And Next Legislative Steps On COVID-19

interview with Michael J. Boskinvia C-SPAN
Friday, May 8, 2020

(29:20) Hoover Institution fellow Michael Boskin discusses COVID-19 as well as the April jobs numbers.

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The COVID-19 Balancing Act

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Although the economic and human costs of the COVID-19 pandemic have been devastating, a strategy for reducing the health risks of a gradual return to normalcy has begun to take shape. The task now is to navigate the difficult trade-offs and even more difficult politics of the crisis as sensibly as possible.

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Lessons From Crises Past

by George P. Shultz, Michael J. Boskin, John B. Taylorvia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Government policies restricting the operation of markets usually do more harm than good. Even in times of crisis, such as the current coronavirus pandemic, policymakers should do everything possible to keep markets working and private incentives strong.

In the News

It's Prime Time For Financial Literacy

featuring Michael J. Boskinvia Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)
Friday, March 27, 2020

They’ve taught through economic booms and busts, using their scholarship and policy experience to deliver lessons that explain how the economy and financial markets work.

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.

Policy InsightsFeatured

Energy Policy Insight

by Admiral James O. Ellis Jr., Michael J. Boskin, James L. Sweeney, Daniel Heilvia PolicyEd
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Over the last quarter century, the United States has experienced a dramatic transformation. With little fanfare, an energy revolution has occurred that has profoundly altered the nation’s economy, its national security, and its environment. No longer beholden to foreign nations to meet its energy demands, the United States now produces more energy than it consumes.

FeaturedPolitics

Is A Strong Economy Enough To Re-Elect Trump?

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The odds of an economic downturn in the US this year remain low, which means that US President Donald Trump's prospects for re-election in November are strong. But with an approval rating still below 50%, Trump will have to navigate a difficult field of swing states and cross his fingers that the Democrats are hobbled by infighting.

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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).