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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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.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and CommentaryEconomy

Are Large Deficits And Debt Dangerous?

by Michael J. Boskinvia Analysis
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Traditional View (TV) of large deficits and debt is they have large economic costs, save in a recession and early recovery, because they crowd out investment and lower future income, and taken to extremes, can cause inflation and even a financial crisis.

Featured

Some Thoughts On The Business Roundtable's Statement Of Corporate Purpose

by George P. Shultz, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, John B. Taylorvia Real Clear Markets
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

From time to time in the last 150 years, a socialist impulse has taken hold among a significant segment of the U.S. population. This impulse was a primary driver behind the 1880s populists’ movement and among progressives in the 1910s. It was dominant ideology among socialists in the 1930s and among young radicals and intellectuals in the 1960s. Today, there is a similar collectivist sentiment running through America. 

IntellectionsFeaturedEconomy

Rethinking The Green New Deal

by Michael J. Boskinvia PolicyEd
Thursday, January 30, 2020

A modest, revenue-neutral carbon tax would provide the right incentives to reduce carbon emissions.

IntellectionsFeaturedEconomy

Technological Obstacles To Implementing The Green New Deal

by Michael J. Boskinvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Increasing the production of renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions is an admirable goal, but it will require rapid technological advancements and an expansion of existing low-carbon options such as nuclear power.

Policy Stories

California's High-Speed Dream Derailed

by Michael J. Boskinvia PolicyEd
Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The failure of California’s high-speed rail project demonstrates that everyone loses when politicians make promises they can’t keep.

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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).