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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Europe’s Last Best Chance

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Monday, November 28, 2011

The resignations of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi have highlighted how Greece, Italy, and many other countries obscured for too long their bloated public sectors’ long-standing problems with unsustainable social-welfare ben

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The GOP Candidates Square Off on Taxes

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, November 3, 2011

The proposals range from modest to bold. All include lower rates, which will stimulate growth...

Money guns

Five Steps to Bust the Deficit

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Step one: honest budgeting. For the four others, read on. By Michael J. Boskin.

CNBC interview about Operation Twist

by Michael J. Boskinvia Advancing a Free Society
Friday, September 23, 2011

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Europe’s Triple Threat

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Thursday, September 22, 2011

Europeans, both debtors and creditors, must address the banking problem forthrightly, and simultaneously with the euro, sovereign-debt, and fiscal-adjustment issues...

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The Obama Presidency by the Numbers

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, September 8, 2011

The president constantly reminds us that he was dealt a difficult hand. But the evidence is overwhelming that he played it poorly...

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The Euro-American Debt Dilemma

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Friday, July 29, 2011

Wealthy Europe and America, crown jewels of mixed capitalist democracies, are drowning in deficits and debt, owing to bloated welfare states that are now in place (Europe) or in the making (the United States)...

Analysis and Commentary

Get Ready for a 70% Marginal Tax Rate

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, July 18, 2011

Some argue the U.S. economy can bear higher pre-Reagan tax rates. But those rates applied to a much smaller fraction of taxpayers than what we're headed for without spending cuts...

Get Ready for a 70% Marginal Tax Rate

by Michael J. Boskinvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, July 18, 2011

President Obama has been using the debt-ceiling debate and bipartisan calls for deficit reduction to demand higher taxes. With unemployment stuck at 9.2% and a vigorous economic "recovery" appearing more and more elusive, his timing couldn't be worse.

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Five Lessons for Deficit Busters

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, June 20, 2011

A recent study of successful deficit reductions found they averaged more than $5 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax hikes...

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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).