Michael J. Boskin

Wohlford Family Senior Fellow

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

Analysis and Commentary

Open Letter to Ben Bernanke

by Michael J. Boskin, Charles Calomiris, John F. Cogan, Niall Ferguson, John B. Taylorvia Real Time Economics (Wall Street Journal)
Monday, November 15, 2010

We believe the Federal Reserve’s large-scale asset purchase plan (so-called “quantitative easing”) should be reconsidered and discontinued. We do not believe such a plan is necessary or advisable under current circumstances...

Junk the Corporate Tax

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

There’s no better way to end tax distortions, boost growth and
competitiveness, and ultimately raise wages.

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Obama’s Difficult Fiscal Summer

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Barack Obama’s administration suffered a string of fiscal setbacks this summer. But has it learned anything in recent months...?

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Principles for Economic Revival

by George P. Shultz, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, John B. Taylorvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, September 16, 2010

Our prosperity has faded because policies have moved away from those that have proven to work. Here are the priorities that should guide policy makers as they seek to restore more rapid growth...

Analysis and Commentary

Summer of Economic Discontent

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, September 2, 2010

The administration's 'summer of recovery' has fizzled in almost every way imaginable. The growth rate is less than half what it was at this stage after the 1974-75 and 1981-82 recessions...

Summer of Economic Discontent

by Michael J. Boskinvia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Obama administration's "summer of recovery" has morphed into a summer of economic discontent amid anxiety over the weakening economy. The greater than 4% growth and less than 8% unemployment envisioned by the president's economic team are nowhere to be seen.

Analysis and Commentary

The Recession Dating Game

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Monday, July 26, 2010

The optimism that emerged in the early stages of the recovery from the financial crisis and recession has given way to more sobering assessments of the short-, medium-, and long-run challenges facing the global economy and its constituent national parts...

Analysis and Commentary

Obama's Economic Fish Stories

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On unemployment, the president claims that the stimulus bill was several times more potent than his chief economic adviser estimates. Such statements hurt his credibility...

Analysis and Commentary

Stimulus 'mostly a tragic waste of money'

by Michael J. Boskinvia Washington Post
Monday, July 19, 2010

The Washington Post asked Michael Boskin, a Stanford University economics professor, and Martin Neil Baily, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, to grade the Obama administration's performance in stimulating the economic recovery...

Hoover senior fellows Michael Boskin and Edward Lazear discuss the dangers of th

Economic Headwinds with Lazear and Boskin

by Peter M. Robinsonwith Michael J. Boskin, Edward Paul Lazearvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Boskin and Lazear take on the economy, discussing the explosion of deficit spending and the unprecedented increase in the money supply. Following the worst recession since WWII, why does the economic recovery seem so weak? Where, in particular, are the jobs? As a matter of pure economics, what do we need to do? As a matter of practical politics, how can we do it? (36:35) Video transcript


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).