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

Debt Roulette

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 2, 2010

The Obama budget represents the biggest gamble in our entire fiscal history. By Michael J. Boskin.

Analysis and Commentary

Time to Constrain Government

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The current financial crisis in Europe provides a unique update to Lenin’s dictum that nothing so destabilizes a country as a run on its currency. In today’s EU, nothing so destabilizes a currency union as a flight from a member’s sovereign debt...

Analysis and Commentary

Time to Junk the Corporate Tax

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, May 6, 2010

Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas says reform would deliver great benefits at little cost, making it "the largest genuinely true free lunch I have seen...'

Analysis and Commentary

GDP Online Debate

by Michael J. Boskinvia Economist
Monday, April 26, 2010

This house believes that GDP growth is a poor measure of improving living standards...

How does a politician pay for something (health care, for instance) with nothing? By cooking the books. By Michael J. Boskin.

Fudging It

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How does a politician pay for something (health care, for instance) with nothing? By cooking the books. By Michael J. Boskin.

Fudging It

by Michael J. Boskinvia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, April 15, 2010

Politicians and scientists who don’t like what their data show have taken to simply changing the numbers.

Analysis and Commentary

New Tremors in Global Finance and Trade

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

With the American and global economies in the early stages of post-recession recovery, serious questions remain about that recovery’s strength and sustainability. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

When Deficits Become Dangerous

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Debt-to-GDP ratios over 90% have significant impact on the pace of economic growth. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

The Fiscal Crisis Down Below

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Friday, January 22, 2010

Sub-national governments – states, countries, cities, provinces, towns, and special districts – play different roles from country to country, but usually deliver important public services such as police and fire protection, transportation, education, health care, and welfare. . . .

Feeding a Sane and Lasting Recovery.

Feeding a Sane and Lasting Recovery

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lead with a cut in the payroll tax, and millions of jobs will follow. By Michael J. Boskin.

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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).