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

Lead On, California

by Michael J. Boskin, John F. Coganvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 14, 2010

How sweeping tax reforms could put the Golden State back on its feet. By Michael J. Boskin and John F. Cogan.

Analysis and Commentary

Don't Like the Numbers? Change 'Em

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

If a CEO issued the kind of distorted figures put out by politicians and scientists, he'd wind up in prison. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Government can't pick the winners

by Michael J. Boskinvia Globe and Mail (Canada)
Thursday, November 26, 2009

One of the worst official responses to the financial crisis and recession has been the revival of “industrial policy.” . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Industrial Policy Returns from the Grave

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
One of the worst responses by officials to the financial crisis and deep recession has been to revive “industrial policy.” Once again, governments are using subsidies, mandates, regulation, and capital investment to pick industrial winners and losers, rather than using a broad, even-handed approach. 
Analysis and Commentary

An Alternative Stimulus Plan

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

While the economy has finally started to grow, the disturbingly high unemployment rate is increasing pressure from the left to double down on this year's poorly designed fiscal stimulus bill. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

How California Can Get Its Groove Back

by Michael J. Boskin, John F. Coganvia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

For many decades California residents enjoyed a rising standard of living, an outstanding education system, and unprecedented upward mobility...

Analysis and Commentary

The Government Debt Bomb

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

As economies around the world return to growth after the deepest recession in a generation, renewed attention is being paid to enormous fiscal deficits and vast expansions of government debt...

Analysis and Commentary

Obama Needs a Move to the Middle

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, July 23, 2009

While strong recoveries sometimes follow deep recessions, historically recoveries following financial crises have been slow and painful...

Analysis and Commentary

Of Banks and Bailouts

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Thursday, July 23, 2009

Early signs of a manufacturing rebound, already strong in Asia, lend hope for some modest recovery from today’s deep global recession...

Obama deficits by Boskin

The Center Cannot Hold

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

President Obama? A centrist? The administration’s economic policy and budget have now destroyed that illusion. 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).