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

Analysis and Commentary

Primary Views - Michael Boskin

by Michael J. Boskinvia San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, February 3, 2008

A successful society needs a government that performs essential functions well, not a bloated bureaucracy trying to be all things to all people...

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Invisible Hand in Cyberspace

by Michael J. Boskin, Daniel Terdimanvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Economist Michael Boskin has a new position: adviser to an imaginary world. By Daniel Terdiman.

Analysis and Commentary

How Not to Fix the Economy

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, December 13, 2007

Six years into expansion following the 2001 recession, the post-Y2K collapse of the stock-market bubble and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the economy is sharply slowing. The risk of recession is growing.

Analysis and Commentary

How Not to Fix the Economy

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, December 13, 2007

Six years into expansion following the 2001 recession, the post-Y2K collapse of the stock-market bubble and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the economy is sharply slowing...

Analysis and Commentary

Preschool plan's a tax ripoff

by Michael J. Boskinvia Los Angeles Times
Sunday, May 28, 2006

Proposition 82, which would tax "the rich" to finance universal preschool for 4-year-olds, is deceptively appealing…

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The Common Sense of Social Security Reform

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, April 30, 2005

The critics of Social Security reform say there’s no rush, let alone a crisis. The critics are wrong. By Michael J. Boskin.

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Stay the Course—Except on Spending

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, January 30, 2005

In his second term, the president needs to continue pushing for smaller government, lower taxes, and less regulation. By Michael J. Boskin.

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Stick to the Basics

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, January 30, 2005

It was the Kerry-Edwards campaign that was out of touch with economic reality. By Michael J. Boskin.

DEBT AND TAXES: The Bush Administration's Tax Plan

with Michael J. Boskin, Robert Reichvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, January 30, 2003

In January 2003, the Bush administration unveiled a package of proposed new tax cuts, including provisions to eliminate the taxation of dividends and make permanent the 2001 tax cut. President Bush called the plan "an immediate boost to the economy" as well as "essential for the long run to lay the groundwork for future growth and prosperity." Critics have said that the plan doesn't provide short-term economic stimulus and endangers long-term growth and prosperity. Is the Bush tax plan good for the economy or not?

MONEY RULES: The Role of the Federal Reserve

with Michael J. Boskin, Janet Yellenvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, January 9, 2002

Interest Rate adjustments by the Federal Reserve are among the most closely watched and anticipated of all economic policy decisions. Yet many economists believe the Fed no longer has the power it once did to regulate the economy. So just how powerful is the Fed today? What tools does the Fed have to regulate the economy, and how should they be used?

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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).