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

Blueprint for America

Reforming The Tax Code

by Michael J. Boskinvia PolicyEd.org
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
The primary goal of America’s tax code should be to raise the revenue to finance the necessary functions of government in the least distortionary manner possible. Tax systems with broad bases and low tax rates are the most effective foundation for an efficient, growing economy. While consumption taxes are efficient, all forms of taxation should be considered as long as they are revenue-neutral and accompanied by rigorous, enforceable spending controls.

Is A Trump Doctrine Taking Shape?

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

US President Donald Trump’s transactional approach to multinational agreements is very different from that of his predecessors. Whereas previous presidents have viewed international accords in the context of broader US trade and security strategy, Trump looks at them in isolation. To his mind, many agreements to which the US is a signatory are poorly negotiated, overly burdensome, or outdated and ill-suited for changing economic and security conditions.


The Coming Technology Policy Debate

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Monday, April 24, 2017

What do the leaks of unflattering email from the Democratic National Committee’s hacked servers during the 2016 US presidential election campaign and the deafening hour-long emergency-warning siren in Dallas, Texas, have in common? It’s the same thing that links the North Korean nuclear threat and terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States: all represent the downsides of tremendously beneficial technologies – risks that increasingly demand a robust policy response.


A Step Back From Trump’s Start

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The first few weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency have contained what felt like a year’s worth of activity and rancor. The US media is “all Trump, all the time” – and they’ve had plenty of fuel. Amid Trump’s initial moves to “shake up” Washington, DC, including a five-year lobbying ban and approvals of pipelines that President Barack Obama had blocked, he has made some serious – and avoidable – mistakes.


The Lessons Of America’s Election

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Donald Trump’s surprise election as the 45th president of the United States has spawned a cottage industry of election post-mortems and predictions, in America and abroad. Some correlate Trump’s victory with a broader trend toward populism in the West, and, in particular, in Europe, exemplified in the United Kingdom’s vote in June to leave the European Union.


A Way Forward For Europe

by Michael J. Boskinvia International Banker
Tuesday, November 29, 2016

These have not been happy times for the “European Project”. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that by next March, the UK will make the Article 50 European Union (EU) withdrawal notification. That will trigger a difficult two-year negotiation on the terms of Brexit, which was a reaction to both immigration and overbearing, duplicative European Commission regulation and bureaucracy.


All Aboard The Infrastructure Boondoggle

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, October 31, 2016

Whoever wins on Nov. 8, a flood of public-works money is coming. Cost-benefit tests are crucial.


Out Of Ammunition To Combat Recession?

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Friday, October 21, 2016

Economic forecasts for 2017 project continued frailty in the global economy, and subpar growth for most countries and regions.


Clintonomics vs. Trumponomics

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Friday, September 2, 2016

Little more than two months from America’s presidential election, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by five points in opinion polls, nationally and in several important swing states. 

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The Tax Plans Cometh

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 11, 2016

Get ready for profound changes in economic policy, whoever becomes president.


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).