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

NAFTA at 20
Books

NAFTA at 20: The North American Free Trade Agreement's Achievements and Challenges

via Hoover Institution Press
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was bold and controversial from the start. When first conceived, it was far from obvious that it would be possible given the circumstances of the times. This book presents an expert view of NAFTA from the perspective of economists, historians, and policy makers in the words of those who negotiated it and whose research evaluates it.

The Berlin Wall
Analysis and Commentary

Policy “Crimes”

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

STANFORD – When the Berlin Wall fell a quarter-century ago this November, pundits led by Francis Fukuyama proclaimed the end of history – the triumph of democratic capitalism over all rival systems. America’s economic success and the collapse of communism fed the narrative. The long political, intellectual, and, at times, military confrontation that we knew as the Cold War was over.

Euro with a life saver
Analysis and Commentary

Europe’s Options

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Many Europeans have come to believe that they have weathered the economic and financial storm. In the last two years, deficits and debt have stabilized. Yields on the sovereign debt of the eurozone periphery’s weak economies have fallen sharply. Portugal and Ireland have exited their bailout programs. Talk of Greece leaving the euro has subsided.

Analysis and Commentary

How Washington Whittles Away Property Rights

by Michael J. Boskinvia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Property rights and the rule of law are essential foundations for a vibrant economy. When they are threatened, or uncertain, the result is inefficiency, rent-seeking, a larger underground economy and capital flight.

The Courage of His Intuition

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A scholar whose penetrating questions led economists and social scientists where many had feared to tread.

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Special: Boskin, Lazear, and Roberts remember Gary Becker on the John Batchelor Show

by Edward Paul Lazear, Michael J. Boskin, Russell Robertsvia John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

In conjunction with a special live taping of the John Batchelor Show at the Hoover Spring Retreat, John Batchelor and Mary Kissel of the Wall Street Journal host Hoover senior fellows Michael Boskin and Edward Lazear, Hoover research fellow Russell Roberts, and CNBC’s Larry Kudlow in a special episode remembering Hoover senior fellow Gary Becker.

Break the Budget Stalemate

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 21, 2014

Both parties should have the good sense to demand less waste, more efficiency, and new technology.

Olympic Gold Medal
Analysis and Commentary

Coming Together and Falling Apart

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Thursday, March 13, 2014

Millions of people worldwide watched the athletic achievements at the Sochi Olympics and the opening and closing ceremonies’ majestic portrayals of Russian history and culture. But the cost was immense, the alleged corruption dispiriting, and the contrast with the political situation in nearby Ukraine alarming.
 

Great Wall of Corruption

by Michael J. Boskinvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How the curse of corruption limits and diminishes the miracle of economic growth.

Windmills in the Netherlands
Analysis and Commentary

A Dutch Cure for the Dutch Disease

by Michael J. Boskinvia Project Syndicate
Thursday, January 16, 2014

Far too few governments rein in their countries’ bloated welfare states before disaster strikes.
 

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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).