Richard Sousa

Research Fellow

Richard Sousa is a research fellow emeritus at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Hoover IP2 steering committee. He was the Institution’s senior associate director until 2014; simultaneously, he was director of the Hoover Institution Library and Archives from 2007 to 2012.

Sousa, an economist, specialized in K–12 education, labor economics, discrimination issues, and intellectual property. He coauthored School Figures: The Data behind the Debate (Hoover Institution Press, 2003). Using facts and figures, this volume provides a concise and understandable analysis of the state of K–12 education in the United States.

He is coeditor of What Lies Ahead for America’s Children and Their Schools (Education Next Books, 2014), a volume that examines the current state of America’s K–12 education landscape and offers suggestions for improvement. He is also coeditor of Reacting to the Spending Spree: Policy Changes We Can Afford (Hoover Institution Press, 2009), an early assessment of what the Obama administration faced and how it was reacting to the economic crisis of 2008–09.

His op-eds and articles have appeared in newspapers and periodicals throughout the country including the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Dallas Morning News, and Forbes.

As director of the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, Sousa was intimately involved in securing major acquisitions, including the Chiang Kai-shek diaries; the William Rehnquist papers; the Georgian, Estonian, and Lithuanian KGB files; and the Ba’th Party Papers of the Iraq Memory Foundation. He initiated major facilities upgrades to the archives preservation and conservation labs, the library processing room, and the archives reading room.

Sousa was director of the Institution’s Diplomat Training Program, which ran from 1990 through 1995. He was also responsible for launching the Institution’s major communications initiatives: the Institution’s web site, Hoover DigestEducation Next, Policy Review, Hoover Weekly Essays, Facts on Policy series, and Uncommon Knowledge.

Before coming to Hoover in 1990, Sousa was an economist at the RAND Corporation, Welch Consulting, and Unicon Research Corporation; he has taught economics and statistics at UCLA and has testified in class action legal cases. Sousa was a senior consultant to the Soong Family Archives and Research Center at Fudan University, Shanghai, China. Sousa holds degrees in economics from Boston College and UCLA.

His research papers are available in the Hoover Institution Archives.

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Recent Commentary


Hoover IP2 To Convene Conference On Fourth Industrial Revolution In Brussels

quoting Stephen Haber, Richard Sousa, Nicolas Petit, Alexander Galetovicvia Hoover IP2
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Fourth Industrial Revolution—the fusion of digital technologies, characterized by big data, artificial intelligence, robotics, smartphones, and autonomous vehicles—will affect how people work, communicate, and travel. Hoover IP² has organized a conference, “Institutions and Regulation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” that addresses a core public policy question: What institutions, policies, rules, and regulations will maximize individual benefits and economic surplus as the Fourth Industrial Revolution takes root?

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You Could Google It

by Richard Sousa, Nicolas Petitvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 29, 2018
Economic analysis makes it clear: the efforts to break up big tech companies just don’t compute.

'Big Is Bad' Narrative Is Simply Untrue In High-Tech Sector

by Richard Sousa, Nicolas Petitvia The Hill
Saturday, June 16, 2018

The May jobs report came in with good news for employment growth. Some members of the economics profession, however, have been busy bashing big firms for their destructive effects on American workers.

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January 2018 Conference Highlights

by Stephen Haber, Richard Sousavia Hoover IP²
Friday, February 2, 2018

The Hoover Institution Working Group on Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Prosperity’s (Hoover IP²) kicked off 2018 with a two-day conference, “Patent Practices and Policy: The Backbone of the Innovation Economy. ” Papers presented at the conference, held at Stanford University on January 11–12, 2018, focused on how patents and the patent system influences inventors, researchers, and the legal system and on the wide ranging economic impacts of IP-intensive industries.

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California’s Polarization

by Richard Sousavia Analysis
Monday, February 6, 2017

With all due respect, I believe my colleague Sam Abrams has it all wrong. He argues that when examining California voter registration data at the county level, the polarization along party lines and the partisanship in the state are not as deep as commonly portrayed. He is, however, using the wrong metrics and drawing the wrong conclusions.


School Test Scores: Are California’s Kids Keeping Up?

by Richard Sousavia San Diego Union-Tribune
Friday, November 25, 2016

When scores from the spring 2016 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress were released, they revealed that across the board, scores were up relative to 2015: some 5 percentage points higher in English language arts/literacy and 4 points higher in math.

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The Trump Saga

by Marla Goodman, Richard Sousavia Defining Ideas
Friday, September 25, 2015

He may be tactless, but voters love that he’s a political outsider who wants to “make America great again.”  

Social Security
Analysis and Commentary

Attacks On The Patent System Are Going To Make Older Americans Worse Off

by Richard Sousa mentioning Stephen Habervia Forbes
Monday, August 3, 2015

When the first monthly Social Security checks were mailed in 1940, male and female life expectancy was 61 and 65, respectively; life expectancy of men and women is now 76 and 81.

Analysis and Commentary

Vergara decision offers opportunity for teachers

by Richard Sousavia San Jose Mercury News
Thursday, September 4, 2014

This month, more than 6 million students will have returned to California's public schools, as have their 300,000 teachers, the vast majority with academic tenure. All returned under the shadows of Rolf Treu and Beatriz Vergara.

Analysis and Commentary

What Lies Ahead For Digital Education

by Richard Sousavia
Wednesday, May 7, 2014