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

Analysis and Commentary

COVID-19 Pork Or More Shots?

by Terry Anderson, Richard Sousavia The Hill
Wednesday, February 17, 2021

As he got to work on Jan. 20, President Biden listed among his top priorities getting the economy on track and addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. One can hardly argue with the urgency. To accomplish these goals, he proposes adding another $1.9 trillion on top of the nearly $4 trillion approved by Congress before the election. Facing tough opposition from Republicans, Biden is looking for creative ways to get support.

Analysis and Commentary

Assembly Bill 5 Restricts Opportunities And Contributes To Income Inequality

by Richard Sousavia The Orange County Register
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Virtually every law passed by the California legislature, every regulation enacted by state agencies, and every executive order from the governor—no matter how well-intentioned—create unintended consequences.

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'Connected' In A Time Of COVID

by Bowman Heiden, Richard Sousavia Defining Ideas
Saturday, April 25, 2020

Will our altered habits of work and study outlast the pandemic? 

Analysis and Commentary

COVID-19 Response Will End All The Big Tech Bashing

by Nicolas Petit, Richard Sousavia San Jose Mercury News
Thursday, April 9, 2020

The world is learning that technology firms are responsive, consumer-centric, dynamic organizations.

Analysis and Commentary

Life After The Epidemic: Back To The Future

by Bowman Heiden, Richard Sousavia The Hill
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Americans take great pride in being rugged individualists, and it takes something big to get them to give up their daily ritual of morning coffee or to not sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch at the ballpark. But now we are neither going to work nor enjoying a ballgame.


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.

The Demographics of Intellectual Property

by Richard Sousavia IP2 Working Paper Series
Saturday, January 6, 2018

Over the past three generations, the US age distribution has been shifting inexorably. In 1950 one of twelve Americans were aged sixty-five or over; today, one of seven Americans are in that age bracket; by 2050 most forecasts indicate the ratio will be one in four.