Stephen Haber

Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow

Stephen Haber is the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the A.A. and Jeanne Welch Milligan Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University. In addition, he is a professor of political science, professor of history, and professor of economics (by courtesy), as well as a senior fellow of both the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and the Stanford Center for International Development.

From 1995 to 1998, Haber served as associate dean for the social sciences and director of Graduate Studies of Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences. He is among Stanford’s most distinguished teachers, having been awarded every teaching prize Stanford has to offer. He was honored with Stanford’s highest teaching honor in 2011, the Walter J. Gores Award.

Haber has spent his academic life investigating the political institutions and economic policies that delay innovation and improvements in living standards. Much of that work has focused on how regulatory and supervisory agencies are often used by incumbent firms to stifle competition, thereby curtailing economic opportunities and slowing technological progress.

His current research focuses on three areas: the creation of regulatory barriers to entry in finance; the economic and political consequences of holdup problems created by different systems of agricultural production; and the comparative development of patent systems. He is a regular consultant to the World Bank and has been a visiting faculty member at the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Chicago. He currently serves as director of Hoover’s Working Group on Innovation and Intellectual Property.

Haber’s most recent book (coauthored with Charles Calomiris), Fragile by Design, from Princeton University Press, examines how governments and industry incumbents often craft banking regulatory policies in ways that stifle competition and increase systemic risk.

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Recent Commentary

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Stephen Haber And Alexander Galetovic: Reopening The American Economy: Lessons From Around The World? | Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing

interview with Stephen Haber, Alexander Galetovicvia Hoover Podcasts
Thursday, June 4, 2020

Stephen Haber And Alexander Galetovic Discuss Reopening The American Economy: Lessons From Around The World?

Stephen Haber and Alexander Galetovic: Reopening the American Economy: Lessons from Around the World?

interview with Stephen Haber, Alexander Galetovicvia Hoover Virtual Policy Briefings
Thursday, June 4, 2020

A Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing with Stephen Haber and Alexander Galetovic: Reopening the American Economy: Lessons from Around the World?
Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 11AM PT/ 2PM ET.


The United States: An Exceptional Case? | Stephen Haber, Richard John & Luigi Zingales

interview with Stephen Habervia Stigler Center
Friday, May 29, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Stephen Haber discusses whether America was ever exceptional, and – if so – whether that is still the case today.


The US Should Follow Sweden's Approach To Combating COVID-19

by Alexander Galetovic, Stephen Habervia The Hill
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Many governors are refusing to lift their COVID-19 shelter-in-place decrees until long lists of conditions are met. They have phrased their recalcitrance in the language of science. As California’s Gavin Newsom put it: "Science, not politics must be the guide…. We can't get ahead of ourselves .... I don't want to make a political decision. That puts people's lives at risk."


A Flattened Curve: Now What?

by Alexander Galetovic, Stephen Habervia The Hill
Friday, April 17, 2020

Over the past month, the United States and the rest of the developed world, has locked down the vast majority of their populations in order to “flatten the curve” in the battle against COVID-19. This strategy worked; rates of growth of new infections are falling.


Chile's Unraveling: Unregulated Capitalism Or Ponderous Government?

by Alexander Galetovic, Stephen Habervia The Hill
Sunday, December 1, 2019

For more than a month, Chile has been engulfed in protests and violence, and the end is not in sight. The unrest is typically attributed to income inequality caused by “excessive free markets.” That diagnosis is wrong and will induce a response that will make matters worse.


The Big Deception Behind Tariffs And Geopolitics

by Alexander Galetovic, Stephen Habervia The Hill
Sunday, November 3, 2019

China and the United States have been engaged in a 15-month-long trade war, with an end that is not in sight. As parties and candidates gear up for next year’s elections, all manner of claims are being made about the goals of the trade war and its effects. Basic tools of economics and political science can help adjudicate the merits of those claims.


How Innovation Drives Economic Growth

featuring Stephen Haber, Edward Paul Lazear, Amit Seruvia Stanford Business
Monday, June 24, 2019

Three Stanford scholars explore how we measure innovation, how innovation drives productivity, and how productivity affects inequality.

A Century of Ideas: Technology, Innovation, And The Future Of The U.S. Economy

interview with Stephen Haber, Edward Paul Lazear, Amit Seruvia The Hoover Centennial
Monday, May 20, 2019

This session will discuss the sources of prosperity in the United States over the past century and will look at the drivers of prosperity over the next century. Panelists will also address the ongoing debate about the impact of artificial intelligence and robotics on standards of living and the sets of relevant facts and data to consider.


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?