Stephen Haber

Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow
Biography: 

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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The Engine Of Prosperity

by Stephen Habervia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

US wealth is the fruit of harnessing innovation to calculated risks—and making sure risk takers can protect and profit from their innovations.

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Property Rights, Innovation, And Prosperity

interview with Terry Anderson, Stephen Habervia Fellow Talks
Thursday, September 17, 2020

Property Rights, Innovation, And Prosperity with Terry Anderson and Stephen Haber.

EssaysFeatured

Innovation, Not Manna From Heaven

by Stephen Habervia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The United States is an outlier in the distribution of prosperity. As figure 1 shows, there is a small group of countries with per capita incomes above $40,000 that stand out from all the others—and the United States, with a per capita income of nearly $66,000, stands out even within this small group. How can it be that the United States has a per capita income roughly 50 percent higher than that of Britain, its former colonizer? 

Featured

Technology And The Market For Hypocrisy

by Alexander Galetovic, Stephen Habervia The Hill
Thursday, August 6, 2020

No one likes hypocrisy. But if that is so, why do we observe so much of it? The answer is that there is a market for hypocrisy: There are willing producers and willing consumers; and the cost of transacting among them has fallen to nearly zero.

Interviews

The United States: An Exceptional Case? A Webinar With Stephen Haber

interview with Stephen Habervia ProMarket
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Stephen Haber joins a discussion concerning whether or not the US is a land where free markets and antitrust enforcement have historically kept monopolies under control.

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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.

Interviews

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.

Featured

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."

Featured

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.

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