Location: Home » Authors
David R. Henderson
See Books By David R. Henderson

Research Fellow, Hoover Institution

David R. Henderson is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution. He is also an associate professor of economics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Henderson's writing focuses on public policy. His specialty is in making economic issues and analyses clear and interesting to general audiences. Two themes emerge from his writing: (1) the unintended consequences of government regulation and spending are usually worse than the problems they are supposed to solve, and (2) freedom and free markets work to solve people's problems.

David Henderson is the editor of The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics (Warner Books, 1993), a book that communicates to a general audience what and how economists think. The Wall Street Journal commented, "His brainchild is a tribute to the power of the short, declarative sentence." The encyclopedia went through three printings and was translated into Spanish. Henderson also writes frequently for the Wall Street Journal and Fortune, and was a monthly columnist with Red Herring, an information technology magazine. Henderson has been on the faculty of the Naval Postgraduate School since 1984 and a research fellow with Hoover since 1990. He was the John M. Olin Visiting Professor with the Center for the Study of American Business at Washington University in St. Louis in 1994; a senior economist for energy and health policy with the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1982 to 1984; a visiting professor at the University of Santa Clara from 1980 to 1981; a senior policy analyst with the Cato Institute from 1979 to 1980; and an assistant professor at the University of Rochester's Graduate School of Management from 1975 to 1979. In 1997, he received the Rear Admiral John Jay Schieffelin Award for excellence in teaching from the Naval Postgraduate School. In 1984, he won the Mencken Award for best investigative journalism article for his Fortune article "The Myth of MITI."

Henderson has written for the New York Times, Barron's, Fortune, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Public Interest, National Review, and Reason. He has also written scholarly articles for the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, the Journal of Monetary Economics, Cato Journal, Regulation, Contemporary Policy Issues, and Energy Journal. Henderson has spoken before a wide variety of audiences, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, the St. Louis Discussion Club, the Commonwealth Club of California (National Defense and Business Economics Section), the Cato Institute, and the Heritage Foundation. He has also spoken to economists and general audiences at many universities around the country, including Carnegie-Mellon, Brown, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Davis, the University of Rochester, the University of Chicago, Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School, and the Hoover Institution. He has given papers at annual conferences held by the American Economics Association, the Western Economics Association, and the Association of Public Policy and Management. He has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. He has also appeared on C-SPAN, CNN, the Newshour with Jim Lehrer and regional talk shows.

Born and raised in Canada, Henderson earned his bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Winnipeg in 1970 and his Ph.D. in economics from University of California at Los Angeles in 1976.

Articles by David R. Henderson
When Lady Luck Plays Moneyball
20 Oct 2020
Most sports fans and sports analysts decide which teams are good or bad right now based on their winning and losing streaks. They shouldn't.
What Are the 'Dynamics of Economic Well-Being'?
13 Sep 2020
How do you get out of the poorest fifth of the income distribution?
Got to Admit It's Getting Better...
01 Sep 2020
Would you rather be in the middle 20 percent of the income distribution today or in the top 20 percent 50 years ago? Ask the Times and the Post.
Hurray for Frank Quattrone; Rotten Tomatoes for the Media
28 Aug 2020
The evidence seems to suggest that he was innocent. What wasn't a victory, though, was the media's role in this case.
More Making Great Decisions
20 Mar 2020
Up by three with four seconds left, opponent has the ball, what do you do?
Making Great Decisions in Business and Life
01 Mar 2020
A little clear thinking about economics goes a long way.
Uncle Miltie's Ugly Fed Lesson
26 Jan 2021
Is Ben Bernanke the "Right man in the right place at the right time"?
The Coming $100 Laptop Tragedy
29 Nov 2020
Nicholas Negroponte has a very good idea that could go very, very wrong.
'Data Never Tell a Story; They Must Be Interpreted'
18 Nov 2020
Is a Windfall Profits Tax a Good Idea?
15 Nov 2020
Do Antitrust Laws Protect Consumers?
02 Aug 2020
A new book argues it doesn't and that the laws should be abolished.
Results Oriented
20 Jun 2020
All this wonderful technology around us today is a result. Giving thanks for markets.
The Social Security Trust Fund is Irrelevant (Or How Al Gore Was Right)
04 May 2020
If it were true that the Trust Fund can help save Social Security, then there's an easy solution: quadruple the Trust Fund and save Social Security for much longer. Why stop there? Medicare is in more trouble than Social Security. Let's set up a multi-trillion dollar trust fund for Medicare!
The PayPal Wars
14 Mar 2020
'Man is never so innocently employed as when he is honestly making money.'
Grey Matter
19 Nov 2020
The fact is that pharmaceuticals are not black or white; they are grey. Consider the contemptible thalidomide, which caused serious deformities in 10,000 European babies after their mothers took it as a tranquilizer to alleviate morning sickness. After four decades of an FDA ban, thalidomide is back on the market with the FDA's blessing.
Sell High, Buy Low! (Actually, Don't Buy at All)
28 May 2020
When editors of the establishment newspapers of the left and right agree that a proposal is a bad idea, it must be bad, right? And when you learn that the idea was proposed by 20 Senate Democrats, well, then that's the trifecta. Except for one thing. The idea makes sense.
The Top One Percent Includes You
20 May 2020
Whom do you picture as the wealthiest one percent?
Maybe Clarke and Rice Are Both Right
14 May 2020
On 9/11 there were two pieces of evidence that there's a better way than trusting our security.
Good Law, Good Economics
06 Nov 2020
A decision defends property rights, the rule of law, and the freedom and wealth of us all.
The Free Software Lunch
16 Sep 2020
General Public License: The return of socialism.