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David R. Henderson

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David Henderson is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution and an economics professor at the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. He is editor of The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (Liberty Fund) and blogs at

David R. Henderson's Articles

The War on Cash Threatens Freedom More than Crime

The anti-cash crusaders want to eradicate underground activity. But often freedom's last refuge is underground.

The Problem with Trade Restrictions in One Chart

We often picture some companies producing for export but using as inputs almost entirely domestically produced items. Wrong! If the feds raise the tariff on imports, the cost of producing many exports will rise too.

- January 09, 2017

Wealth Inequality Doesn't Mean More Poor People

What if the poor could have voted to prevent Robert McCulloch from inventing a light, one-person-operated chainsaw? He would have become less wealthy, but would the poor have been better off?

- January 03, 2017

Capitalism Has Given Us Chemo for Cats

Earlier this month, we found out that our favorite cat, Joey, has small cell lymphoma. That's the bad news. The good news is that they now have chemotherapy for cats. We inject a pill 3 times a week. All things considered, the pills are not expensive. The very existence of chemo for cats is due to both the medical and the economic progress we have made in recent years.

- December 30, 2016

An Economist's Goodbye to Thomas Sowell

Although I'm 20 years younger than Tom Sowell, I have noted some of the same things in my lifetime, only slightly less dramatically.

- December 29, 2016

The Trump Administration versus the Reagan Administration

As someone who has, to put it mildly, not been a fan of Donald Trump, I've been pleasantly surprised by many of his picks for cabinet positions. Looking at them I conclude, at least for the present, that they are on average better than Ronald Reagan's picks. Here are what I currently regard as the best picks, alongside the ones Reagan chose for that position.

- December 14, 2016

Repealing Obamacare Won't Be As Painful as Everybody Thought

A new study (by a key architect of Obamacare, no less) shows that while some who were enrolled in Medicaid as a result of Obamacare would lose their insurance, an even a greater number would not.

- December 02, 2016

Why Non-Compete Agreements Make Sense

There's a very good reason for employers to require non-compete clauses: so that they can get a payback on the training they provide.

- November 18, 2016

Community Pricing Caused the Death Spiral

There are two key provisions of health-insurance regulation that destroy health insurance as health insurance: the combination of guarantee issue and community rating. The program could survive with one but not both. 

- November 14, 2016

We're All Part of the Equilibrium: RIP, Robert Tollison

Many people have already done obits and reminiscences of Robert Tollison, a 73-year-old economist who died in his sleep on Monday. My experience of Bob was very different than others'.

- October 27, 2016

The Free Market Wins against Discrimination

Think about how little you know about the politics, race, gender, or even nationality of the person who makes the bread you buy. You don't know because you don't care. What you care about is getting the best deal on bread.

- October 18, 2016

The New York Times Overpaid

The New York Times hired multiple people to tell them something that everyone with basic economic knowledge – or access to Google – knows.

- October 04, 2016

McDonald's Turned My Son's Life Around

Do we really want to put such jobs and such character building at risk by raising the minimum wage?

- September 26, 2016

For the Separation of Stadium and State

There's a simple solution here: actually separate sports and state. That is, quit forcing taxpayers to pay for sports.

- September 19, 2016

Let Foreign Airlines Fly Between US Cities

The US airline industry has become an entrenched oligopoly. The solution is to reduce regulation and allow more foreign competition.

- September 16, 2016

Even Left-Leaning Econ Writers Are Impoverished by Obamacare

I would love to write that pro-Obamacare piece, but...

- August 24, 2016

How Paid Parental Leave Will Backfire on Young People

Employers are not sitting targets: when one form of compensation is forced up, others will be reduced.

- August 04, 2016

Uber Is Even Better When You're Traveling

Using taxis in a foreign country can be baffling, expensive, and uncomfortable; Uber solved six huge problems that no regulation could touch.

- June 05, 2016

Paul Krugman, Now Mistaking Less for More

Rules that limit what workers may bargain for, he says, somehow increase workers' bargaining power.

- May 24, 2016

Is Drug Trafficking "Inherently Violent"?

A prosecutor argues against sentencing reform because, allegedly, there's no such thing as a "non-violent" federal drug offender.

- May 17, 2016

Uber for Banks Is Here

The app-based system has no depositors, letting it do things banks can't — and not do things banks must.

- May 02, 2016

Luck Doesn't Justify Higher Taxes

Luck and hard work both play a role in success; what does that tell us about fair government policies?

- April 15, 2016

California's $15 Minimum Wage Is a Terrible, Unethical "Experiment"

The law will have devastating consequences, particularly for immigrants, minorities, and the less educated.

- April 01, 2016

Steven Pinker on Intelligence, Liberalism, and Economic Literacy

"The historical result of economic illiteracy has often been ethnic and class violence."

- March 28, 2016

Trade with China Is Great for Low-Income Americans

Trade with China has effectively reduced inequality by lowering the prices poor people pay for goods relative to the prices the rich pay.

- March 08, 2016

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