School of Humanities and Sciences
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A.A. and Jeanne Welch Milligan Professor, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Professor of History and, by courtesy, of Economics
BioStephen Haber is the A.A. and Jeanne Welch Milligan Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. In addition, he is a professor of political science, professor of history, and professor of economics (by courtesy).
Haber has spent his career investigating why the world distribution of income so uneven. His papers have been published in economics, history, political science, and law journals.
He is the author of five books and the editor of six more. Haber’s most recent books include Fragile by Design with Charles Calomiris (Princeton University Press), which examines how governments and industry incumbents often craft banking regulatory policies in ways that stifle competition and increase systemic risk. The Battle Over Patents (Oxford University Press), a volume edited with Naomi Lamoreaux, documents the development of US-style patent systems and the political fights that have shaped them.
His latest project focuses on a long-standing puzzle in the social sciences: why are prosperous democracies not randomly distributed across the planet, but rather, are geographically clustered? Haber and his coauthors answer this question by using geospatial tools to simulate the ecological conditions that shaped pre-industrial food production and trade. They then employ machine learning methods to elucidate the relationship between ecological conditions and the levels of economic development that emerged across the globe over the past three centuries.
Haber holds a Ph.D. in history from UCLA and has been on the Stanford faculty since 1987.
From 1995 to 1998, he 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.
Robert and Carole McNeil Endowed Professor of Economics and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution
BioI’m an applied economist with interests in employment, technology, competition, and economic policy in the aggregate economy and in particular markets.
I served as President of the American Economic Association for the year 2010. I presented the Ely Lecture to the Association in 2001 and served as Vice President in 2005. I’m a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Distinguished Fellow of the AEA, and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, and the Society of Labor Economists.
Along with my Hoover Institution colleague Alvin Rabushka, I developed a framework for equitable and efficient consumption taxation. Our article in the Wall Street Journal in December 1981 was the starting point for an upsurge of interest in consumption taxation. Our book, The Flat Tax (free download from the Hoover Institution Press) spells out the proposal. We were recognized in Money magazine’s Hall of Fame for our contributions to financial innovation.
Marc Lieberman and I have a college textbook, Economics: Principles and Applications, now in its sixth edition.
I also served as director of the research program on economic fluctuations and growth of the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1977 through 2013. I continue to serve as chairman of the Bureau's Committee on Business Cycle Dating, which maintains the semiofficial chronology of the U.S. business cycle.
I have advised a number of government agencies on national economic policy, including the Justice Department, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Congressional Budget Office, where I serve on the Advisory Committee. I served on the National Presidential Advisory Committee on Productivity. I have testified on numerous occasions before congressional committees concerning national economic policy.
Before coming to Stanford’s Hoover Institution and the Department of Economics in 1978, I taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the University of California, Berkeley. I was born in Palo Alto, attended school there and in Los Angeles, received my B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and my Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In a 1976 paper, I introduced the distinction between fresh-water and salt-water economists. Bloggers using these terms are asked to contribute $1 to a fund that sends graduate students to MIT for one year and to the University of Minnesota for a second year.
I am married to economist Susan Woodward, chairman of Sand Hill Econometrics, and live in Menlo Park, California. Visit our blog for pictures and information about our visits to places with villages, ruins, and good food.