David Henderson (economist)

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David Henderson (born 1927) is a British economist. He was the chief economist at the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992.[1] Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

Since leaving the OECD, Henderson has been an independent author and consultant, and has acted as Visiting Fellow or Professor at the OECD Development Centre (Paris), the Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels), Monash University, the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, the University of Melbourne, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the New Zealand Business Roundtable, the Melbourne Business School, and Westminster Business School. He is currently a Fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs.[2]

In 1992, Henderson was appointed to the Order of St Michael and St George as a Companion (CMG).

Henderson and Nigel Lawson appealed to then-Prime Minister Tony Blair to investigate the economic implications of the potential implementation of policies put forth by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) findings.

Henderson and Ian Castles, a former head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics argued that the IPCC's projections of future emissions of greenhouse gases was flawed.[1] The IPCC's forecasts of global output were based on national GDP converted to dollars using market exchange rates. Henderson and Ian Castles were critical of the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that was published in 2000.[3][4]:159–185[4]:415–435 The core of their critique was the use of market exchange rates (MER) for international comparison, in lieu of the theoretically favoured PPP exchange rate which corrects for differences in purchasing power.[5] The IPCC rebutted this criticism.[6][7][8][9][10] Castles and Henderson later acknowledged that they were mistaken that future greenhouse gas emissions had been significantly overestimated.[11]

Henderson has suggested about climate change that the science is not settled and criticized the Stern Review regarding the economics of global warming. He has also published books that strongly criticize "corporate social responsibility".[12]

As of 2013 he is chairman of the Academic Advisory Council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.[13][2]

Books (selected)[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Measuring Economies: Garbage In, Garbage Out", The Economist, 27 May 2004, retrieved 1 February 2016 
  2. ^ a b Academic Advisory Council - The Global Warming Policy Foundation
  3. ^ Letters to the IPCC
  4. ^ a b Castles and Henderson (2003), Energy and Environment, 14
  5. ^ Nordhaus (2007), Energy Economics, 29:349-372
  6. ^ "Hot Potato: the IPCC had better check its calculations", The Economist, 13 February 2003, retrieved 1 February 2016 
  7. ^ "Hot Potato Revisited: a lack-of-progress report on the IPCC", The Economist, 6 November 2003, retrieved 1 February 2016 
  8. ^ Gruebler et al. (2004), Energy and Environment, 15:11-24
  9. ^ Holtsmark and Alfsen (2005), Climatic Change, 68:11-19
  10. ^ Manne et al. (2005), Climatic Change, 71:1-8
  11. ^ "Henderson on Castles". Bishop Hill (blog). Archived from the original on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  12. ^ "Corporate irresponsibility". Financial Post. 13 December 2010. 
  13. ^ David Henderson (21 June 2013). "The more things change.." Nuclear Engineering International. Retrieved 2 July 2013.