Joshua Rauh is the Ormond Family Professor of Finance at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He leads the Hoover Institution State and Local Government Initiative. He formerly served at the White House where he was principal chief economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (2019-20), and taught at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business (2004–9) and the Kellogg School of Management (2009–12). At the Hoover Institution he has served as Director of Research (2018-19). He has testified before House, Joint, and Joint Select Committees of the United States Congress, and he is a member of the Panel of Economic Advisers of the Congressional Budget Office.

Dr. Rauh's research focuses on government pension liabilities, corporate investment, business taxation, and investment management. His research has received national media coverage in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Financial Times, and The Economist, and he has testified before Congress on these topics. He has published numerous journal articles and has received various awards recognizing his scholarship including the Brattle Prize and the Smith Breeden Prize of the American Finance Association. His scholarly papers have appeared in journals such as the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Review of Financial Studies, and the Journal of Public Economics. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Dr. Rauh also writes and speaks about the distortionary effects of taxation and big government and the importance of shareholder capitalism. He has published numerous op-eds on these topics in outlets including the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, and The National Review online. His PragerU video "Public Pensions: An Economic Time Bomb" has been viewed over five million times on the PragerU website and over three million times on YouTube.

Prior to his academic career, he was an associate economist at Goldman Sachs in London. He received a BA from Yale University and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both in economics.


Working Papers

Giesecke, Oliver, and Joshua D. Rauh. 2023. "How Much Do Public Employees Value Defined Benefit versus Defined Contribution Retirement Benefits?", Working Paper.

Informational website about the pension study survey instrument

Andonov, Aleksandar and Rauh, Joshua D. 2023. "The Shifting Finance of Electricity Generation." Working Paper.

Rauh, Joshua D. 2022. "Taxes and Net Migration in California." Working Paper.

Journal Publications

Giesecke, Oliver and Rauh, Joshua D. 2022. "Trends in State and Local Pension Funds." Annual Review of Financial Economics 15, forthcoming.

Rauh, Joshua D. and Shyu, Ryan. 2022. "Behavioral Responses to State Income Taxation of High Earners: Evidence from California," Conditionally Accepted, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy

Andonov, Aleksandar and Rauh, Joshua D. 2021. "The Return Expectations of Public Pension Funds." Review of Financial Studies 35(8), 3777-3822.[online appendix]

Rauh, Joshua, 2021. "Discussion of ‘The Sustainability of State and Local Government Pensions: A Public Finance Approach, by Lenney, Lutz, Scheule and Sheiner,"Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Spring 2021: 57-64.

Andonov, Aleksandar and Kraussl, Roman and Rauh, Joshua D. 2021"Institutional Investors and Infrastructure Investing." Review of Financial Studies 34(8), 3880-3934.

Rauh, Joshua D. and Stefanescu, Irina and Zeldes, Stephen P. 2020. "Cost Saving and the Freezing of Corporate Pension Plans." Journal of Public Economics 188.


Giroud, Xavier and Rauh, Joshua D. 2019. "State Taxation and the Reallocation of Business Activity: Evidence from Establishment Level Data." Journal Political Economy 127(3): 1262-1316. [SSRN Working Paper Version, NBER Working Paper #21534, online appendix, public data file]

Andonov, Aleksandar and Hochberg, Yael V. and Rauh, Joshua D. 2018. "Political Representation and Governance: Evidence from the Investment Decisions of Public Pension Funds." Journal of Finance 73(5): 2041-2086. [SSRN Working Paper Version, online appendix]

Novy-Marx, Robert and Rauh, Joshua D. 2014. "Linking Benefits to Investment Performance in US Public Pension Systems." Journal of Public Economics 116: 47-61. [NBER Working Paper #18491]

Novy-Marx, Robert and Rauh, Joshua D. 2014. "The Revenue Demands of Public Employee Pension Promises." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 6(1): 193-229. [SSRN Working Paper Version, NBER Working Paper #18489]

Kaplan, Steven N. and Rauh, Joshua D. 2013. "It's the Market: The Broad-Based Rise in the Return to Top Talent." Journal of Economic Perspectives 27(3), 35-56.

Kaplan, Steven N. and Rauh, Joshua D. 2013. "Family, Education, and Sources of Wealth among the Richest Americans, 1982-2012." American Economic Review P&P 103(3), 158-162. [Data on Forbes 400 available here]

Hochberg, Yael V. and Rauh, Joshua D. 2012. "Local Overweighting and Underperformance: Evidence from Limited Partner Private Equity Investments." The Review of Financial Studies 26(2), 403-451. [SSRN Working Paper Version, NBER Working Paper #17122, online appendix]

Rauh, Joshua D. and Sufi, Amir. 2010. "Explaining Corporate Capital Structure: Product Markets, Leases, and Asset Similarity." Review of Finance 16(1), 115-155. [SSRN Working Paper Version, online appendix]

Novy-Marx, Robert and Rauh, Joshua D. 2012. "Fiscal Imbalances and Borrowing Costs: Evidence from State Investment Losses." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 4(2), 182-213. [SSRN Working Paper Version, NBER Working Paper]

Novy-Marx, Robert and Rauh, Joshua D. 2011. "Public Pension Promises: How Big Are They and What Are They Worth?" Journal of Finance, Forthcoming. [SSRN Working Paper Version, State breakdown of $2.5 trillion unfunded public pension liablity at the state level]

Winner, 2011 Smith Breeden Prize, First Prize Paper for the best capital markets paper published in the Journal of Finance State breakdown of $2.5 trillion unfunded public pension liability at the state level

Novy-Marx, Robert and Rauh, Joshua D. 2011. "Policy Options for State Pension Systems and Their Impact on Plan Liabilities." Journal of Pension Economics & Finance 10(2), 173-194. [SSRN Working Paper Version, NBER Working Paper #16453]

Rauh, Joshua D. and Sufi, Amir. "Capital Structure and Debt Structure." The Review of Financial Studies 23(12), 4242-4280. [SSRN Working Paper Version, NBER Working Paper #14488, public dataset]


Novy-Marx, Robert and Rauh, Joshua D. 2009. "The Liabilities and Risks of State-Sponsored Pension Plans." Journal of Economic Perspectives 23(4), 191-210.

Kaplan, Steven N. and Rauh, Joshua D. 2010. "Wall Street and Main Street: What Contributes to the Rise in the Highest Incomes?" The Review of Financial Studies 23(3), 1004-1050. [SSRN Working Paper Version, NBER Working Paper #13270]

Rauh, Joshua D. 2009. "Risk Shifting versus Risk Management: Investment Policy in Corporate Pension Plans." The Review of Financial Studies 22(7), 2687-2733. [SSRN Working Paper Version, NBER Working Paper #13240"]

Poterba, James and Rauh, Joshua D. and Venti, Steven and Wise, David. 2007. "Defined Contribution Plans, Defined Benefit Plans, and the Accumulation of Retirement Wealth." Journal of Public Economics 91(10), 2062-2086.

Rauh, Joshua D. 2006. "Own Company Stock in Defined Contribution Pension Plans: A Takeover Defense?" Journal of Financial Economics 81(2), 379-410.

Bergstresser, Daniel and Desai, Mihir A. Desai and Rauh, Joshua D. 2006. "Earnings Manipulation and Managerial Investment Decisions: Evidence from Sponsored Pension Plans." Quarterly Journal of Economics 121(1), 157-195. [SSRN Working Paper Version, NBER Working Paper #10543]

Winner, 2004 Barclays Global Investor Best Symposium Paper of the European Finance Association

Rauh, Joshua D. 2006. "Investment and Financing Constraints: Evidence from the Funding of Corporate Pension Plans." The Journal of Finance 61(1), 33-71. [SSRN Working Paper Version]

Winner, 2006 Brattle Prize, First Prize Paper for the best corporate finance paper published in the Journal of Finance
Winner, 2004 Western Finance Association Award for best corporate finance paper
Other Publications

Joshua Rauh and Jillian Ludwig, 2023, "The California State Budget And Revenue Volatility: Fiscal Health In A Deficit Context", Hoover Institution Report.

Joshua Rauh and Jillian Ludwig, 2022, "Homelessness in California: Practical Solutions for a Complex Problem", Hoover Institution Report.

Joshua Rauh, "Why We Should Preserve Shareholder Capitalism," Testimony before the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress," March 16, 2022.

Biggs, Andrew G. and Rauh, Joshua D. 2020. "Funding Direct Payments to Americans through Social Security Deferral."


Why City Pension Problems Have Not Improved, and a Roadmap Forward, 2015, in Public Pensions and City Solvency, ed. Susan Wachter, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

The Broad-Based Rise in the Return to Top Talent, 2015, in Inequality and Economic Policy: Essays in Memory of Gary Becker, ed. Stanford: Hoover Press.

Financial Valuation of PBGC Insurance with Market-Impllied Default Probabilities (with Robert Novy-Marx and Jules van Binsbergen), 2014, Tax Policy and the Economy 28, 133-154.

The Crisis in Local Government Pensions in the United States (with Robert Novy-Marx), 2011, in Growing Old: Paying for Retirement and Institutional Money Management after the Financial Crisis, Robert Litan and Richard Herring, eds., Brookings Institution, Washington, DC.

Contains city and county breakdown of $0.6 trillion unfunded liabilities at the local level
Related comment in the New York Times Room for Debate Blog
Covered in the Washington Post, 12 October 2010
Front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer, 13 October 2010

Are State Public Pensions Sustainable? Why the Federal Government Should Worry About State Pension Liabilities, National Tax Journal 63(3), 2010 (Forum).

Related Blog Post

Utility Evaluation of Risk in Retirement Saving Accounts, 2005, in Analyses in the Economics of Aging, David A. Wise (ed), University of Chicago Press.

Lifecycle Asset Allocation Strategies and the Distribution of 401(k) Retirement Wealth (with James Poterba, Steven Venti and David Wise) in Developments in the Economics of Aging, David A. Wise (ed), University of Chicago Press, forthcoming.

How Elastic is the Corporate Income Tax Base? (with Jonathan Gruber) in Taxing Corporate Income in the 21st Century, Cambridge University Press, Alan Auerbach, James R. Hines, and Joel Slemrod (eds.), 2007.

Why Are Firms in the United States Abandoning Defined Benefit Plans? Rotman Journal of Pension Management 2(2), 2009, 18-25.


All Commentary

Joshua Rauh and Gregory Kearney, "The Economists Who'd Rather Be Influencers," Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2023.

Joshua Rauh, "Florida Shows How to Combat Woke Indoctrination on Campus," Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2023.

Joshua Rauh and Kevin Warsh, "The Inflation Mess and a Financial Refuge," Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2022.

Joshua Rauh and Mels de Zeeuw, "Net Zero Will Make Wall Street Richer at Main Street's Expense,"Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2021.

Aharon Friedman and Joshua Rauh, "The Biden Administration's Global Tax Imperialism,"National Review, June 28, 2021.

Joshua Rauh, "Municipal Bond Investors Have to Share the Burden in State Bailouts,"The Hill, September 17, 2020.

"Don't Use Coronavirus as Excuse to Bail Out State, Local Governments that Have Mismanaged Finances for Decades", Fox Business, 13 April 2020

"Commentary: Congress Should Let the Airlines Go to Bankruptcy Court", Chicago Tribune 26 March 2020


"Hidden Debt, Hidden Deficits: How Pension Promises Are Consuming State And Local Budgets.", 2017 Edition, Hoover Institution Essay

Unfunded Pension Debts of U.S. States Still Exceed $3 Trillion, 25 August 2015, Forbes Investing blog hosted by the Pension Research Council

Funding Retiree Healthcare Plans (with Robert Pozen), Defining Ideas, 19 August 2015

Relief for Cities’ Budget Busting Health Care Costs (with Robert Pozen), Wall Street Journal, 26 July 2015

Averting the Public Pension Crisis without a National Insurance Agency, Advancing a Free Society, 6 August 2013

Podcast on EconTalk with Russ Roberts, 5 November 2012

Start Paying or Stop Promising, New York Times Room For Debate, 27 February 2011


The Wall Street Journal

California’s Tax-the-Rich Boomerang - 21 October 2019

Can We Be Brutally Honest About Investment Returns? - 19 January 2018

Relief for Cities' Budget-Busting Health-Care Costs - 26 July 2015

The 100% Stock Solution - 31 May 2013

None Dare Call It Default - 23 November 2012

The Local Government Pension Squeeze - 27 June 2011

Democrats for Pension Reform - 17 June 2011

N.J. Could Save Billions - 17 June 2011

Public Pension-Fund Squeeze - 23 March 2011

GOP Bill Takes Aim at Pension Disclosures - 22 February 2011

State Bankruptcy is a Bad Idea - 24 January 2011

Reports of Looming Municipal Defaults Are Overstated, Study Says - 21 January 2011

Cross Country: The Taxman Cometh to Illinois -- With a 75% Hike - 8 January 2011

Pension Woes Prompt GOP Move - 5 December 2010

U.S. News: GOP Frets Over Public Pensions - 6 December 2010

The 'Build America' Debt Bomb - 22 November 2010

Cities Hide Pension Liabilities, Study Says - 13 Ocober 2010

How States Hide Their Budget Deficits - 23 August 2010

Heard on the Street: Are Munis Really a Safe Haven - 29 May 2010

The Government Pay Boom - 26 March 2010

Public Pensions Cook the Books - 6 July 2009

Income-Inequality Gap Widens - 12 October 2007

The Financial Times

Global Retirement Crisis is Main Threat to Investment Industry - 1 December 2018

US Unions Face Looming Threat of Radical Funding Cut - 9 March 2018

Governmental Accounting Standards Board Giving Ruinously Bad Advice - 23 August 2017

US Faces Crisis as Pension Funding Hole Hits $3.85 Trillion - 14 May 2017

The Crumbling Assumptions of US Public Pension Plans - 26 August 2016

Pensions: Low Yields, High Stress - 22 August 2016

US Faces 'Disastrous' $3.4t Pension Funding Hole - 10 April 2016

US Public Deficits Squeeze City and State Budgets - 6 March 2016

US Public Finance: Day of Reckoning - 29 December 2013

US Pensions are in a Hole - and Still Digging - 4 October 2013

Illinois Lawmakers Fall into Pensions Gap - 17 January 2013

Accounting Change Bloats US Pension Gap - 23 June 2012

California Warned on Size of the Funding Hole - 11 April 2012

Governor Says Illinois State 'On Brink of Collapse' - 6 March 2012

Pension Gap Spells Trouble for Muni Bonds - 23 February 2012

Time to Tighten Rules on US Pensions - 19 February 2012

Money Shovers Will Be Fine Without Their Tax Perks - 26 January 2012

Regions of Rancor; America's Pensions Gap - 27 October 2011

US Households Face Tax Rises, Says Study - 22 June 2011

States of Denial - 4 May 2011

Lawmakers Resist Bankruptcy for US States - 15 February 2011

Mixed Muni Outlook Heralds Arbitrage Opportunities - 11 February 2011

Bankrupt City, USA - 14 December 2011

US Municipal Finances - 23 November 2010

US Public Pensions Face Day of Reckoning - 1 November 2010

US Cities Face Big Public Pension Deficits - 12 October 2010

States of Distress - 9 August 2010

Unfunded State Pensions Face Prospect of Becoming Federal Issue - 20 May 2010

Messaging the Numbers - 10 January 2005

The Art of Losing Billions - 10 January 2005

The Economist (Print Edition)

America's Greece? - 20 December 2014

Little Rhody, Big Debts - 24 February 2014

Mayors to the Rescue - 27 October 2013

Squeezed - 24 January 2013

The Rich and the Rest - 13 October 2012

Burning Fast - 23 June 2012

Who Exactly are the 1%? - 21 January 2012

A Trillion Here, $500 Billion There - 15 October 2011

Wrong Number - 30 June 2011

Pick a Number, Any Number - 7 April 2011

(Government) Workers of the World Unite! - 6 January 2011

A Gold-Plated Burden - 14 October 2010

Can Pay, Won't Pay - 17 June 2010

Unsatisfactory State - 9 July 2009

Magnets for Money - 13 September 2007

The Ones that Get Away - Accounting 28 July 2005

Murk in the Gloom - Pension Accounting 30 October 2004

The New York Times

Pensions and Politics Fuel Crisis in Illinois - 25 May 2015

Efforts to Rein in Public-Sector Pension Costs are Falling Short - 25 February 2014

Finance Class on the Web, for Students of All Ages - 11 October 2013

Theorizing About Taxing High Earners - 7 February 2013

How to Prepare When Next Year's Tax Rates are Anyone's Guess - 28 December 2012

New Rules on Public Pension Funds Seek Better Disclosure - 25 June 2012

Public Unions Take on Boss to Win Big Pensions - 22 June 2011

The Burden of Pensions on States - 11 March 2011

BROKE TOWN U.S.A. - 6 March 2011

Accounting for Public Pensions - 10 December 2010

Dire Predictions About the Public Pension Gap - 24 August 2010

When Your State Pension Fund May Run Dry - 8 August 2010

Looking for the Next Crisis? - 27 June 2010

State Debt Woes Grow Too Big to Camouflage - 30 March 2010

Reform Plan for Pensions Has Critics - 26 March 2010

Debt Could Crush G.M.'s Best Efforts - 12 January 2009

If Bankruptcy Hits Detroit - 22 November 2008

A Reality-Based Economy - 24 July 2007

Corporate Greed? The Other Guy Started It - 4 July 2004

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