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Stephen Haber

Stephen Haber

Faculty Affiliate
Stanford King Center on Global Development
A.A. and Jeanne Welch Milligan Professor
Stanford School of Humanities and Science
Professor of Political Science
Department of Political Science
Senior Fellow
Hoover Institution
Senior Fellow
Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)
Professor of History
Professor, by courtesy, of Economics
PhD, History, University of California, Los Angeles, 1985
MA, History, University of California, Los Angeles, 1981
BA, International Affairs, The George Washington University, 1979

About

Stephen Haber is the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the A.A. and Jeanne Welch Milligan Professor of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University. In addition, he is a professor of political science, professor of history, and professor of economics (by courtesy), and a senior fellow of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
 
Haber has also held a number of research leadership positions at Stanford. He served as associate dean for the social sciences and director of graduate studies of the School of Humanities and Sciences from 1995 to 1998, as the founding director of the Social Science History Institute from 1997 to 2011, and as the founding director of the Hoover Institution Working Group on Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Prosperity from 2013 to 2019.
 
Haber’s current research focuses in two areas. The first is the law and economics of intellectual property and antitrust, where he has shown in a series of papers that the theory underlying government intervention in IP markets—patent holdup and royalty stacking—is internally inconsistent, logically incomplete, and contradicted by the evidence. The second area is the origins of variance in levels of economic development and political democracy. By using geo-spatial methods, historical datasets that he has built by hand, and machine learning tools, Haber is demonstrating that the idea that underdevelopment and autocracy are the results of conscious policy “choices”—such that any society can easily generate a high income democracy—is misguided. Rather the “choices” that societies have made over the past two centuries have been conditioned by their geographic and climatologic circumstances. The result is an explanation of why high income democracies, and low income autocracies, cluster in different world regions.
Research Interests: 
Regulatory Barriers to Entry in Finance, Patent Systems, Holdup Problems in Agricultural Production Systems