Joshua D. Rauh

Senior Fellow

Joshua D. Rauh is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He formerly taught at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business (2004–9) and the Kellogg School of Management (2009–12).

Rauh studies corporate investment and financial structure, public pension liabilities, and the financial structure of pension funds and their sponsors. He has published numerous journal articles and was awarded the 2006 Brattle Prize for the outstanding research paper on corporate finance published in the Journal of Finance for his paper "Investment and Financing Constraints: Evidence from the Funding of Corporate Pension Plans." In 2011 he won the Smith Breeden Prize for the outstanding research paper on capital markets, published in the Journal of Finance, for his paper "Public Pension Promises: How Big Are They and What Are they Worth?" coauthored with Robert Novy-Marx. His other writings include "Earnings Manipulation, Pension Assumptions and Managerial Investment Decisions," coauthored with Daniel Bergstresser and Mihir Desai, which won the Barclays Global Investor Best Symposium Paper from the European Finance Association and appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Other work has appeared in the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Financial Economics, and the Review of Finance.

Rauh’s research on state and local pension systems in the United States has received national media coverage in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Financial Times, and The Economist .

Rauh received a BA degree in economics, magna cum laude with distinction, from Yale University and a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Recent Commentary

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A Few Trillion Short

by Joshua D. Rauhvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Public-employee pensions are in a deeper financial hole than states admit—a much, much deeper hole.

Analysis and Commentary

State Taxation And The Reallocation Of Business Activity: Evidence From Establishment-Level Data

by Joshua D. Rauh, Xavier Giroudvia National Burea of Economic Research
Monday, September 14, 2015

In a sample of over 27 million establishments of U.S. firms with activities in more than one state, we estimate the impact of state business taxation on business activity. Only firms organized as subchapter C corporations are subject to the corporate tax code, whereas the income of partnerships, sole-proprietorships, and S corporations is passed through annually to the firm's owners and taxed at individual rates.


Unfunded Pension Debts Of U.S. States Still Exceed $3 Trillion

by Joshua D. Rauhvia Forbes
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It’s well-known that there’s a huge financial hole in state-sponsored retirement plans for public employees, a hole that states will eventually have to fill with tax increases and spending cuts.

Funding Retiree Healthcare Plans

by Robert C. Pozen, Joshua D. Rauhvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New accounting rules won’t cure the budgetary ills of state and local governments. 

Healthcare Costs
Analysis and Commentary

Relief For Cities’ Budget-Busting Health-Care Costs

by Joshua D. Rauh, Robert C. Pozenvia The Wall Street Journal
Sunday, July 26, 2015

New government accounting rules enable local officials to get unfunded obligations to retirees under control.

Capitol Building

Special: Rauh, Haber, and Kane on the John Batchelor Show

by Stephen Haber, Joshua D. Rauh, Timothy Kanevia John Batchelor Show
Friday, May 9, 2014

In conjunction with a special live taping of the John Batchelor Show at the Hoover Spring Retreat, John Batchelor and Mary Kissel of the Wall Street Journal hosted a discussion on the far reach of the federal government, featuring Hoover senior fellows Stephen Haber and Joshua Rauh and Hoover research fellow Tim Kane.

Broken Piggy Bank
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Averting the Public Pension Crisis without a National Insurance Agency

by Joshua D. Rauhvia Advancing a Free Society
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

In a New York Times editorial, Richard Riordan and Tim Rutten propose a national plan to address the pension crisis facing state and local governments.

US Pensions
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Public Sector Pensions Are a National Issue

by Joshua D. Rauhvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, July 22, 2013

Paul Krugman and Dean Baker took the Washington Post editorial page to task yesterday for stating that unfunded state and local pension liabilities amounted to $3.8 trillion.

Analysis and Commentary

The Looming Shortfall in Public Pension Costs

by Joshua D. Rauh, Robert Novy-Marxvia Washington Post
Friday, October 19, 2012

How much will the underfunded pension benefits of government employees cost taxpayers? The answer is usually given in trillions of dollars, and the implications of such figures are difficult for most people to comprehend.