Carson Bruno

Research Fellow

Carson Bruno is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution who primarily studies California public policy, electoral politics, and public opinion. Carson has recently written and spoken extensively on California’s economic recovery, the economic and policy importance of Silicon Valley, California’s housing affordability crisis, the impact of public opinion on Sacramento policymaking, the effects of California’s one-party rule, and California’s drought and water system, energy portfolio, and climate change actions.  Moreover, Carson has explored pension, tax, and government reforms, how best to alleviate poverty in California, transportation issues, and California’s electoral scene.

Carson also examines domestic economic policy, tax policy, and the intersection of energy and environmental policy. His central interest is in developing market-efficient and effective policies that complement California public opinion and spur economic growth, advance personal liberty, and improve economic mobility within the state. Carson’s examination of national policy largely focuses on its effect on state policy-making decisions.

Carson is the co-editor of Eureka, the Hoover Institution’s bi-monthly web periodical that discusses the policy, political, and economic issues confronting California, serves as co-coordinator of the Hoover Institution’s Leadership Forum¸ which brings influential state, national, and international policy leaders face-to-face with the Institution’s scholars, and is a member of the Golden State Poll development team.  Carson has a bi-weekly column on RealClearMarkets and has been featured in the Sacramento Bee, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, CalMatters, Washington Examiner, OC Register, and Fox News. Carson also has been a regular guest on the John Batchelor Show and the Commonwealth Club of California’s Week to Week Political Roundtable.

Before joining the Hoover Institution, Carson structured tax-exempt and taxable municipal bond issuances as a public finance investment banker, which gave him an in-depth look at state and local fiscal policy decisions. He received his master’s degree in public policy with honors from Pepperdine University, specializing in economics and American politics. He has a BS in accounting and business management, with special attainments in commerce, from Washington and Lee University.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

California's Housing Affordability Crisis Has A New Culprit

by Carson Brunovia Real Clear Markets
Thursday, March 10, 2016

California's housing affordability crisis has a new culprit: short-term rental platforms, like Airbnb. 


A Crucial First Step To Reignite The California Dream

by Carson Brunovia Real Clear Markets
Thursday, February 25, 2016

It is no secret that the Silicon Valley-Bay Area has been and will continue to be crucial to California's economic recovery. The sudden lack of diversification in the Golden State's economy will be a serious challenge when the next economic downturn occurs, or if the major policy threats facing the Silicon Valley-Bay Area - such as housing unaffordability, onerous business regulations, and high taxes - are not addressed.

Analysis and Commentary

Californians Are Voting With Their Feet

by Carson Brunovia Real Clear Markets
Thursday, February 11, 2016

California has something of a migration problem. Yes, the state's population growth rate has been hovering just under 1% for a few years with natural increases and international net migration staying just strong enough for the state to continue growing, but California's consistent net domestic out-migration should be concerning to Sacramento as it develops state policy. 

Analysis and Commentary

A Mileage Tax Is the Right Way To Fund California's Transportation Infrastructure

by Carson Brunovia Real Clear Markets
Thursday, January 28, 2016

There is a saying that as a politician you don't want to be too far in front of, nor too far behind public opinion. While public opinion can be destiny for many political debates and decisions, there are times, however, when politicians need to drive public opinion to achieve efficient and effective policy outcomes. In California, transportation infrastructure funding is one of those areas.

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Beating the Drought, Aussie Style

by Carson Brunovia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The lesson California should learn from Australia: create a robust market to swap water.

California flag
Analysis and Commentary

Californians Are Still “Meh” About the Economic Recovery

by Carson Brunovia Fox and Hounds Daily (CA)
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

This Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown is set to make his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the State Assembly and State Senate. If last year’s is any measure of what to expect, Brown will likely tout the continued economic recovery California is experiencing.

Analysis and Commentary

California Public Opinion Runs Against Governor Brown

by Carson Brunovia Real Clear Markets
Thursday, January 14, 2016

Next Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown will kick off the 2016 legislative year with the annual State of the State address likely to focus on a lot of unfinished business the Governor was hoping to resolve last year. This will include funding gaps for Medi-Cal, transportation infrastructure maintenance, and further attention to climate change.

Golden State Poll AnalysisAnalysis and Commentary

Addressing Whether The State Of The State Address Matching Public Sentiment

by Carson Brunovia Eureka
Thursday, January 14, 2016

On Thursday, January 21, Governor Jerry Brown will give his 2016 State of the State Address in front of a joint session of the State Assembly and State Senate.

Analysis and Commentary

Three Potential Threats To California's Recovery

by Carson Brunovia Real Clear Markets
Thursday, December 31, 2015

A new year is always a good time for reflection; both to take a look back on the past year and to look forward to consider what challenges might lay ahead. At the start of 2015, I laid out five New Year's Resolutions Sacramento should have worked hard to keep in the New Year.


California's Problem Is There's No Plan B

by Carson Brunovia Real Clear Markets
Thursday, December 17, 2015

On the macro level, California is finally coming out of the Great Recession, but on a micro level, this recovery is precariously balanced on the shoulders of one region. If something were to happen to the Silicon Valley-Bay Area region, the Golden State currently has no Plan B.