Steve H. Hanke


Research Interests

applied micro- and macroeconomics and finance

Steve Hanke is a leading world expert on currency boards, measuring and stopping hyperinflation, privatization, currency and commodity trading, water resource economics, and other topics.

A professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, Hanke is co-founder and co-director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise, an interdivisional Institute between the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering. The institute’s extensive research and publishing focuses on applied economics and finance, business history, and public health.

As a senior fellow and director of the Troubled Currencies Project at the internationally recognized Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., Hanke studies countries unable to maintain a stable domestic currency. Often, it is difficult to obtain timely, reliable exchange-rate and inflation data for these “troubled currencies.” To address this, Hanke’s Cato Institute Center collects black-market exchange-rate data for troubled currencies and measures the implied inflation rates for each country by using Purchasing Power Parity theory and high-frequency data.

Recognized globally for his expertise, Hanke advises a number of public and private institutions. He is senior advisor at the Renmin University of China’s International Monetary Research Institute in Beijing and special counselor to the Center for Financial Stability in New York. A member of the Charter Council of the Society of Economic Measurement and of Euromoney Country Risk’s Experts Panel, he also served on the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers in Maryland in 1976-77 and as a Senior Advisor to the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress in 1984-88.

As a senior economist on President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, he led a team of economists in re-writing the federal government’s Principles and Guidelines for Water and Land Related Resources Implementation Studies. In addition, he was responsible for designing Reagan’s major privatization initiatives. A faculty member of the JHU Global Water Institute, Hanke remains a sought-after expert on municipal water system privatization.

His international appointments also include state counselor to both the Republic of Lithuania in 1994-96 and the Republic of Montenegro in 1999-2003. He advised the presidents of Bulgaria (1997-2002), Venezuela (1995-96), and Indonesia (1998). He played an important role in establishing new currency regimes in Argentina, Estonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ecuador, Lithuania, and Montenegro. Hanke has also held senior appointments in the governments of many other countries, including Albania, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, and Yugoslavia.

A well-known currency and commodity trader, Hanke is chairman of the Supervisory Board of Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V. in Amsterdam and chairman emeritus of the Friedberg Mercantile Group, Inc. in Toronto. During the 1990s, he served as president of Toronto Trust Argentina in Buenos Aires, the world’s best-performing emerging market mutual fund in 1995.

Hanke joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1969 as a water resource economist in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering (now the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering). His pioneering scholarship includes the first event study of the impact of water meter installation on water use and the development of sewer interceptor design criteria, still widely used across Europe. Hanke founded and teaches his premier Johns Hopkins course, Applied Economics and Finance, which has been featured in Bloomberg Business and other publications for its focus on primary data and its placement rate of 100 percent for course alumni into Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, and other top Wall Street firms. Hanke selects 12 students from across majors and undergraduate and graduate programs for that course.

Hanke’s honors are numerous. He has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees by the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (2003), the Free University of Tbilisi (2010), Istanbul Kültür University (2012), the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (2013), Varna Free University (2015), the Universität Liechtenstein (2017), and the D.A. Tsenov Academy of Economics (2018) in recognition of his scholarship on exchange-rate regimes. He is a distinguished associate of the International Atlantic Economic Society, a distinguished professor at the Universitas Pelita Harapan in Jakarta, Indonesia, a professor asociado (the highest honor awarded to international experts of acknowledged competence) at the Universidad del Azuay in Cuenca, Ecuador, a profesor visitante at the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (the UPC’s highest academic honor), and the Gottfried von Haberler Professor at the European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation (ECAEF) in Liechtenstein. In 1998, he was named one of the 25 most influential people in the world by World Trade Magazine.

Hanke is frequently sought by media for his expertise. He regularly appears in and writes for The Wall Street Journal. In addition, he has been associated with Forbes magazine since 1997. Today, he is a contributor to Forbes, where he writes 60 columns a year. Hanke has authored or co-authored more than 20 books and monographs and hundreds of articles on currency boards and dollarization. His books include Currency Boards for Developing Countries: A Handbook (2015), Juntas Monetarias para Paises en Desarollo (2015), A Blueprint for a Safe, Sound Georgian Lari (2010), and Zimbabwe: Hyperinflation to Growth (2008).

Hanke serves as a contributing editor at Central Banking, The International Economy, and The Independent Review. Hanke also serves on the editorial boards of numerous scholarly journals.

He received his BS in Business Administration (1964) and his PhD in Economics (1969), both from the University of Colorado Boulder.

  • Bachelor of Business Administration 1964, University of Colorado Boulder
  • 2017 - Present:  Contributor, Forbes Magazine
  • 2012 - Present:  Senior Advisor, The Lehrman Institute
  • 2011 - Present:  J/S Faculty Appointment, A&S Economics
  • 1998 - Present:  Contributing Editor, Central Banking
  • 1995 - Present:  Co-Director, Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise
  • 1981 - 1982:  Council of Economic Advisers, Reagan White House
Research Areas
  • Applied economics: finance
  • Applied economics: macro
  • Applied economics: micro
  • 2017:  Doctorate Honoris Causa
  • 2015:  Doctorate Honoris Causa
  • 2015:  Profesor Visitante
  • 2013:  Doctorate Honoris Causa
  • 2012:  Doctorate Honoris Causa
  • 2010:  Doctorate of Economics, Honoris Causa
  • 2008:  Distinguished Professor
  • 2005:  Famous Phis Phi Delta Theta Oxford - Ohio
  • 2004:  Named Profesor Asociado (the highest honor awarded to international experts of acknowledged competence) - Universidad del Azuay - Cuenca - Ecuador
  • 2004:  Awarded Outstanding Achievement Award (in recognition of contributions in applied economics - currency reform and dollarization) - Economia y Negocios (Ekos) - Quito - Ecuador
  • 2004:  Delivered the Keynote Address - Centenial Celebration - Warsaw School of Economics - Warsaw - Poland
  • 2003:  Awarded Doctor of Arts - Honoris Causa: Universidad San Francisco de Quito - Quito - Ecuador.
  • 2003:  Delivered the Annual Sven Rydenfelt Lecture (2 December) - University of Lund - Lund - Sweden
  • 2003:  Honorary Member of the Board of Directors - Friends of the Rule of Law in Ecuador - Inc. Quito - Ecuador
  • 2002:  Named Honorable Member - Bulgarian Economic Forum - Sofia - Bulgaria.
  • 2000:  Third Prize (Latin American Mutual Fund Performance - 1997 - 2000) Toronto Trust Argentina - Standard and Poor's Micropal - London
  • 1998:  Distinguished Associate(In recognition of outstanding contributions to economics)International Atlantic Economic Society
  • 1998:  Delivered the William S. Vickrey Distinguished Address Forty-Sixth International Atlantic Economic ConferenceBoston - Massachusetts
  • 1998:  Twenty-Five Most Influential People in the WorldWorld Trade Magazine
  • 1996:  First Prize (Argentine Mutual Fund Performance - 1996) Toronto Trust Argentina - Standard and Poor's Micropal - London
  • 1995:  First Prize (World Emerging Market Mutual Fund Performance - 1995) Toronto Trust Argentina - Standard and Poor's Micropal - London
Journal Articles
  • Hanke SH (2018).  On Measuring Hyperinflation: Venezuela's Episode.  World Economics.  7(4).
  • Hanke SH (2018).  Privatize Federal Grazing Lands: A Message from Reagan, Laxalt and Hanke.  IMI Research Weekly.  2(5).
  • Hanke SH (2018).  New Fiscal Rules Will Produce Discipline and a Confidence Shock in Zimbabwe.  IMI Research Weekly.  2(3).
  • Hanke SH (2018).  How Gold Would Fix Turkey’s Achilles’ Heel: The Lira.  IMI Research Weekly.  2(1).
  • Hanke SH (2017).  Follow the Founders and Privatize Public Lands.  IMI Research Weekly.  1(41).
  • Hanke SH (2017).  Can the Singapore Model Save Zimbabwe?.  IMI Research Weekly.  1(29).
  • Hanke SH (2017).  Why Indonesia must embrace liberal economic reforms.  Strategic Review.  7(4).
  • Hanke SH (2017).  Zimbabwe Hyperinflates Again.  IMI Research Weekly.  1(37).
  • Hanke SH (2017).  Regulatory Freedom Brings Prosperity.  IMI Research Weekly.  1(37).
  • Hanke SH (2017).  Regime Uncertainty Continues to Hold down Loan Growth and the Economy.  IMI Research Weekly.  1(36).
  • Hanke SH (2017).  Slash Regulation to Sole Productivity Puzzle: Freer Markets Linked to Longer Lives and Greater Prosperity.  OMFIF Bulletin.
  • Hanke SH (2017).  Democracy vs. Liberty-Trump Fails to Understand the Founders, as Have All Presidents since Wilson.  IMI Research Weekly.  1(32).
  • Hanke SH (2017).  Rigor to Avoid Greenwashing: New Measure for Green Credentials.  OMFIF Bulletin.
  • Hanke SH (2017).  US Toppled Suharto but Learned Little.  OMFIF Bulletin.
  • Hanke SH (2017).  How Venezuela can stop hyperinflation – now.  Central Banking.
  • Hanke SH (2017).  Solving Caracas Currency Chaos.  OMFIF Bulletin.
  • Leversedge FM, Nace RL, Day JC, Mitchell B, Dorcey AHJ, Fox IK, Lee TR, Parkes JGM, Hanke SH, Davis RK, Sewell WRD, Roueche L, Rees JA, David EL, Dworsky LB (2017).  PRIORITIES IN WATER MANAGEMENT..
  • Hanke SH, Sekerke M (2017).  Bank regulation as monetary policy: Lessons from the great recession.  Cato Journal.  37(2).  385-405.
  • Hanke SH (2017).  Public Infrastructure full of hot air.  OMFIF Bulletin.
  • Hanke SH (2011).  Monetary misjudgments and malfeasance.  Cato Journal.  31(3).  473-484.
  • Hanke SH (2010).  Reflections on currency reform and the Euro.  Econ Journal Watch.  7(1).  61-66.
  • Hanke SH, Kwok AKF (2009).  On the measurement of Zimbabwe's Hyperinflation.  Cato Journal.  29(2).  353-364.
  • Hanke SH (2008).  Foreword.  Growth versus Security: Old and New EU Members Quest for a New Economic and Social Model.  x-xi.
  • Hanke SH (2008).  Friedman: Float or fix?.  Cato Journal.  28(2).  275-285.
  • Hanke SH (2002).  Currency boards.  Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.  579(JAN.).  87-105.
  • Hanke SH (2000).  The disregard for currency board realities.  Cato Journal.  20(1).  49-59.
  • Hanke SH (1998).  How to establish monetary stability in Asia.  Cato Journal.  17(3).  295-301.
  • Hanke SH, Walters SJK (1997).  Economic freedom, prosperity, and equality: A survey.  Cato Journal.  17(2).  117-146.
  • Hanke SH, Mare Ld (1982).  RESIDENTIAL WATER DEMAND: A POOLED, TIME SERIES, CROSS SECTION STUDY OF MALMÖ, SWEDEN.  JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association.  18(4).  621-626.
  • Hanke SH, Wentworth RW (1981).  On the marginal cost of wastewater services ( water)..  Land Economics.  57(4).  558-567.
  • Hanke SH, Wentworth RW (1981).  Project evaluation during inflation, revisited: A solution to Turvey's relative price change problem.  Water Resources Research.  17(6).  1737-1738.
  • Hanke SH, Wentworth RW (1980).  Statistical cost function development for sewer lines..  WATER & SEWAGE WORKS.  127(12 , Dec. 1980).  55.
  • Hanke SH (1980).  Real economy in measures against waste of water.  TECH. SCI. MUNIC..  75(2).  85-86.
  • Hanke SH, Wentworth RW (1980).  Statistical studies on costs of canalization of waste water.  TECH. SCI. MUNIC..  75(10).  517-518.
  • Hanke SH (1980).  A cost-benefit analysis of water use restrictions ( Perth, Western Australia)..  Water Supply & Management.  4(4).  269-274.
  • Hanke SH (1980).  Additional comments on cost-benefit analysis of water use restrictions..  Water Supply & Management.  4(5-6).  297-298.
  • Hanke SH (1979).  “Municipal Water Conservation Alternatives,” by William E. Sharpe.  JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association.  15(4).  1176-1177.
  • Hanke SH, Mehrez A (1979).  An optimal sampling procedure for the collection of residential water use data.  Water Resources Research.  15(6).  1343-1348.
  • Hanke SH, Carver PH, Bugg P (1975).  Project evaluation during inflation.  Water Resources Research.  11(4).  511-514.
  • Hanke SH, Walker RA (1974).  Benefit‐cost analysis reconsidered: An evaluation of the Mid‐State Project.  Water Resources Research.  10(5).  898-908.
  • Hanke SH, Davis RK (1974).  THE ROLE OF USER FEES AND CONGESTION TOLLS in the MANAGEMENT OF INLAND WATERWAYS.  JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association.  10(1).  54-65.
  • Davis RK, Hanke SH (1973).  Conventional and unconventional alternatives for water supply management.  Water Resources Research.  9(4).  861-870.
  • Cicchetti CJ, Davis RK, Hanke SH, Haveman RH (1973).  Evaluating federal water projects: A critique of proposed standards.  Science.  181(4101).  723-728.
  • Hanke SH, Davis RK (1973).  Potential for marginal cost pricing in water resource management.  Water Resources Research.  9(4).  808-825.
  • Hanke SH, Boland JJ (1972).  THERMAL DISCHARGES AND PUBLIC POLICY DEVELOPMENT.  JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association.  8(3).  446-458.
  • Hanke SH (1970).  Some Behavioral Characteristics Associated with Residential Water Price Changes.  Water Resources Research.  6(5).  1383-1386.
  • Hanke SH (1970).  Demand for Water under Dynamic Conditions.  Water Resources Research.  6(5).  1253-1261.
  • Hanke SH, Kurt Schuler (2015).  Currency Boards for Developing Countries: A Handbook (Revised Edition, 2015).
  • Hanke SH (2015).  Juntas Monetarias para países en desarrollo: Dinero, inflación y estabilidad económica (Second Edition).  Cedice Libertad.
  • Hanke SH (1998).  The Revolution In Development Economics.  The Cato Institute.
  • Hanke SH, Kurt Schuler (1995).  Alternative Monetary Regimes for Jamaica.
  • Hanke SH, Lars Jonung, Kurt Schuler (1993).  Russian Currency and Finance: A Currency Board Approach to Reform.
  • Hanke SH (1991).  Capital Markets and Development: A Sequoia Seminar.  Sequoia Institute.
  • Hanke SH, de Mare L (1984).  MUNICIPAL WATER DEMANDS..  149-169.
Book Chapters
  • Hanke SH (2017).  Failed delivery.  Trump: The First One Hundred Days.  OMFIF Press.  52-58.
  • Hanke S (2017).  The Basel rules and the banking system: An American perspective.  Money in the Great Recession: Did a Crash in Money Growth Cause the Global Slump?.  164-177.
  • Hanke SH, Krus N (2013).  World hyperinflations.  Routledge Handbook of Major Events in Economic History.  367-377.
  • Hanke SH (2008).  Economic freedom, confidence and growth.  Growth versus Security: Old and New EU Members Quest for a New Economic and Social Model.  200-207.
  • Hanke SH (2003).  A Dollarization/Free-Banking Blueprint for Argentina.  The Dollarization Debate.
  • "Kemp Forum on Global Economic Growth".  February 21, 2018
  • "Kemp Forum on Exchange Rates and the Dollar".  April 20, 2017
  • "Bank Regulation as Monetary Policy: Lessons from the Great Recession", Cato Annual Monetary Conference.  Washington, D.C..  November 17, 2016
  • "Ecuador's Dollarization", Ecuador's Dollarization.  Guayaquil, Ecuador.  January 1, 2016
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