Michael R. Strain is the John G. Searle Scholar and director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He oversees the Institute’s work in economic policy, financial markets, poverty studies, technology policy, energy economics, health care policy, and related areas.

Before joining AEI, Dr. Strain worked in the Center for Economic Studies at the US Census Bureau and in the macroeconomics research group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Dr. Strain’s own research focuses on labor economics, public finance, and social policy, and his papers have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals and policy journals such as Tax Notes and National Affairs. He is the editor of “The US Labor Market: Questions and Challenges for Public Policy” and the coeditor, with Stan Veuger, of “Economic Freedom and Human Flourishing: Perspectives from Political Philosophy.” He was a member of the AEI-Brookings Working Group on Poverty and Opportunity, which published the report “Opportunity, Responsibility, and Security: A Consensus Plan for Reducing Poverty and Restoring the American Dream.

He also writes frequently for popular audiences, and his essays and op-eds have been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, National Review, and The Weekly Standard, among others. He is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion.

A frequent guest on radio and television, Dr. Strain is regularly interviewed by news networks including CNBC and NPR. He has testified before Congress and speaks often to a variety of audiences.

Dr. Strain has a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University. He is a graduate of Marquette University and holds an M.A. from New York University.


  • Administrator, New York Census Research Data Center, 2011–12
  • Economist, Center for Economic Studies, US Census Bureau, 2008–12
  • Assistant Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 2005–07


Ph.D., M.A., economics, Cornell University
M.A., New York University
B.A., Marquette University