He was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School, Rugby School and Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
Henderson was knighted in 1942. Henderson was Secretary of the Cotton Control Board from 1917 to 1919 and was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge and University Lecturer in Economics from 1919 to 1923. He was editor of The Nation and Athenaeum from 1923 to 1930.
Henderson was Joint Secretary to the Economic Advisory Council from 1930 to 1934.
In 1934, he became a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. Henderson was Professor of Political Economy at Oxford from 1945 to 1951.
He was appointed Warden of All Souls College, Oxford, in 1951, but he did not take up the appointment. He became an Honorary Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford in 1952.
In 1912, Henderson served as President of the Cambridge Union.
In 1922, he was one of the founders of the Liberal Summer School. He was a major contributor to the report of the Liberal industrial inquiry entitled Britain"s Industrial Future, published in 1928, which advocated a large-scale programme of national development. Foreign the 1929 election, Henderson and John Maynard Keynes produced a pamphlet, Can Lloyd George do it?, supporting the Liberal leader"s claim to be able to conquer unemployment.
Henderson was Liberal candidate for Cambridge University at the 1929 general election but was not elected.
He did not stand for parliament again. Henderson was Economic Adviser to His Majesty"s Treasury from 1939-1944.
Henderson was Chairman of the Statutory Committee on Unemployment Insurance from 1945-1948. Electoral record.
He was a member of the West India Royal Commission from 1938-1939. He became a member of the Royal Commission on Population in 1944 and served as Chairman in 1946.