Christina Romer Chosen to Chair Council of Economic Advisers

Recently I noted reports that Austan Goolsbee, previously thought to be Obama’s pick for Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, was being passed over in favor of Cecilia Elena Rouse. Political Punch is reporting that neither will get the appointment and instead Obama is choosing University of California-Berkeley Economics professor Christina Romer. They provide this information on her:

Romer and her husband David, also an economist at Berkeley, are members of the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, which decides when a recession has officially started or ended.

One highly relevant area of their expertise — how tax cuts can help stimulate economic growth.

The Politico adds that she was once the author of a paper entitled What Ends Recessions? Let’s hope she knows the right answer. They also provide this additional information on her:

In March, National Journal had this précis on the couple: “As professors at the University of California (Berkeley), they are well-known macroeconomists — experts on the workings of the U.S. economy — who jointly hold one of six spots on the academic committee of economists that decides when recessions begin and end. They are both steeped in the history of the country’s economy and have recently produced a series of papers looking at the causes and effects of most of the major changes in tax policy in the last 100 years.

“At the same time that Obama is calling for higher income taxes on people making $250,000 or more, the Romers have found that tax increases are generally bad for economic growth and that they primarily discourage investment — the supply-side argument that conservatives use to justify tax cuts for the rich. On the other hand, the Romers have shredded the conservative premise that tax cuts eventually force spending reductions (‘starving the beast’). Instead, they concluded that tax reductions lead only to one thing — offsetting tax increases to recover lost revenue.”

Initial response to this appointment appears favorable. Brad DeLong considers this an excellent choice, also stating that either Goolsbee or Rouse would also have been excellent choices.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    D S Lamont says:

    Christina Romer’s appointment means that we will have at the Council of Economic Advisers an economist with a background in highly relevant economic history and with moderate Keynesian sympathies – just what we need. It is to be hoped that she underatands that one of the key lessons of Keynes is the importance of constructive US leadership in international economic cooperation – including in the international coordination of key economic policies, in building up effective international economic institutions, and in safeguarding free trade. She will be familiar with literature like Donald Moggridge’s biography of Keynes and Donald Markwell’s “John Maynard Keynes and International Relations”, which I think are very helpful in thinking and working our way – nationally and globally – through the present muddle.

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