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Council of Economic Advisers

Council of Economic Advisers
Agency overview
Formed 1946
Headquarters Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Employees About 27
Agency executives
Parent agency Executive Office of the President of the United States
Website Council of Economic Advisers

The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) is an agency within the Executive Office of the President that advises the President of the United States on economic policy.[1] The CEA provides much of the objective empirical research for the White House and prepares the annual Economic Report of the President.


  • Organization 1
  • Current staff 2
  • History 3
    • Past chairs and members 3.1
  • References 4
  • Sources 5
  • External links 6


The current Chairman of the CEA is Jason Furman, who was appointed by President Obama on June 10, 2013.[2] One current Member of the CEA is Jim Stock, who was appointed in February 2013 after serving as the agency's Chief Economist.[3] The previous two Chairs, Austan Goolsbee and Christina Romer, resigned their posts in August 2011 and September 2010, respectively to return to positions in academia.[4]

The council's Chairman is nominated by the president and approved by the United States Senate. The Members are appointed by the president. The staff of the council consists of a Chief of Staff as well as about 20 academic economists, plus three permanent economic statisticians.

Current staff

  • Chair: Jason Furman
  • Members: Maury Obstfeld, Betsey Stevenson
  • Chief of Staff: Jessica Schumer
  • Director of Macroeconomic Forecasting: Steven N. Braun
  • Senior Economists:[5]
    • David Balan: Industrial organization, technology, and health
    • Marco Cagetti: Macroeconomics and finance
    • Matt Fiedler: Health
    • Tracy Gordon: Tax and budget policy
    • Jordan Matsudaira: Labor, education, and immigration
    • Cindy Nickerson: Agriculture and resource policy
    • Ron Shadbegian: Energy and environmental policy
    • Ken Swinnerton: International trade
  • Staff Economists:
    • Zachary Brown
    • John Coglianese
    • Kevin Rinz
  • Research Economists:
    • Cordaye Ogletree
    • Rudy Telles
  • Research Assistants
    • Philip Lambrakos
    • Brendan Mochoruk
    • Jenny Shen
    • David Wasser
  • Administration
    • Matthew Aks
    • Natasha Lawrence
    • Andrea Taverna
  • Statistical Office
    • Adrienne T. Pilot, Director
    • Statistical Office Analysts: Brian Amorosi & Sarah Murray


The council was established by the Employment Act of 1946 to provide presidents with objective economic analysis and advice on the development and implementation of a wide range of domestic and international economic policy issues. In its first seven years the CEA made five technical advances in policy making, including the replacement of a "cyclical model" of the economy by a "growth model," the setting of quantitative targets for the economy, use of the theories of fiscal drag and full-employment budget, recognition of the need for greater flexibility in taxation, and replacement of the notion of unemployment as a structural problem by a realization of a low aggregate demand.[6]

In 1949 a dispute broke out between Chairman Edwin Nourse and member Leon Keyserling. Nourse believed a choice had to be made between "guns or butter" but Keyserling argued that an expanding economy permitted large defense expenditures without sacrificing an increased standard of living. In 1949 Keyserling gained support from powerful Truman advisors Dean Acheson and Clark Clifford. Nourse resigned as chairman, warning about the dangers of budget deficits and increased funding of "wasteful" defense costs. Keyserling succeeded to the chairmanship and influenced Truman's Fair Deal proposals and the economic sections of National Security Council Resolution 68 that, in April 1950, asserted that the larger armed forces America needed would not affect living standards or risk the "transformation of the free character of our economy."[7]

During the 1953–54 recession, the CEA, headed by Arthur Burns deployed non-traditional neo-keynesian interventions, which provided results later called the "steady fifties" wherein many families stayed in the economic "middleclass" with just one family wage-earner. The Eisenhower Administration supported an activist contracyclical approach that helped to establish Keynesianism as a possible bipartisan economic policy for the nation. Especially important in formulating the CEA response to the recession—accelerating public works programs, easing credit, and reducing taxes—were Arthur F. Burns and Neil H. Jacoby.[8]

The 1978 Humphrey–Hawkins Act required each administration to move toward full employment and reasonable price stability within a specific time period. It has had the effect of making the CEA's annual economic report highly political in nature, as well as highly unreliable and inaccurate over the standard two or five year projection periods.[9]

Past chairs and members

Past chairs include:

Past staff members include:


  1. ^ Council of Economic Advisers 
  2. ^ "Obama names Furman as new White House chief economist", Reuters, 2013-06-10 
  3. ^ Obama names Stock as member of Council of Economic Advisers, Reuters, 2013-02-01, retrieved 2013-04-10 
  4. ^ Mullany, Gerry (2010-08-05). "Romer Leaves as Head of Council of Economic Advisers". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  5. ^ Council of Economic Advisers Staff 
  6. ^ Salant 1973
  7. ^ Brune 1989
  8. ^ Engelbourg 1980
  9. ^ Cimbala and Stout 1983


  • Brazelton, W. Robert (2001), Designing U.S. Economic Policy: An Analytical Biography of Leon H. Keyserling, New York: Palgrave,  
  • Brazelton, W. Robert (1997), "The Economics of Leon Hirsch Keyserling", Journal of Economic Perspectives 11 (4): 189–197,  
  • Brune, Lester H. (1989), "Guns and Butter: the Pre-Korean War Dispute over Budget Allocations: Nourse's Conservative Keynesianism Loses Favor Against Keyserling's Economic Expansion Plan",  
  • Cimbala, Stephen J.; Stout, Robert L. (1983), "The Economic Report of the President: Before and after the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978", Presidential Studies Quarterly 13 (1): 50–61,  
  • Eizenstat, Stuart E. (1992), "Economists and White House Decisions", Journal of Economic Perspectives 6 (3): 65–71,  
  • Engelbourg, Saul (1980), "The Council of Economic Advisers and the Recession of 1953-1954", Business History Review 54 (2): 192–214,  
  • Leeson, Robert (1997), "The Political Economy of the Inflation-unemployment Trade-off", History of Political Economy 29 (1): 117–156,  
  • McCaleb, Thomas S. (1986), "The Council of Economic Advisers after Forty Years", Cato Journal 6 (2): 685–693,  
  • Norton, Hugh S. (1977), The Employment Act and the Council of Economic Advisers, 1946-1976, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press,  
  • Salant, Walter S. (1973), "Some Intellectual Contributions of the Truman Council of Economic Advisers to Policy-making", History of Political Economy 5 (1): 36–49,  
  • Sobel, Robert (1988), Biographical Directory of the Council of Economic A dvisers, New York: Greenwood Press,  
  • Tobin, James; Weidenbaum, Murray, eds. (1988), Two Revolutions in Economic Policy: The First Economic Reports of Presidents Kennedy and Reagan, Cambridge: MIT Press,  
  • Wehrle, Edmund F. (2004), "Guns, Butter, Leon Keyserling, the AFL-CIO, and the Fate of Full-employment Economics", Historian 66 (4): 730–748,  

External links

  • Council of Economic Advisers home page
  • Records of the Office of the Council of Economic Advisors, 1953-61, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
  • Papers of Arthur F. Burns, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
  • Papers of Raymond J. Saulnier, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
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