Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 52092
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2019/05/21 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2008/11/24-12/1 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton] UID:52092 Activity:nil
11/23   Cal's own Christina Romer to head White House Council of Econ Advisors:
        \_ Were there any other Cal people after Randy Katz who served at the
           White House?
           \_ Brad DeLong
           \_ There's an economics dude.  I forget his name, but he's been
              on Daily Show/Colbert Report.  Short guy.  Beard.
               \- robert reich came to berkeley after washington. he is a
                  lawyer not an economist.
        \_ Ug, he really is trying to recreate the clinton whitehouse.  Taking
           a popular cal professor to chair the CEA.  Problem is that
           Laura Tyson >> Christina Romer
             \- you dont know what you are talking about. i bet harvard
                is now upset over the Romer Fiasco.
                \_ Well, you are close to right. I don't know what YOU are
                   talking about.  What is the "Romer Fiasco"?  As for what
                   i'm talking about: I had both as professors and have read
                   a good deal from both of them and I assure you that
                   Laura Tyson is a far superior Economist.  In fact, i'd go
                   so far as to say that she is actually reasonably smart, which
                   is rare in the field.
                   \- compare
                      [which should answer the harvard fiasco question] with all
                      the criticism of LT when appointed to the CEA chair.
                   so far as to say that she is actually reasonably smart,
                   which is rare in the field.
                   \- well maybe you are smarter than "the field" but
                      the "the field" disagrees with you in terms of
                      academic reputation. compare
                      [which should answer the harvard fiasco question] with
                      all the criticism of LT when appointed to the CEA chair:
                      [i've only dealt with LT directly and am pretty familar with
                      her work on japan and "administrative guidance]. i only know
                      CR's work on the depression indirectly.
                      [i've only dealt with LT directly and am pretty familar
                      with her work on japan and "administrative guidance"].
                      i only know CR's work on the Depression indirectly.
                      also your premise that picking a berkeley economist for
                      cea-> recreate the clinton whitehouse suggests you arent
                      to be taken seriously. a better bit of evidence is the
                      presence of LT and RR on the transition team.
2019/05/21 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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Council of Economic Advisors Director-designate Christina Romer listens as Reuters - Council of Economic Advisors Director-designate Christina Romer listens as President-elect Barack Obama ... CBS 5 San Francisco WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Christina Romer, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, as the head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, a Democratic source told Reuters on Monday. The pick is to be announced at an 11 am CST (12 pm EST) news conference, where Obama will also unveil his selection of Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary and Lawrence Summers as head of the White House National Economic Council. The three-member Council of Economic Advisers makes recommendations to the president on policy options. Along with the director of the National Economic Council, the CEA chairperson plays an influential role in crafting the president's policy plans. As NEC director, Summers' portfolio will be broader as the White House point person for coordinating economic policy throughout the administration. Romer is a macroeconomist and specialist on the effects of fiscal policy and on monetary shocks. She has written extensively on the Great Depression in the 1930s. She is co-director of the monetary economics program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Romer is also a member of the panel at the NBER's Business Cycle Dating Committee, which is considered the nation's arbiter of recessions and economic recovery periods. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
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Romer showed that much of what had appeared to be a decrease in volatility was due to better economic data collection. Federal Reserve Board meetings to study how the Federal Reserve made its decisions. Her recent work has focused on the impact of tax policy on government and general economic growth.
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Basically, it was all going to happen, until the very last moment, when Harvard president Drew Faust vetoed the offer made to Christina Romer by the Harvard economics department. No one seems to even understand why she might have done such a thing, and there's certainly no one willing to defend her actions. David Warsh kicked things off on Tuesday with a column explaining why attracting Romer would have been a great coup for Harvard: By any measure, Mrs Romer is one of the most distinguished women in economics, co-director of the National Bureau of Economic Research program in monetary economics, a member of its business cycle dating committee, former vice president of the American Economic Association (and, probably, a future president), Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and winner of the Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award. The Harvard offer to her, and a Kennedy School offer to her husband, a prominent macroeconomist, had been widely reported in the profession and, at Berkeley, greatly feared. The pair had been instrumental in putting the graduate program there back on its feet, after their arrival from Princeton in the early 1990s. Because each has an aging parent in Massachusetts, and because two of their three children will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall, the Harvard offer was viewed as being, as one colleague put it, "less of a bullet than a small nuclear device" aimed at Berkeley macro. Given the difficulty Harvard has had hiring female professors - its treatment of women was a proximate cause for the resignation of president Lawrence Summers in 2006 - the decision to reject the offer came as a shock. Brad DeLong followed up: "Early onset Alzheimer's" is the kindest explanation I have heard from anyone currently in Cambridge. Other candidate explanations are crueller and less flattering. bemoaning the difficulty that Berkeley faces in retaining its top economists. It's interesting that the blogging economists seem to be the only ones willing to go on the record about this, or maybe they're the ones that reporters first approach. In any event, Harvard's Greg Mankiw is not a happy bunny: "I have great admiration for Christy Romer as a teacher and scholar, and I was looking forward to having her as a colleague," economics professor N Gregory Mankiw wrote in an e-mailed statement. "I am personally disappointed that she will not be joining the Harvard faculty." With everything in the public realm on one (Romer's) side of the story, Harvard would seem to have a great deal of egg on its face right now. The decision to veto Romer's appointment won't in and of itself damage Faust's position as president, but it might yet come back to haunt her if and when she runs into more trouble in future. Certainly she doesn't seem to have made a lot of fans in the economics department. Remember me Selecting "Remember me" allows you to make comments on the site for 30 days without having to enter your name and email address each time. Your information will be saved only for this period and will not be shared. Show me only Recommended Comments Report Abuse Report Abuse Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We'll review the comment and decide whether it should be removed. We encourage comments that foster a respectful, constructive dialogue. If you've read a comment that you believe violates site etiquette, please report it to us using the form below. We will review the comment in question and then decide whether it should be removed. Inappropriate comments include those that contain or solicit personal information, use obscene or offensive language, or make unauthorized or commercial offers. com Most Read Most Emailed Recently Commented TOP 5 (Daily) A smart take on the top stories shaping the business world. Executives & Careers (Tuesdays) A weekly guide to the personalities and ideas that are transforming the business world. Culture & Lifestyle (Fridays) A weekly guide to the best ways to spend your time - and money. In This Issue (Monthly) Be the first to know when the latest issue of Cond Nast Portfolio magazine is online.
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James K Galbraith | November 30, 2002 Laura D'Andrea Tyson's appointment to chair the Council of Economic Advisers received savage treatment from some of her professional colleagues. According to Peter Passell of the New York Times, "jaws dropped" in academe at the announcement. Passell went on to describe Tyson as "trendy" and a "polemicist." And the addition of Princeton's Alan Blinder to the Tyson council found MIT's Paul Krugman celebrating, in print and for attribution, that Blinder would bring to the CEA "necessary analytical skills that Laura Tyson lacks." One trade economist suggested to the Times that the Council was now to be "captured by an interest group." William Cline of the Institute for International Economics complained of the exclusion of free traders: "There's a risk a voice will be absent from the table." And Passell summarized the views of others: "Many worry that her lack of ideological commitment to free trade will open the gates to protectionists." But this explanation is problematic, as readers of Who's Bashing Whom: Trade Conflict in High Technology Industries will discover. Her work reflects the modern mainstream in trade theory and its changes over the past 20 years. But she is not a model-builder and evidently does not believe in drawing sweeping conclusions for policy by the method of deduction from first principles. She is, instead, a nuanced observer of the world as it actually is, a collector and weigher of evidence, a student of details. And it is this characteristic, alongside the policy differences to which it leads, that appears to be the root of Tyson's difficulties with her brethren. She defines her subject with precision: not all trade conflicts but only those in high technology and therefore, virtually by definition, between the US, Japan, and Europe. She notes that in these areas the notion of a principled or ideological commitment to free trade is already a minority view. She describes the actual mainstream as a broad middle ground, which she calls the "moderate free trade" position, in which a preference for free trade is tempered by acknowledgment that markets are imperfect and that externalities and strategic behavior exist. She notes that this new middle position already provides a range of justifications for government interventions in both the domestic economy and the regime of world trade. Tyson pays tribute to the work of theorists, such as Krugman, who ironically prepared the ground for this new consensus by questioning the case for an "ideological commitment to free trade" built on the bedrock principle of comparative advantage. This view had held that specialization and free trade were the right policies for any country, irrespective of what its competitors did. subsidies are transferee (through lower prices) to one's customers abroad. Thus confronted with dumping, say, of computers by the Japanese, the correct response is not quotas, tariffs, or countervailing subsidies of domestic firms, but the advice said to have been offered by a top economist in the Bush administration: "Where can I get some?" His work incorporates imperfect competition and increasing returns to scale into trade models. If an industry has declining costs, then excess returns may be earned by that producer who enters first and moves to the high-volume, low-cost position. The country that moves first into a new field with these characteristics wins. Technology policies can help private producers make the move. The country with the best R&D establishment and most flexible capital market may also be expected by its competitors to enjoy repeated successes in new technologies, and this (along with, perhaps, a few object lessons like the recent Japanese failures in fifth-generation computing and high-definition television) may deter them even from attempting to compete. In these ways, Krugman's own development has taken him toward justification on theoretical grounds of a limited industrial policy. Subscribe to The American Prospect But Krugman has not abandoned free trade. He fears, along with the whole professional establishment, that when it comes to trade, the government will fail to follow through. Even if the correct principles for applying subsidies and protection are scrupulously respected, government is unlikely to do the calculations correctly. Worse, the correct principles themselves will be quickly forgotten. Worse still, and somewhat special to trade policy, our application of subsidies and protection may generate retaliation, and an uncontrollable slide toward autarky and trade war. Free trade is not necessarily the best outcome, but it is the only simple rallying point around which policymakers can be made to agree. Krugman has written: "To establish a blanket policy of free trade, with exceptions granted only under extreme pressure, may not be the optimal policy according to the theory but may be the best policy that the country is likely to get." First, where the mainstream now believes that industrial development policies may or may not do some good, Tyson believes they are indispensable. Second, where the mainstream still shies from risking anything with trade policy, Tyson believes that government policies can improve on market outcomes. Tyson marks her departure on the first point with something quite bold: Although I could easily hide behind the moderate free trade disguises described here, it would be disingenuous for me to do so. Unlike most free traders, unilateral and moderate alike, I believe that what we as a nation make and what we trade matter. Technology-intensive industries, in particular, make a special contribution to the long-term health of the American economy. A dollar's worth of shoes may have the same effect on the trade balance as a dollar's worth of computers. the two do not have the same effect on employment, wages, labor skills, productivity and research--all major determinants of our long-term economic health. In other words, she endorses the view, advanced several years ago by her Berkeley colleagues John Zysman and Stephen Cohen, that "manufacturing matters." There exist feedbacks and cumulative benefits, in the form of new knowledge and human and physical capital formation, from certain kinds of advanced industrial activity. Since the benefits of these feedbacks do not accrue solely and strictly to private investors, these activities as a class will be underprovided in a free market. Government sponsorship of advanced industrial activity is ipso facto desirable. reservations, my recommendations for trade and domestic policy are self-consciously cautious. Having thus characterized herself and her framework, Tyson turns to a chapter of foundation-building and four case studies. The foundations are the evidence that there do exist spillovers and excess returns in advanced technology. Tyson notes the fact that these industries account for 60 percent of industrial R&D, even though only 20 percent of output, and she cites studies indicating that industrial R&D has a large excess of social over private returns. She points to the high proportion of scientific and technical personnel in these industries, and to their high and rising relative wage rates --evidence that workers in advanced technology are able to command supercompetitive rates of pay. And she closes with a brief discussion of national security concerns. Nothing here goes beyond what is widely accepted by professional economists, and one may puzzle at the strong reactions these arguments appear to evoke. Those who hide behind the cover of "moderate free trade" freely acknowledge that externalities and imperfect competition exist, but then tend to downplay their importance in the larger scheme of things. Government interference, too, is viewed as an evil whether necessary or otherwise, one which policy should minimize rather than manage. In the end, moderate free traders shrink from allowing these "market failures" to govern policy outcomes. For Tyson, in an analytical tradition that recalls Joan Robinson as well as Joseph Schumpeter, externalities, monopolies, and government interference must be regarded as the irr...
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Research Services Government CLINTONOMICS IS LOOKING A LOT LIKE TYSONOMICS When President Clinton tapped economist Laura D'Andrea Tyson to head the Council of Economic Advisers, the economics profession went into shock. Tyson, 45, is outspoken and infinitely more interested in the hot-button issues of trade and technology than macroeconomics. Since then, Tyson has had to compete with a slew of Clinton econo-gurus, among them National Economic Council Director Robert E Rubin, Labor Secretary Robert B Reich, Treasury Secretary Lloyd M Bentsen, and Treasury Under Secretary Lawrence H Summers. All that led to predictions that Tyson's influence would be limited. The economics profession may still be in therapy over the appointment, but just listen to President Clinton's tough critiques of Japan's sheltered markets, his support for "results-oriented trade policy," or talk of a US "investment deficit," and you're hearing pure Tyson. Administration insiders say that while she must share authority with other advisers, Tyson's influence on the President remains high. The relationship is all the more remarkable since Clinton, whose inner circle is made up largely of old friends, hadn't even met Tyson last August, when he gave her a last-minute invitation to the Governor's Mansion in Little Rock for an economic-policy salon. The parlor was filled with more prominent economists--Summers, Nobel laureate James Tobin, and Alan S Blinder of Princeton University among them. But the talk centered on issues that Clinton--and Tyson--are most interested in: Does manufacturing matter? Can the huge US defense complex be converted to civilian uses? Just finishing a book on that very subject, Tyson held forth on the need for the US to preserve high-wage, high-skill manufacturing jobs. When, months later, Tyson handed him a first edition copy of her Who's Bashing Whom? Trade Conflict in High Technology Industries, Clinton read the book. Still, it wasn't exactly an easy climb to the Cabinet for the controversial University of California at Berkeley economist. When her name appeared on the short list of possible CEA chairs, a dubious Warren M Christopher, co-director of the transition team, ordered an aide to pmll mainstream economists on her writings. But others close to Clinton, particularly trade hard-liners, were more enthusiastic. When Treasury chief Bentsen first met Tyson, he stuck out his hand and exclaimed: "Great book!" Not all of Tyson's economic colleagues share that view, partly because she isn't a macroeconomist--traditional for the CEA post. Indeed, Tyson is less interested in the theoretical interplay among inflation, employment, interest rates, and growth than she is in practical solutions to festering economic problems. "Clinton is far more interested in the structure of the economy than in economic theory," notes Reich. "Laura's research has always been focused on how things actually work." If Tyson's choice startled the textbook writers, it also signaled that Clinton is intent on remaking US policy on technology, trade, and international competition. And for her part, Tyson seems intent on expanding her influence yet further. By all accounts, she has been at the center of debates over trade policy toward Japan, Mexico, and Europe. And she has been a key force in debates on health-care financing. "When the President clicks off the people he wants in a meeting, Laura is always there," says Cabinet Secretary Christine A Varney. Clinton also keeps up a running correspondence with Tyson, sending her notes and newspaper clippings. So frequent have the messages been that Tyson can now almost decipher Clinton's miserable handwriting unaided. Tyson also regularly calls Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan to report the latest Administration economic statistics. "She's not the trade hawk that many people regard her as," says one Administration economist. I'm a liberal economist with a cautious, activist bent, so I'm not going to be the favorite of some ideological conservatives." In fact, her ideas on trade are radical mainly when compared with the hostility of the Bush CEA to anything that smacked of industrial policy. The theme of her book: Japan, France, and Germany have created an artificial advantage for their favored high-tech industries to preserve high-wage jobs. As those industries profited from economies of scale, it became harder for US companies to compete. Hence, Washington may be called on to act as a partner, particularly in fostering technologies with broad applications. On other issues--regulation, taxes, and spending--Tyson is more of an unabashed liberal. "Americans are not overtaxed," she says, arguing that nearly every other government in the industrialized world taxes a larger share of gross domestic product while enjoying higher savings and investment. "And," she adds, "there is no way we can cut the deficit without an increase in revenues." Tyson also thinks it's shortsighted to worry about the budget deficit without also considering the "public investment deficit." So she pushes for more spending on education, training, and research. No longer is government, or short-term increases in the deficit, the enemy. In the tedious Roosevelt Room sessions to craft the Administration's 1994 budget, Tyson argued forcefully that the wobbly economic recovery could not tolerate a dramatic cut in the deficit. She helped talk Clinton out of his campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by 1997. Aided by Bentsen, who argued that Congress would not go along with more drastic cuts--such as a freeze on Social Security benefits--Tyson prevailed over the deficit hawks, Budget Director Leon E Panetta and his deputy, Alice M Rivlin. Tyson "spoke up often and was quite effective," says Rivlin. Tyson even persuaded the White House kitchen to add a plate of fruit to the cookies served as a snack at the long sessions. Tyson is not above using the tax code for social engineering or income redistribution. She pushed for the Administration's $73 billion tax on the energy content of fuels as a desirable conservation measure. During the campaign, Tyson supported middle-class tax cuts only if offset by hikes on upper-income individuals to "restore greater equity." Similarly, she has argued for taxes on alcohol and tobacco as a way to discourage unhealthy behavior while raising money for health reform. Tyson has helped her own cause by keeping out of Cabinet departments' business. "My job is to explain, defend, help analyze, and make policy," she says, "but not to implement it." Tyson's reputation for avoiding bureaucratic wrangles could soon be confronted with a supreme test, however, over Hillary Rodham Clinton's ambitious health-care plan. Tyson, along with Clinton's other economic advisers, agrees that all of the Administration's economic goals could be thwarted by the unchecked rise in medical costs. But Administration economists worry that unless the health plan is scaled back, carefully phased in, and stripped of such onerous features as mandatory price controls, the reform effort could founder. be willing to butt heads with the reformers, including Hillary? Even given the CEA chief's track record to date, Tyson may still find herself odd woman out. Government THE TYSON PHILOSOPHY Taxes Higher taxes on the wealthy are necessary to reduce the deficit, restore progressivity, and allow needed government investment in infrastructure, education, and training. Taxes can also promote social goals, such as energy conservation, and discourage harmful behavior, such as smoking. Technology The federal government should encourage the growth of high-wage, high-technology manufacturing jobs by funding basic research. Technology-intensive industries pay extra dividends to society in employment, productivity, and research. Trade Because government policy can provide a nation's manufacturers with a comparative advantage in trade, it may be necessary to counter another's subsidies or threaten retaliation for unfair practices. All advanced nations manage their trade in high-technology goods with special strategies, and the US should, too. Compliance Once a nation agree...