The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) is a United States agency within the Executive Office of the President established in 1946, which advises the President of the United States on economic policy. The CEA provides much of the empirical research for the White House and prepares the annual Economic Report of the President.
|Council of Economic Advisers (CEA)|
|Headquarters||Eisenhower Executive Office Building|
|Parent agency||Executive Office of the President of the United States|
|Website||Council of Economic Advisers|
The report is published by the CEA in February of each year, and reviews what economic activity was of impact in the previous year, outlines the economic goals for the coming year (based on the President's economic agenda), and makes numerical projections of how the economy will perform. Criticism usually follows, sometimes attacking the importance placed or not placed on particular data, and also on the importance of particular goals presented in the Overview.
The Truman administration established the Council of Economic Advisers via the Employment Act of 1946, to provide the presidents with objective economic analysis and advice on the development and implementation of a wide range of domestic and international economic policy issues. It was a step from an "ad hoc style of economic policy-making to a more institutionalized and focused process". In 1949 Chairman Edwin Nourse and member Leon Keyserling argued about whether the advice should be private or public and about the role of government in economic stabilization.
Nourse believed a choice had to be made between "guns or butter" but Keyserling argued for deficit spending, an expanding economy could afford large defense expenditures without sacrificing an increased standard of living. In 1949, Keyserling gained support from 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 NSC 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."
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 "middle class" 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.
Until 1963, during 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.
The 1978 Humphrey–Hawkins Full Employment Act required each administration to move toward full employment and reasonable price stability within a specific time period. It has made 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.
Since 1980, the CEA focused on sources of economic growth, the supply side of the economy and on international issues. In the wake of the Great Recession of 2008-2009, the Council of Economic Advisers played a significant role in supporting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 
Under the direction of Kevin Hassett during the Donald Trump presidency, the CEA released a report vilifying socialism and associating what they characterized as the "socialist" policies of liberal politicians to those of historical authoritarian regimes.
The council's chairman is nominated by the president and approved by the United States Senate. The members are appointed by the president. As of July 2017, the Council´s 18 person staff consisted of a chief of staff (Director of Macroeconomic Forecasting), 15 economists (5 senior, 4 research, 4 staff economists, 2 economic statisticians) and 2 operations staff.Many of the staff economists are academics on leave or government economists on temporary assignment from other agencies.
|Officeholder||Term start||Term end||President|
|Edwin G. Nourse||August 9, 1946||November 1, 1949||Harry Truman|
|November 2, 1949||January 20, 1953|
|Arthur F. Burns||March 19, 1953||December 1, 1956||Dwight Eisenhower|
|Raymond J. Saulnier||December 3, 1956||January 20, 1961|
|Walter Heller||January 29, 1961||November 15, 1964||John F. Kennedy|
|Gardner Ackley||November 16, 1964||February 15, 1968|
|Arthur M. Okun||February 15, 1968||January 20, 1969|
|Paul W. McCracken||February 4, 1969||December 31, 1971||Richard Nixon|
|Herbert Stein||January 1, 1972||August 31, 1974|
|Alan Greenspan||September 4, 1974||January 20, 1977|
|Charles Schultze||January 22, 1977||January 20, 1981||Jimmy Carter|
|Murray Weidenbaum||February 27, 1981||August 25, 1982||Ronald Reagan|
|Martin Feldstein||October 14, 1982||July 10, 1984|
|Beryl W. Sprinkel||April 18, 1985||January 20, 1989|
|Michael J. Boskin||February 2, 1989||January 20, 1993||George H. W. Bush|
|Laura Tyson||February 5, 1993||February 21, 1995||Bill Clinton|
|Joseph Stiglitz||June 28, 1995||February 13, 1997|
|Janet Yellen||February 18, 1997||August 3, 1999|
|Martin N. Baily||August 12, 1999||January 20, 2001|
|Glenn Hubbard||May 11, 2001||February 28, 2003||George W. Bush|
|Greg Mankiw||May 29, 2003||February 18, 2005|
|Harvey S. Rosen||February 23, 2005||June 10, 2005|
|Ben Bernanke||June 21, 2005||January 31, 2006|
|Edward Lazear||February 27, 2006||January 20, 2009|
|Christina Romer||January 28, 2009||September 3, 2010||Barack Obama|
|Austan Goolsbee||September 10, 2010||August 5, 2011|
|Alan Krueger||November 7, 2011||August 2, 2013|
|Jason Furman||August 2, 2013||January 20, 2017|
|Kevin Hassett||September 13, 2017||Incumbent||Donald Trump|
Alan Bennett Krueger (born September 17, 1960) is an American economist who is the Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. On March 7, 2009, he was nominated by President Barack Obama to be Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy. In October 2010, he announced his resignation from the Treasury Department, to return to Princeton University. He is among the 50 highest ranked economists in the world according to IDEAS/RePEc. On August 29, 2011, he was nominated by Obama to be chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and on November 3, 2011, the Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination.Austan Goolsbee
Austan Dean Goolsbee (born August 18, 1969) is an American economist who is currently the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. Goolsbee formerly served as the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and was a member of the cabinet of President Barack Obama.Goolsbee served on the three-member Council of Economic Advisers from the start of the Obama Administration. He advised President Obama during his 2004 U.S. Senate race and was senior economic policy adviser during the 2008 Obama Presidential Campaign. He took over in September 2010 as the Council's Chair, replacing Christina Romer, who had left to return to a teaching position at the University of California at Berkeley. On June 6, 2011, he announced that he was departing the administration and returning to the University of Chicago.Since January 2013 he has been a strategic partner at 32 Advisors. He leads their Economic Intelligence practice.Beryl Wayne Sprinkel
Beryl Wayne Sprinkel (November 20, 1923 – August 22, 2009) was a member of the Executive Office of the US President and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) between April 4, 1985 and January 21, 1989, during the Reagan administration.
Raised on a farm near Richmond, Missouri, Sprinkel was a member of the 2nd Armored Division, which led the attack that penetrated and defeated the German offensive near Celles, Belgium, in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II.Charles Schultze
Charles Louis Schultze (December 12, 1924 – September 27, 2016) was an American economist and public policy analyst. He served as the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the President Carter Administration. Schultze was appointed the Assistant Director of the Bureau of the Budget by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, and was the director from 1965 until 1968 during President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society agenda. He was also a veteran of World War II, during which he served in the army.Christina Romer
Christina Duckworth Romer (née Duckworth; born December 25, 1958) is the Class of 1957 Garff B. Wilson Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley and a former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Obama administration. She resigned from her role on the Council of Economic Advisers on September 3, 2010.After her nomination and before the Obama administration took office, Romer worked with economist Jared Bernstein to co-author the administration's plan for recovery from the 2008 recession. In a January 2009 video presentation, she discussed details of the job creation program that the Obama administration submitted to Congress.Clarence Long
Clarence Dickinson "Doc" Long, Jr. (December 11, 1908 – September 18, 1994) was a Democratic U.S. Congressman who represented the 2nd congressional district of Maryland from January 3, 1963 to January 3, 1985.
Long was born in South Bend, Indiana. He received his bachelor's degree from Washington and Jefferson College in 1932, and his master's degree and PhD from Princeton University in 1935 and 1938, respectively. He also served in the United States Navy during World War II. He was a former member of the United States Council of Economic Advisers to the President (1953–54 and 1956–57) and in the 1930s was a professor of economics at Wesleyan University and later Johns Hopkins University (1946-1963).
Long became Chairman of the subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the House Appropriations Committee. In this role he supervised the foreign aid budget. Long's support for the anti-Soviet Mujahideen was recounted in the film Charlie Wilson's War, in which Long was played by Ned Beatty. Long was defeated for re-election by Republican Helen Delich Bentley in 1984.Council of Economic Advisers (Scotland)
The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) in Scotland is a group of economists and captains of industry who advise the Scottish Government. It was established in 2007, meeting for the first time on 21 September.
Minutes of its quarterly meetings will be published a fortnight after each meeting. It is intended that the council will publish an annual report on the condition of the Scottish economy.Edwin Griswold Nourse
Edwin Griswold Nourse (May 20, 1883 – April 7, 1974) was an American economist. He served as the first chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors between 1946 and 1949.Employment Act of 1946
The Employment Act of 1946 ch. 33, section 2, 60 Stat. 23, codified as 15 U.S.C. § 1021, is a United States federal law. Its main purpose was to lay the responsibility of economic stability of inflation and unemployment onto the federal government.
The Act stated: it was the "continuing policy and responsibility" of the federal government to:
coordinate and utilize all its plans, functions, and resources . . . to foster and promote free competitive enterprise and the general welfare; conditions under which there will be afforded useful employment for those able, willing, and seeking to work; and to promote maximum employment, production, and purchasing power.Liberals wanted an emphasis on "full employment" but conservatives were in control and they did not get it. Stein (1969) notes, "The failure to pass a 'Full Employment Act' is as significant as the decision to pass the Employment Act." The Act also created the Council of Economic Advisers, attached to the White House, which provides analysis and recommendations, as well as the Joint Economic Committee. In practice, the government has relied on automatic stabilizers and Federal Reserve policy for macroeconomic management, while the Council of Economic Advisers has focused primarily on discussions of microeconomic issues.Harvey S. Rosen
Harvey Sheldon Rosen (born 29 March 1949) is the John L. Weinberg Professor of Economics and Business Policy at Princeton University, and former chairperson of the Council of Economic Advisers. His research focuses on public finance. Harvard University economist and former Council of Economic Advisers chairman Greg Mankiw credits Rosen as one of four mentors who taught him how to practice economics, along with Alan Blinder, Larry Summers, and Stanley Fischer.Herbert Stein
Herbert Stein (August 27, 1916 – September 8, 1999) was an American economist, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and was on the board of contributors of The Wall Street Journal. He was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. From 1974 until 1984, he was the A. Willis Robertson Professor of Economics at the University of Virginia.Janet Yellen
Janet Louise Yellen (born August 13, 1946) is an American economist who served as the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 2014–2018, and as Vice Chair from 2010 to 2014. Previously, she was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton; and business professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business.
Yellen was nominated by President Obama to succeed Ben Bernanke as Chairwoman of the United States Federal Reserve. On January 6, 2014, the U.S. Senate confirmed Yellen's nomination. She was sworn in on February 3, 2014, making her the first woman to hold the position.Jason Furman
Jason Furman (born August 18, 1970) is an American economist and professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. On June 10, 2013, Furman was named by President Barack Obama as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). Previously, since January 28, 2009, Furman had served as the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, which followed his role as an advisor to candidate Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. Furman's research and policy focus includes the subjects of taxes, health care, macroeconomic policy, competition and inequality, technology policy, and the U.S. Social Security program.
Professor Furman is teaching at the John Fitzgerald Kennedy School of Government.Kevin Hassett
Kevin Allen Hassett is an American economist who is the current Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. He is known for his work on tax policy and for coauthoring the book Dow 36,000, published in 1999. Prior to becoming Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Hassett was the State Farm James Q. Wilson Chair in American Politics and Culture and Director of Research for Domestic Policy at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. He was John McCain's chief economic adviser in the 2000 presidential primaries and an economic adviser to the campaigns of George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election and McCain in the presidential election of 2008. He was among Mitt Romney's economic advisers for the 2012 presidential campaign.In early 2017, Hassett was nominated by President Donald Trump to become the 29th Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. The United States Senate confirmed him in an 81–16 vote on September 12, 2017. He was sworn in on September 13, 2017.Laura Tyson
Laura D'Andrea Tyson (born June 28, 1947) is an American economist and former Chair of the US President's Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration. She also served as Director of the National Economic Council. She is currently a professor at the Haas School of Business of the University of California, Berkeley.Leon Keyserling
Leon Hirsch Keyserling (January 11, 1908 – August 9, 1987) was an American economist and lawyer. During his career he helped draft major pieces of Fair Deal legislation and advised President Harry S. Truman as head of the Council of Economic Advisers.Martin Neil Baily
Martin Neil Baily (born March 29, 1949) is an economist at the Brookings Institution and formerly at the Peterson Institute. He is best known for his work on productivity and competitiveness and for his tenure as a cabinet member during the Clinton Administration. He was one of three members of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1994 to 1996, and chairman of the Council from 1999 to 2001. He currently co-chairs the Bipartisan Policy Center's Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative and serves as a senior advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group.
Baily was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution (1979–89) and subsequently professor of economics at the University of Maryland (1989–96). He was vice chairman of a National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council panel investigating the effect of computers on productivity. Baily co-founded the microeconomics issues of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. He was a principal at McKinsey & Company's Global Institute (1996–99) and has been a senior adviser to McKinsey since 2002. He joined the board of The Phoenix Companies in 2005 and is an academic adviser to the Congressional Budget Office and associate editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives.Baily earned his Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his undergraduate degree at King's College, Cambridge (UK), and taught at MIT and Yale University. He is the author of numerous books and articles and coauthor with Jacob Kirkegaard of Transforming the European Economy (2004).Murray Weidenbaum
Murray Lew Weidenbaum (10 February 1927 – 20 March 2014), was an American economist and author. He was the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor and Honorary Chairman of the Murray Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy at Washington University in St. Louis. He has served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy (1969–1971). He was chairman of President Ronald Reagan's first Council of Economic Advisors from 1981 to 1982.William Nordhaus
William Dawbney Nordhaus (born May 31, 1941) is an American economist and Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University, best known for his work in economic modelling and climate change. He is one of the laureates of the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Nordhaus received the prize "for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis".