Government

Austan Goolsbee: Obama's New Top Economist

Barack Obama, Austan Goolsbee
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Austan Goolsbee will chair the president's Council of Economic Advisers, President Obama said today. Who is Goolsbee?

He's a University of Chicago economist who studies taxation and the economics of the Internet. Here are links to a bunch of his papers.

He's known Obama for years. They taught at Chicago at the same time, and Goolsbee advised Obama during his 2004 Senate run, the Washington Post says.

At 41, he'll be the youngest person to hold the job since the late '60s, the according to the NYT. He graduated from Yale in '91 and got his Ph.D. from MIT in '95.

He's a good talker. He makes frequent press appearances (we had him on the podcast a while back). Last year, he was voted D.C.'s funniest celebrity, though you wouldn't know it from this clip of him doing stand-up. This Daily Show spot is a little livelier. He also wrote for Slate before he worked in the White House.

He opposed the Chrysler bailout, which led to a widely publicized fight with Larry Summers, another big-shot White House economist. (Here's an insider's account of that fight.)

He's replacing Christina Romer, a U.C. Berkeley economist who has held the job for the past few years and said last month she'd be stepping down.

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