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Former Council Of Economic Advisers Chair Sympathizes With Christina Romer

Christina Romer Testifies Before Joint Economic Cmte On Recovery Act

hide captionTime's up. Chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers Christina Romer, testifying on Capitol Hill last year.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

As we reported earlier, Christina D. Romer, chair of the three-member White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), has resigned, effective Sept. 3. (Not coincidentally, that's just a few days after the fall semester begins at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is Class of 1957 Professor of Economics.)

For almost two years, N. Gregory Mankiw, Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics at Harvard University, chaired President George W. Bush's CEA. On his blog today, he sympathizes with Romer:

"From my own experience in that job, I know she must be experiencing mixed emotions," Mankiw writes.

On the one hand, it is an exhilarating experience to be a member of a White House team, a part of history, and the leader of a staff of smart, hard-working economists at the CEA.

On the other hand, in jobs like this, one loses a great deal of autonomy. People who choose academia as a career often do so because they enjoy the personal and intellectual freedom it offers. Having spent two years without it, I appreciate that freedom all the more. I bet Christy will feel the same, after she recovers from Beltway decompression.

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