Krueger nominated to lead Obama's Council of Economic Advisers

Alan Krueger

Alan Krueger

Photo by Jon Roemer

NOTE: The U.S. Senate confirmed Alan Krueger's appointment on Nov. 3.

President Barack Obama has nominated Princeton University professor Alan Krueger, a prominent labor economist, to be the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Krueger, who is Princeton's Bendheim Professor in Economics and Public Policy, has held a joint appointment in the Department of Economics and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs since 1987. He served as the assistant U.S. treasury secretary for economic policy and chief economist of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2010. He also served as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor from 1994 to 1995.

"Alan brings a wealth of experience to the job. He's one of the nation's leading economists," Obama said in announcing the nomination at the White House Aug. 29. "For more than two decades, he's studied and developed economic policy, both inside and outside of government. In the first two years of this administration, as we were dealing with the effects of a complex and fast-moving financial crisis -- a crisis that threatened a second Great Depression -- Alan's counsel as chief economist at the Treasury Department proved invaluable. … I have nothing but confidence in Alan as he takes on this important role as one of the leaders of my economic team."

The Council of Economic Advisers is an agency within the Executive Office of the President that is charged with offering the president economic advice on the formulation of both domestic and international economic policy. Krueger's nomination as chair of the council is subject to U.S. Senate confirmation. If confirmed, he would take a leave from the University for government service.

Christina Paxson, dean of the Wilson School, said, "Alan Krueger is an outstanding economist who will once again serve as a dedicated public policy adviser for the president and the people of this country. On behalf of the entire Wilson School community, let me extend my congratulations to Alan on his nomination."

Krueger has published widely on the economics of education, unemployment, labor demand, income distribution, social insurance, labor market regulation, terrorism and environmental economics -- all of which will help him at the White House, said Gene Grossman, chair of the economics department.

"In these times of very high unemployment, Alan is the ideal choice for this position, as he is one of the world's leading experts on the workings of the labor market and the causes and consequences of sustained periods of joblessness," Grossman said. "Alan will bring just the right microeconomic perspective to the current policy discussions about how to deal with the long-term unemployed."

Krueger is the author of "What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism" and "Education Matters: A Selection of Essays on Education," and co-author of "Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage" and "Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policies?" The founding director of the Princeton University Survey Research Center, he also has been a member of the board of directors of the Russell Sage Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the American Institutes for Research.