Friday, August 6, 2010

Romer stands up, neatly pushes in CEA chair

The news out of Washington today is that Christy Romer will step down as CEA chair and return to U.C. Berkeley. She joins Peter Orszag, the outgoing OMB director, as the second economist to leave the cabinet and (presumably, in Orszag's case) return to academia. I bet students and faculty at Berkeley will be very happy to have her and her husband, David Romer, back again. I know from personal experience as a student during the mid to late 1990s that service during Democratic administrations tends to hollow out Evans Hall at U.C. Berkeley!

What an incredible ride it must have been for Christy Romer! Have any other CEA chairs presided over a more volatile period, both in terms of underlying macroeconomic turbulence and in the vicissitudes of the policy response? The same would certainly also be true for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke if he were to have not been confirmed or had resigned.