Macroeconomic Management in the Biden Administration

Here is an update to this post, on who’s where at the top of select agencies.

There are many striking contrasts. We go from Kevin Hassett (AEI) to Cecilia Rouse (Princeton), and Steven Mnuchin to Janet Yellen (UC Berkeley/Board/SF Fed/Board) [Econbrowser post].

All I can say is, I’m a lot more confident about things than I was a year ago.

I add this (edited/updated) addendum to my last post on this subject.

Addendum: Google Scholar – top cited articles/chapter (books otherwise), as of 7/10/2021.

Janet Yellen: Akerlof, George A., and Janet L. Yellen. “The fair wage-effort hypothesis and unemployment.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 105.2 (1990): 255-283. 2800 cites

Cecilia Rouse: Goldin, Claudia, and Cecilia Rouse. “Orchestrating impartiality: The impact of” blind” auditions on female musicians.” American economic review 90.4 (2000): 715-741. 1951 cites

Heather Boushey: Boushey, Heather. ““Opting out?” The effect of children on women’s employment in the United States.” Feminist Economics 14.1 (2008): 1-36. 152 cites.

Jared Bernstein: Mishel, Lawrence R., Jared Bernstein, and Sylvia A. Allegretto. The state of working America 2006/2007. Cornell University Press, 2006. 561 cites.

Shalanda Young: Stein, B.D., Tanielian, T.L., Ryan, G.W., Rhodes, H.J., Young, S.D. and Blanchard, J.C., 2004. A bitter pill to swallow: nonadherence with prophylactic antibiotics during the anthrax attacks and the role of private physicians. Biosecurity and bioterrorism: biodefense strategy, practice, and science, 2(3), pp.175-185. 36 cites.

Gina Raimondo: Raimondo, G.M., 2011. Truth in Numbers. Rhode Island, Office of the General Treasures. 11 cites.

Brian Deese: Birdsall, Nancy, John Williamson, and Brian Deese. Delivering on debt relief: From IMF gold to a new aid architecture. Peterson Institute, 2002. 216 cites.


PS: I’ll also note that the folks in the previous administration made me waste time figuring out how a border adjustment tax would work (and whether tariffs on Mexican imports could “pay for the wall” since Americans would be literally paying for the tax), forcing me to look up soybean futures over and over again, making me argue with individuals whether soybean futures predicted, forcing me to explain why giving massive tax cuts to high income individuals and corporations was unlikely to presage a new golden era in sustainable growth, etc. etc.

13 thoughts on “Macroeconomic Management in the Biden Administration

  1. pgl

    “I’ll also note that the folks in the previous administration made me waste time figuring out how a border adjustment tax would work”

    I got a couple of publications on this border adjustment tax might impact things like transfer pricing which of course no one bothers to read anymore.

  2. Moses Herzog

    I like posts like this. It reminds me to try to stay in a positive mindset. And we have some reasons to feel good, or at least better about the world outlook than we did 1 year ago..

    Though at the moment Afghanistan has me worried a little bit. I’d be less worried if Susan Rice had White House Cabinet member duties she’s much better suited for than her current job title. Things in Afghanistan are going to get much much worse before they get better and you can already bank on that. Susan Rice needs a place in national defense/security where her thoughts are much nearer to President Biden’s ears.

  3. Ivan

    A competent President picking competent advisers and leadership. What a refreshing and calming thing after 4 years of the orange disaster. I still get hiccups thinking about Larry Kudlow being anything but a screaming head on a Fox “news” show.

        1. Moses Herzog

          This was mainly intended as humor. However if I was pressed to answer this question I don’t think Claudia Goldin would react well to the criticisms in the Pallesen blog or Andrew Gelman post, do you?? It’s in essence saying the conclusion drawn from the data are baloney. I don’t imagine Goldin grinning at that (unless it was a very wry grin). I did a cursory web search for any replies Goldin (or Rouse) might have made to the criticisms and found notta.

          1. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Moses Herzog: An organized web search (in an academic way) would be to look up in Google Scholar the articles citing the Rouse et al. paper. Not effective for working papers (or blogposts), but should be for a long-published article in a top journal.

          2. Moses Herzog

            @ Menzie
            As you probably already guessed, I did not use Google Scholar. Since you seem to be at least semi-encouraging me to do this, I will. I remain pretty cynical Goldin or Rouse have directly answered “this nature” of criticism related directly to this specific paper. But since I was attempting a semi-cheap laugh I will take some time to try to find if Rouse&Goldin have responded (or if other scholars have made what I view as legit responses). This will take me more than today to make a genuine search and then I’ll put what turns up in the next 2–3 days.

            At the risk of coming across as sexist, to me it’s largely laughable. There is intense competition to be in the city orchestras/symphonies etc. They mean to be delivering a quality product to sell tickets in what is seen by many as a “dying industry” (classical music and the related concerts). The idea that they are going to intentionally deliver an inferior product because they “have it out for the girls” or get some jones out of seeing 5+ more males in your average orchestra, I personally believe to be what Sherman T.Potter used to call “horse hockey” or “Buffalo bagels”. And when “coincidentally” two women draw these conclusions from data that…. isn’t “persuasive” on that “score” (no pun intended)……..

          3. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Moses Herzog: I’m not a musician, but my composer/flutist wife of 30 years has brought me along to enough performances/rehearsals and associated events that I think I can say that the music world is not a meritocratic heaven. Similarly, if you asked me if the economics profession had tremendous biases of both class/status/race/gender nature imbedded in it, I would agree that all are not treated evenly.

          4. Moses Herzog

            @ Menzie
            Your point is well taken. In the name of honesty I have never denied being somewhat old school in my thinking on these issues. But I am not immalleable in my views. I would have preferred Yellen over Jerome Powell for Fed Chair during the orange affliction. And I would prefer Susan Rice over Jake Sullivan now. Alas, nobody phoned me to request guidance.

          5. Moses Herzog

            One part of the paper which is interesting:

            “Thus, it is not immediately obvious that an expansion in the supply of qualified female musicians explains the marked increase in female symphony orchestra members; it could, therefore, be be- cause of changes in the hiring procedures of orchestras.

            It’s nice they (Goldin and Rouse) dedicated a footnote to this, but maybe “telling” they are not very interested in exploring this facet. Another interesting facet, they claim The Vienna Philharmonic only just recently (the paper is dated 2000) invited their first female member (a harpist). In the year 2019 Vienna Philharmonic were up to 15 female members. ViennaPhil were ranked 3rd in the world in 2010 by Gramophone. I’m guessing these rankings don’t change much over multiple years, but I don’t in fact know.

            My question is, if female musicians are being discriminated against, wouldn’t there be a marked increase in the quality of the musicianship in the symphonies which have a higher ratio of females??

            I have not yet, though fully intend to, looked at the citings of the paper, as I thought it might be intelligent to read the actual paper first.

          6. Barkley Rosser

            I have just checked one item. While Pallatan has a fairly respectable publication record mostly dealing with medical research stuff, his 2019 paper Stevec linked to here, while getting a lot of internet attention, has a whopping zero citations in other publications. The Goldin-Rouse study has some flaws, but Pallatan has basically failed to make his score on this.

            My late mother was not only a composer but Concertmaster of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. She did not complain much, but it was certainly the case that decades ago there were way more males in the orchestras than there are now. Back then women had to be especially good to overcome the entrenched bias in favor of men. That has changed.

            Looking at those Google Scholar lists, I shall note that my most cited publication does not appear in GS list, along with another very heavily cited one. My top is at 745, not the 549 one sees there, and the other missing one is over 300.

            Hey, on Menzie’s list this would put me ahead of everybody except Yellen and Rouse, :-)..

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