Obama Taps Krueger

Princeton professor Alan B. Krueger, whose academic work on the economics of the concert ticket led to his keynote appearance at the 2002 Concert Industry Consortium, may be getting a new job. He’s been chosen to chair President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.

It’s not his first Washington gig. He was chief economist at the Treasury Department from 2009-10, where he worked on issues like tax policy and public debt. He also served as chief economist at the Department of Labor under President Bill Clinton. Given Washington gridlock on all of those issues, it may seem like a thankless job.

But Krueger has a reputation as a nonideological empiricist, with a data-driven approach those who heard him speak in 2002 will remember.

He has fans on both left and right sides of the political divide, according to the New York Times, even though his labor research is considered a “cornerstone of any liberal campaign to raise the minimum wage.”

Krueger will still have to navigate a polarized Congress in the confirmation process, but it’s expected that his bipartisan appeal may help ease the way. And he’s been through it before with his Treasury appointment.

Economic observers report the appointment could be a signal of Obama’s declared intention to focus on job creation. Krueger, once confirmed, will replace departed council chairman Austan Goolsbee.

Obama, in his Aug. 29 announcement, called Krueger “one of the nation’s leading economists” and cited his economic policy work “both inside and outside of government,” according to the Times.