Another Princetonian is likely to join the Obama administration this Fall. Earlier this week, the President nominated Princeton economics professor Alan Krueger to head the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). In addition to teaching labor economics, Krueger has contributed an impressive quantity of novel research to the study of labor markets. His work includes, among other things, a study with economist David Card that downplays the negative impact of raising the minimum wage. Krueger has met criticism on both sides of the political spectrum. Republicans predictably dislike his emphasis on job creation rather than deficit reduction. Some Democrats feel the professor may be too specialized for large-scale macroeconomic decision-making. Regardless, Krueger’s nomination will likely be approved by the Senate due to his recent stint as assistant secretary and chief economist at the Treasury Department. Score one more Princeton faculty members.
Former White House Budget Director Peter Orszag was Krueger’s student at Princeton. In an August 29th New York Times article regarding Krueger’s nomination, Mr. Orszag wrote (in an email), “He was one of my best professors…He taught labor economics and was very clear in explaining the field. He was also very engaged with the class, and used thrilling real-world examples to illustrate his points – very empirical. He also had the whole class over to his house for a cookout.”