“If you can do your job at least partly from home, then you’re doing ok. If you can’t and you have to be in a physical location, you’ve been devastated.”
- Austan Goolsbee
Former chair, President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers
Professor of Economics, University of Chicago's Booth School of Business
Kirk Carapezza of WGBH Interviews Austan Goolsbee
WHY HIM, WHY NOW? As an economist with a knack for translating complex concepts into layman’s terms and a skilled public speaker, Goolsbee’s predictions for the trajectory of the economic recovery have been in demand over the past few months.
The new economy, tax policy (and how tax rates affect people’s behavior), government policy BACKGROUND Goolsbee chaired the three-member Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama from 2010 to 2011 (he’d been a member of the council since 2009). He was the youngest member of President Obama’s cabinet. He served as Obama’s senior economic policy adviser during his 2008 presidential campaign and also advised Obama during his 2004 Senate race. He taught economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business from 1995 until he joined the Obama administration in 2009. He left the administration and returned to teaching at the university in 2011. He was previously a Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the Panel of Economic Advisors to the Congressional Budget Office. Goolsbee is also the former host of the History Channel show History’s Business and formerly wrote an economics column in The New York Times. Prior to writing for the NYT, he wrote the “Dismal Science” column for Slate, for which he won the 2006 Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism. He served as media surrogate for the Obama administration and has a reputation as a fantastic public speaker (he was named National Extemporaneous Speaking Champion in high school and college). He was voted the “Funniest Celebrity in Washington” in 2009.
DEGREES Bachelor’s (B.A.) in Economics from Yale University Master’s (M.A.) in Economics from Yale University Ph.D. in Economics from MIT
MAJOR PUBLICATIONS Austan has been published countless papers in national and international peer-reviewed journals and books. Here are a few pieces he’s written for a popular audience in the past few months:
“Fatigue Is Here, but the Economic Fight Is Just Beginning,” The New York Times, May 2020 “Why the Coronavirus Could Threaten the U.S. Economy Even More Than China’s,” The New York Times, March 2020
PROFILES OF AUSTAN “Austan Goolsbee,” Catherine Rampell, The New York Times, November 2008 A primer on Goolsbee’s experience, background, and views written shortly before President Obama’s inauguration. “Goolsbee Sets Populist Tone,” Ben Smith, Politico, March 2009 A fun overview of Goolsbee’s personality, from his reputation as a “master of the one-liner” to his years at Yale as a “drawling kid who looked like he had just walked out of a Western movie.”
RECENT MEDIA APPEARANCES “Austen Goolsbee weighs in on Biden's 'Build Back Better' plan,” Yahoo Finance, July 2020 “Virus Economics” Good Morning America, July 9, 2020 “Morning Money Virtual Interview with Austan Goolsbee,” Politico, April 2020 “Goolsbee on 'virus economics',” CNN, March 2020