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Top economists to address issues in the November election

October 17, 2012 By

Two of the nation’s top economic experts, former John McCain adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin and former Obama administration official Jeffrey B. Liebman, will discuss issues in the November election in a lecture hosted by the UW–Madison Department of Economics and the Economics Student Association.

Photo: Jeffrey Liebman


The event will take place Thursday, Oct. 25 from 3-5 p.m. in 6210 Social Sciences.

The pair of highly regarded economists will address issues such as the labor market, tax and budget policy, and the international economy — issues that are at the heart of next month’s election.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the crucial economic policy issues in the November election,” says department chair Karl Scholz.

“Doug Holtz-Eakin and Jeffrey Liebman are two of the finest economic policy makers and advisers in the country. We are enormously excited about having them join us in Madison.”

Holtz-Eakin is president of the American Action Forum and most recently served as a commissioner on the congressionally-chartered Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. He was chief economist of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers in 2001-02, and he helped to formulate policies addressing the 2000-01 recession and the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. From 2003-05 he was director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Photo: Douglas Holtz-Eakin


In 2007-08 Holtz-Eakin was director of domestic and economic policy for McCain’s presidential campaign. He has held positions in several Washington-based think tanks and has been a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, and American Family Business Foundation.

He does research in the areas of applied economic policy, econometric methods, and entrepreneurship. He serves on the boards of the Tax Foundation, National Economists Club and the Research Advisory Board of the Center for Economic Development.

Liebman is the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a co-organizer of its working group on Social Security, and associate director of the NBER’s Retirement Research Center.

Liebman was acting deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget in 2010. In 2009 he served as its executive associate director and chief economist. He was special assistant to the president for economic policy in the White House National Economic Council from 1998-99.

He teaches courses in public sector economics and American economic policy. In his research, he studies tax and budget policy, social insurance, poverty, and income inequality. He has examined the impacts of government programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Social Security, and housing vouchers. He coordinated the Clinton Administration’s Social Security reform technical working group.

The lecture is cosponsored by the university’s Lectures Committee and funded by the Kemper K. Knapp Bequest Fund.

More information can be found on the economics department website.