, Volume 142, Issue 3-4, pp 279-291
Date: 19 Nov 2009

Do differences in presidential economic advisers matter?

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Abstract

Using data on members on the Council of Economic Advisors as well as US Treasury secretaries and OMB directors from 1952 through 2005, I investigate the effect of economic advisors’ educational and employment backgrounds on the time series performance of several policy variables. Ivy League advisors appear to raise non-defense government spending, although the size of the impact differs by president. While voter preferences appear to matter for a wider variety of policy variables (changes in federal regulation and marginal tax rates), the share of Ivy League advisors is at least as important as voter preferences in explaining non-defense spending.