IZA Research Fellow Aaron Sojourner (University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management) has been appointed as a senior economist on President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). He will serve a one-year term beginning this summer, remaining in the role following the change of administrations next January. His duties include helping to prepare briefings for the president on labor market and education topics, and contributing to the annual Economic Report of the President. One regular task will be to help interpret the “jobs report” that is published each month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Established by Congress in 1946, the CEA is charged with offering the president and his staff objective economic advice on the formulation of both domestic and international economic policy. The council is supported by up to 10 senior economists who focus on different aspects of the economy, selected on the basis of their research expertise and the needs of the council.
Labor markets and education systems critical for prosperity
Sojourner serves as a senior economist specializing in labor economics. His academic research focuses on three areas: policies to promote efficient and equitable development of human capital through investments in early childhood and K-12 education, impacts of labor market institutions, and behavioral consumer finance. The IZA Newsroom recently featured his work on the impact of reputation in the “gig economy” and on the benefits of high-quality early childcare.
“I became a labor economist because I believe well-functioning labor markets and education systems are critical foundations of prosperity for families, communities, and for our nation,” says Sojourner. “Federal policy can strongly influence how well these systems work. I am excited and humbled by this opportunity to serve our country and to help bring our field’s best theory and evidence into policy discussions at this level.”