Goolsbee to head Obama economics team

Nov. 11, 2008 at 2:27 PM

CHICAGO, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee will be U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's choice to lead the White House economic team, sources say.

Without naming sources, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday Goolsbee, 39, is expected to be named head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers when Obama takes office Jan. 20.

Unlike another University of Chicago economist, Milton Friedman, whose Libertarian-style embrace of small government and opposition to regulation greatly influenced the Republican Party, Goolsbee is part the school's new generation of economists who focus on human activity in natural settings and attempt find economic explanations for why people behave the way they do.

He counts among his colleagues Steven Levitt, author of the best-seller "Freakonomics." An early scholar on the relationship between the Internet and economics, Goolsbee has been Obama's chief economic adviser since 2004 and was instrumental in developing the use of the Internet for his campaign, the newspaper said.

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