Monday, January 28, 2008

Don't believe every rumor you hear

David Warsh, the erstwhile Boston Globe journalist, reports on his blog:
Speaking of Martin Feldstein, who intends to step down in June after thirty-one years at the helm of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the search committee that has been seeking his successor is said to have nearly completed its work. As expected (second item), the front-runners are thought to be N. Gregory Mankiw, 49, of Harvard University, and James M. Poterba, 49, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Both are long-time affiliates of the NBER, which under Feldstein became the nation’s premier venue of applied economic research, with more than 1,000 professors of economics and business publishing under its aegis. The more likely choice is textbook author Mankiw.
I have no idea about whether the search committee is close to a decision, but I am sure that Marty's successor at the Bureau won't be "textbook author Mankiw." The search committee contacted me some time ago to gauge my interest, and after deliberation, I took my name out of the running.

Why did I decide not to pursue the job? As in many such decisions in life, various factors were at play, both personal and professional. But what really pushed me over the edge was pending tax policy. With the Bush tax cuts set to expire in a couple years, I am looking for ways to reduce my taxable income.

You may not believe me, but I bet Marty Feldstein does.