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Intellect

BYU economist to assist U.S. Council of Economic Advisers

Brigham Young University professor of economics Mark H. Showalter has been invited to serve as a senior economist for the Council of Economic Advisers in Washington, D.C.

The three-member council analyzes and makes recommendations to the president of the United States on such issues as economic development, specific programs and activities of the government, and national economic policies to promote employment, production and purchasing power.

"The council also assists and advises the president in the preparation of the Economic Report and other reports as requested by the president," said Showalter.

Showalter will be one of a set of seven or eight senior economists who will assist the three appointed members of the council - all of whom require Senate confirmation - in communicating with the president and the Congress.

"The senior economists advise the members and, as occasion requires, participate in higher-level discussions," said Showalter. "I will be the senior economist for health, education, welfare and labor for a term of one year beginning this August."

Examples of specific issues Showalter may be asked to address include an evaluation of Medicare, including a prescription drug benefit, and an analysis of the underfunding of the pension guarantee system.

"Medicare should be a hot topic in the coming months prior to the elections," he said.

"I will likely have significant interaction with top administrative and technical staff of several agencies and departments, such as the FDA, the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as other staff working for Congress and the president."

Showalter is excited about the prospects of his new appointment. "It should be a lot of work, but I'll be interacting with first-class academics," he said.

A BYU alumnus, Showalter received a Ph.D. from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he served as a visiting associate professor from 1998-1999. He joined the BYU Economics Department faculty in 1991. He has published many journal articles on health and education.

Writer: Cecelia Fielding

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