CEA Chair Cecilia Rouse
Category: Discovery & Impact, General News

Title: Rebuilding our economy: CEA Chair Rouse makes the case for public sector involvement

2022 Whittington Lecture
Photo By: Phil Humnicky/Georgetown Univ.

How investing in the public sector can boost the economy

Chair Rouse’s lecture highlighted the areas in which the public sector can be involved during periods of economic growth and recovery and three of the Biden-Harris Administration’s critical economic policy initiatives: the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Creating Helpful Incentives for Producing Semiconductors for America (CHIPS) and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.

“We’ve been disinvesting in our public sector for quite some time,” she said. “We made a good start, but it’s just a start.”

She underscored the challenges facing the United States and its workforce, particularly “long COVID” and the unknown implications of post-COVID health conditions, as well as a growing number of critical areas in need of public sector involvement, from climate change and childcare to renewable energy.

“Investing in the public sector is an important tool for addressing the many diverse challenges facing the nation,” said Chair Rouse, who believes strongly that “the public sector is better equipped at times handle [the] losses” associated with financial risks like investing in physical capital to improve productivity. 

“If we’re going to get back to a place of steady growth,” she said, “we need to be improving our capacity for productivity.”

CEA Chair Rouse
Photo By: Phil Humnicky/Georgetown Univ.

Leading the country toward recovery

Chair Rouse, as well as CEA members Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey, will help lead the country’s economic recovery by publishing the annual “Economic Report of the President,” including analysis on economic developments and trends, and policy recommendations that benefit the American people. 

During their tenure, the Council members make recommendations on both domestic and international policy, basing their recommendations on economic research and empirical evidence.

“There’s much work to be done,” said Chair Rouse. “We need new ideas to solve these problems.”