John Irons's Blog


Economic News, Data and Analysis

Moving on…

As many of you know, for the past year I have been on sabbatical leave from my assistant professor position in the economics department at Amherst College. I have been spending my time down in the DC area getting some reading and writing done, running ArgMax, and hanging out with my new fiance, Jessica.
I have recently decided to resign from Amherst College and stay down in the DC area on a permanent basis. I highly recommend the economics department at Amherst both to economists on the job market as well as potential Amherst students. The faculty and staff at Amherst were a pleasure to work with.
Most importantly, the outstanding students at Amherst made it a pleasure to teach. For those that have not taught at the undergraduate level, bright economics students – especially at the introductory level – are very good at keeping you on your toes. They tend to question every assumption and force you to truly understand the material you teach. I think I might have learned as much economics as I taught in most of my courses.
So, what am I up to now? I have recently started a new job at a DC Policy organization called OMB Watch, which is a well-respected nonprofit research, educational, and advocacy organization here in DC that focuses on budget issues, regulatory policy, nonprofit advocacy, access to government information, and other issues involving the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). If you’re in the DC area you might spot me with a pair of binoculars “watching” OMB.
Officially, my title is: “Senior Economic Research and Policy Analyst; and staff Economist.” (Pretty fancy, eh?) I will be working with the budget group analysing federal budget and tax issues, advocating responsible economic policy, as well as bringing an economist’s perspective to some of the other work done here.
I’ve been called crazy for giving up a cushy tenure-track faculty position, but I feel that this is the right move for me right now. So far, it’s been a huge, and welcome, change in pace from the academic lifestyle (hey, isn’t summer supposed to be a vacation?); but I am very much looking forward to take a more active role in policy debates and policy advocacy.
Anyway, despite the fact that I now have an honest 9 to 5 job, I will continue to follow the economy and update ArgMax as time permits. You can probably expect even more macroeconomic policy (especially fiscal) as that will be what I am working on everyday.


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