By CAROL E. LEE And JONATHAN WEISMAN
WASHINGTONâAustan Goolsbee, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, will leave his position by the end of the summer, marking the latest shake-up in President Barack Obama's economic team.
Mr. Goolsbee, who assumed the top job at the economic council last September, will return this fall to his position as a professor at the University of Chicago, the White House announced on Monday.
The White House did not immediately name a replacement.
An administration official said Mr. Goolsbee always intended to return to the university. Mr. Goolsbee could not be reached Monday evening for comment.
Mr. Goolsbee was an economic adviser to Mr. Obama's campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and his 2008 presidential campaign, a position that put him on the campaign trail at times. The administration official said Mr. Goolsbee would help with Mr. Obama's re-election effort, based out of Chicago.
At 41 years old, he is the youngest member of the president's cabinet.
Mr. Goolsbee was one of several liberal economists on Mr. Obama's team at the start of the administration, and he was the only one left after the departure of his predecessor at the Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Romer, and Vice President Joe Biden's economic adviser, Jared Bernstein. Mr. Goolsbee turned out to be more of a pragmatist than Ms. Romer and Mr. Bernstein.
During the campaign, he advised against allowing the capital gains and dividend tax rates to rise back to Clinton-era levels, even for the affluent households, though he did believe income tax rates for the wealthy should go back up to the 1990s levels. He based that decision on academic work that he said showed high rates of taxation on investments adversely affect the behavior of would-be investors. That view prevailed.
Another recommendation was overruled. Mr. Goolsbee opposed the government's bailout of Chrysler, which Mr. Obama ultimately supported and has been citing as one of the big successes of his administration's economic policy. On Friday, the president traveled to the Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio, to announce that the auto company had repaid the government on "the investment we made during my watch."
The departures of Messrs. Goolsbee and Bernstein and of Ms. Romer have coincided with the hiring by Mr. Obama of experienced political deal-makers, as the White House shifted from working with a Democratic-controlled Congress in its first two years to negotiating more with Republicans, who gained power in the 2010 election.
The new team has included veterans of divided government from the Clinton White House, such as National Economic Council Chairman Gene Sperling and Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Bruce Reed.
Before becoming director of the Council of Economic Advisers, Mr. Goolsbee was the staff economist for Mr. Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. The White House described his role there as helping "guide the administration's response to the economic crisis."
In a statement Monday evening, Mr. Obama said Mr. Goolsbee "has helped steer our country out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression." Before joining the adminstration, Mr. Goolsbee taught for 14 years at the University of Chicago. He will teach graduate studies this fall at the university's Booth School of Business, the White House said.