LAURA TYSON MAY HAVE shifted to a lower-profile job, but don't look for her to fade from public view. One reason: Her likely successor as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers is Joseph Stiglitz. While he's an eminent economist, Stiglitz prefers discursive academic exchanges over the sound bites demanded of the Clinton Administration's frontline economic spokesperson. Tyson, an articulate economist from Berkeley, has moved to the National Economic Council, which coordinates economic policymaking in the Cabinet. Robert Rubin, who moved from the NEC to become Treasury Secretary, will also command airtime by virtue of his clout.
Stiglitz, 52, on leave from Stanford University, is considered a potential Nobel prizewinner for breakthrough work on the uses of information in the markets for credit and goods, as well as studies of public finance and taxation. But during his two years with the Administration, he has acquired a rep as a "mad professor," according to one White House aide. "His economic advice is fabulous. But you ask yourself: Is this the guy you want out in front of the cameras?"