Polls: Female and Male Economists Support Yellen for Fed Chairman

Tuesday, 06 Aug 2013 06:02 PM

By Dan Weil

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A strong majority of female economists and a plurality of male economists support Janet Yellen to be the next Federal Reserve chairman in recent polls conducted by CNNMoney.

Yellen, currently vice chairwoman of the Fed, and Lawrence Summers, former White House economic adviser, are seen as the frontrunners to succeed Ben Bernanke in the job.

In a survey of 45 female economists, CNNMoney found that 38 support Yellen for the job, one backs former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and the other six are undecided. Some of the six said both Yellen and Summers are qualified for the job.

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Most of the female economists said the focus on gender in the contest is very unfair to Yellen, who stands strong on her own qualifications.

In another survey of 21 economists, 19 of whom are male, CNNMoney found that 10 think Yellen should get the job. Two believe Summers should be chosen, two think Bernanke should stay on the job, one supports Stanford University economist John Taylor and another backs Columbia University Business School Dean Glenn Hubbard.

One of the economists who chose Summers is a woman -- Sue Sterne, president of Economic Analysis Associates.

The raft of commentary about the race between Summers and Yellen is silly and risks hurting the economy, says Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Arian.

"If this continues, there is a material risk that exaggerations and tangents could undermine the country by raising unwarranted questions about leadership, particularly when the next Fed chair may need to calm panicky financial markets, take controversial steps, persuade foreign central banks to cooperate or suddenly lead the private sector in a new direction," he wrote in The Washington Post.

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© 2014 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

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