The CBO (Part 1)

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There is a lot of talk about the CBO and the accuracy of their work. I thought it might be helpful to do an in-depth series on the CBO.

What is the CBO?

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is a body composed of economists and budget analysts who provide independent budgetary and economic analyses for monetary decision making.

Standards for Objectivity

Employees of the CBO commit to strong and well defined principles of objectivity and transparency. Some members are required to provide financial disclosure statements to make sure they have no conflicts of interest. CBO employees are required to get permission from managers if they want to be employed by an entity outside of the CBO. Political activity that could identify the CBO with a “political campaign, candidate, officeholder, or cause” is forbidden.

These are just some of the ways the CBO tries to maintain a high level of objectivity. I think this goes a long way to help employees remain objective.


The CBO has a visiting scholars program that enlists the help of macroeconomists, health economists, and public economists. These men and women must have PhDs and demonstrated research in relevant fields. Recent Visiting scholars include: Sheng Guo, assistant professor of economics at Florida International University, Hassan Tetteh, U.S. Navy Commander and an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and Chao Wei, associate professor of economics at the George Washington University.

The panel of economic advisers includes professors from the University of Maryland, University of California, Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard, and the University of Chicago.

In all, there are about 235 staff members at the CBO.


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