Office of the Assistant for Economic Affairs


Materials concerning economic policy analysis and advice prepared for Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs, L. William Seidman, especially in the areas of the organization and operation of the Economic Policy Board and the March 1975 quarterly economic review. Also, materials on his work as White House liaison with the Office of the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations during the time between the resignation of one Special Trade Representative and the appointment of a successor.

2.0 linear feet (ca. 4,000 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession number 77-99)

Open. Some items may be temporarily restricted under terms of the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (36 CFR 1256).

Gerald Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.

Prepared June 1982
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Marvin H. Kosters

1933 - Born, Corsica, South Dakota

1960 - Received B.S. degree, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI

1965 - Received PhD, University of Chicago

1965-69 - Economist, The RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA

1969-71 - Senior Staff Economist, Council of Economic Advisers

July-Aug. 1971 - Associate Manpower Administrator, U.S. Department of Labor, Manpower Administration

Aug.-Nov. 1971 - Director of Planning and Analysis, Cost of Living Council

Nov. 1971-Jan. 1973 - Assistant Director for Planning and Analysis, Cost of Living Council

Jan.-Oct. 1973 - Associate Director for Economic Policy, Cost of Living Council

Oct. 1973-Mar. 1974 - Counselor to the Chairman, Cost of Living Council

March-December 1974 - Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

Dec. 1974-May 1975 - Consultant to L. William Seidman, Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs

May 1975-? Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

1975-77 - Consultant, U.S. Department of the Treasury

1994-2000 - Adjunct Professor, Virginia Tech University


Dr. Marvin H. Kosters, an economist who had been involved in the planning and analysis of wage and price controls with the Cost of Living Council during the Nixon administration, joined the Ford administration as consultant to the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy in December 1974. He remained with the administration until May 1975 when he returned to a position as resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Kosters had taken a leave of absence from the American Enterprise Institute in order to accept a position in the administration and become "a participant-observer in national economic policy machinery." Kosters was responsible for economic policy analysis and advice for the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, L. William Seidman. His duties included the coordination of domestic economic policy issues to be addressed by the Economic Policy Board and liaison with executive departments and agencies in developing policy issues and implementing policy decisions. Dr. Kosters was also responsible for responding to letters from economists and the general public concerning administration policies.

Kosters' role as observer is illustrated in several memoranda he prepared for Seidman concerning the purpose, structure and organization of the Economic Policy Board. The Board was established in October 1974 by Executive Order 11808, which outlined the EPB's responsibilities and its relationship with departments and agencies in only the most general terms. Kosters was responsible for further defining the Board's purpose, proposing what kinds of matters should be brought up for consideration by the executive committee, and streamlining the EPB staff organization.

Kosters also participated directly in the activities of the EPB and was responsible for organizing the quarterly economic review held in March 1975. The EPB executive committee met daily to discuss a variety of topics related to the domestic economy. The executive committee also organized two types of meetings to supplement the daily morning sessions -- quarterly economic policy reviews and executive committee special sessions. The review planned by Kosters followed the usual format -- an assessment of the overall economic outlook, review of the general direction of either domestic or international policy, and an examination of specific problem areas.

Kosters began planning for this March quarterly review in January 1975 by informally canvassing departments and agencies for possible agenda topics. He then prepared a review outline under Seidman's supervision and circulated it to executive committee members for comments and suggestions. The executive committee then approved a revised agenda, established task forces, made assignments, and set deadlines for papers. Kosters monitored departments and agencies to make sure that deadlines were being met and made arrangements for the three-day review. He also prepared an extensive follow-up paper.

Dr. Kosters also acted as liaison with the Office of Special Representative for Trade Negotiations during the time between the resignation of one Special Trade Representative and the appointment of a successor. He met regularly with staff members in the Office of the Special Trade Representative, reviewed testimony to be given by members of the Office, received copies of their substantive correspondence with House and Senate members, offered his views on how specific trade matters should be handled, and briefed Seidman concerning these matters.

Dr. Kosters' files contain materials distributed by the Council of Economic Advisers concerning economic data and indicators; information on several issues considered by the Economic Policy Board; and papers and publications submitted to him by various agencies, departments, economists, and private financial firms.

Related Materials (June 1982)
Related material may be found in the L. William Seidman papers and files, various White House Central Files subject categories, and the papers of the Council of Economic Advisers.


General Subject File, 1974-75.  (Boxes 1-5, 2.0 linear feet)
Correspondence, memoranda, press releases, reports on economic data and indicators, and various drafts of the March 1975 economic policy review. They concern Kosters' activities as consultant to L. William Seidman, involvement with the Economic Policy Board, and as liaison with the Office of the Special Trade Representative for Trade Negotiations. Major topics include: planning and follow-up for the Economic Policy Board quarterly review in March 1975; the World Trade Negotiations in Geneva in February 1975; financing of electric utilities; and the Office of Special Representative for Trade Negotiations.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series


Box 1 - General Subject File

  • Ad Hoc Committee for an Effective Tax Credit
  • Agriculture, Department of
  • Assistant Secretaries Economic Information Meeting
  • Bradley, Woods and Co. Incorporated
  • Commerce, Department of
  • Congressional Program of Economic Recovery and Energy Sufficiency
  • Correspondence - Form Responses
  • Correspondence - House and Senate
  • Correspondence - General (1)-(3)
  • Council of Economic Advisers
    - Consumer Price Index
    - Employment Figures
    - Farm Prices
    - Fertilizer and Natural Gas
    - Gross National Product
    - Housing Starts
    - Industrial Production
    - International Monetary Products
    - Monetary and Financial Conditions
    - Personal Income
    - Retail Sales
    - Wholesale Price Index
  • Council on International Economic Policy
  • Council on International Economic Policy - Publications

Box 2 - General Subject File

  • Council on Wage and Price Stability
  • Domestic Council
  • Economic Policy Board
    - Kosters Memoranda on Role and Operation
    - Miscellaneous Agenda and Minutes
    - Program Planning and Development
    - Quarterly Economic Policy Review
    - Agenda Planning
    - Briefing Book - Final Draft (1)-(3)
    - Briefing Book - Working Papers (1)

Box 3 - General Subject File

  • Economic Policy Board
    - Quarterly Economic Policy Review
    - Briefing Book - Working Papers (2)
    - Follow-up
  • - Seidman/Kosters Memoranda
    - Suggested Agenda Topics
  • Electric Utilities (1)-(3)
  • Family Budget Figures
  • Federal Energy Administration

Box 4 - General Subject File

  • General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade - Geneva
  • General Revenue Sharing
  • Goldes, Mark - The General Ownership Corporation (1)-(2)
  • Interior, Department of the
  • Internal Memoranda
  • Legg Mason Washington Service
  • Miscellaneous Speeches
  • National Commission on Productivity
  • Notes on the Economic Outlook
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Office of the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations
    - Annual Reports
    - Correspondence (1)-(4)
    - Miscellaneous

Box 5 - General Subject File

  • Office of the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations
  • - State Department Cables
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • President's Economic Program
  • President's Economic Program - Questions and Answers
  • President's Economic Program - State of the Union Message 1975
  • Press Releases
  • Recycling Industry
  • "The Review of Economics and Statistics"
  • Small Business Policy
  • Task Group on Antitrust Immunities
  • Transportation, Department of
  • Treasury, Department of
  • U.S. Steel
  • Weekly Indicators of Economic Activity