Rachel Glennerster is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, which is more-or-less the dictionary definition of an academic economist.
But earlier in her career, she worked as a policy economist at the UK Treasury, the IMF, and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, which focuses on topics of international economic cooperation and foreign aid. When it comes to distinctions between academic and policy economists, she knows whereof she speaks. In an article back in 2014, she summarized the distinctions with this table.
There are some economists who can move fluidly between the academic and the policy world. But the table helps to explain why many don’t make the jump very well, or prefer not to try.
Timothy Taylor is an American economist. He is managing editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, a quarterly academic journal produced at Macalester College and published by the American Economic Association. Taylor received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Haverford College and a master's degree in economics from Stanford University. At Stanford, he was winner of the award for excellent teaching in a large class (more than 30 students) given by the Associated Students of Stanford University. At Minnesota, he was named a Distinguished Lecturer by the Department of Economics and voted Teacher of the Year by the master's degree students at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Taylor has been a guest speaker for groups of teachers of high school economics, visiting diplomats from eastern Europe, talk-radio shows, and community groups. From 1989 to 1997, Professor Taylor wrote an economics opinion column for the San Jose Mercury-News. He has published multiple lectures on economics through The Teaching Company. With Rudolph Penner and Isabel Sawhill, he is co-author of Updating America's Social Contract (2000), whose first chapter provided an early radical centrist perspective, "An Agenda for the Radical Middle". Taylor is also the author of The Instant Economist: Everything You Need to Know About How the Economy Works, published by the Penguin Group in 2012. The fourth edition of Taylor's Principles of Economics textbook was published by Textbook Media in 2017.