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What Trump's and Clinton's economic advisors can tell you about the candidates

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump celebrates winning the South Carolina primary in Spartanburg, South Carolina (L). Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gives a victory speech to a packed room of supporters after winning the Democratic Nevada Caucus, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada (R).
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump celebrates winning the South Carolina primary in Spartanburg, South Carolina (L). Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gives a victory speech to a packed room of supporters after winning the Democratic Nevada Caucus, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada (R).

They may not be the names in the spotlight, but in an election cycle where issues like job creation and trade are taking center stage, the economic advisors for the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns hold powerful positions in influencing the direction of the country's future policies.

Much can be learned about the candidates and how they may lead the world's largest economy from looking to their advisors, and perhaps unsurprisingly, their advisors provide a lesson in what kind of aides the candidates seek: media-oriented and experienced, or consensus-building with establishment ties.

Two names who continually crop up as informal economic advisors to Trump, the Republican nominee, are Larry Kudlow and Stephen Moore. Each brings conservative and economic credentials, with Kudlow having served in Ronald Reagan's administration and as chief economist of Bear Sterns. However, where he aligns most closely with Trump may be in the media. Kudlow is highly visible as a CNBC contributor, a contributing editor at National Review magazine and host of a nationally syndicated talk radio show.

Moore has a lower public profile. However, he does have experience in the media having served on the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal. He also has an extensive background in conservative economics, both as a founder of the conservative Club for Growth and currently as a visiting fellow and former chief economist at conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.

In contrast to Trump's very public advisors, Clinton's top economic advisors are less public in their roles. Known inside the campaign as the "Economikes," Michael Shapiro and Michael Schmidt filter the economic advice Clinton receives and help her shape policy proposals. Both are relatively young, and well-connected when it comes to the Democratic establishment.

Shapiro is 29, and worked on the White House's National Economic Council after graduating Yale Law School. Earlier this year he married Jessica Schumer, the daughter of New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Also a graduate of Yale Law, the 30-year-old Schmidt earned his economic credentials working at the U.S. Treasury Department. He previously helped manage Yale's endowment, working in the university's investments office.

Clinton campaign spokesperson Jesse Ferguson also noted the influence of Jacob Leibenluft, who joined the campaign a month ago, coming from the White House where he served as deputy director of the National Economic Council. Leibenluft focused on job training and minimum wage issues during his time in President Barack Obama's administration, and graduated from Yale College 10 years ago.

While the Trump campaign did not respond to CNBC's request for comment, a quick scan of public comments and policy proposals from the advisors shows they are mostly in line with the candidates who employ them when it comes to working style and ideology.

The "Economikes" act as a filter for the number of informal economic advisors to Clinton's campaign, according to Reuters, and work extensively to research and craft policies before they are rolled out. Kudlow and Moore are also helping Trump formulate his policies, although seemingly on a more ad-hoc basis.

In keeping with Shapiro and Schmidt's lower profiles, they have not made many public policy statements. However, in an interview posted to the Clinton campaign's website, they echoed many of their candidate's talking points on reforming Wall Street.

On the other hand, Kudlow and Moore have both made a number of public comments, mostly in keeping with traditional conservative principles, trumpeting reduced deficits as a means of spurring economic growth and knocking government regulation. However, Moore told Bloomberg he advocated for expanding the tax base, in keeping with Trump's nontraditional policies.

UPDATED: This story was updated to include comments from Clinton campaign spokesperson Jesse Ferguson.