Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


The best summary of the state of our economy is the graph (below) of employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old. The decrease is large, but the most troubling feature of the graph is the flat trend .

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

Donald Marron likes European interest rates. Click on the image to get a bigger version. Can you find three distinct subperiods?

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.

Remember M1?

Money Supply M1 growth is now over 20% per year over a 12 month lag. M1 growth has touched 20% before, but not with excess reserves of $1.6 trillion. Where is M1 headed?

Click on the chart for a larger version.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

The Classic Economic Models cover micro, macro, and financial markets.

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Stumbling and Mumbling

"An extremist, not a fanatic”

December 1, 2016, 8:34 am, 1698865

The votes for Trump and Brexit have highlighted a division between “elites” and the “people”. For me, though, this is the wrong dichotomy. The question instead is: under what conditions are the people right, and under what conditions are elites right?

Both can sometimes go wrong. Experts ...

November 29, 2016, 8:34 am, 1698140

There is a point at which stupidity ceases to be a merely intellectual error and becomes a crime. If Nick Cohen is right, the government has crossed this point. He writes:

[David] Davis seems closer in spirit to a bubbly PR girl than a hard-headed statesman. ...

November 27, 2016, 8:34 am, 1697579

We leftists should make more effort to understand the rise of the populist right, says Janice Tuner in the Times:

After defeat you must ask why. It is easy to blame Breitbart or the tabloids, to label every Trump voter a white supremacist, every Leaver a “Brextremist”. ...

November 25, 2016, 8:34 am, 1697298

The OBR’s downbeat forecasts for the economy have caused Brexiteers to question its competence. For example, Iain Duncan Smith says it has been “pretty much been wrong on everything.” Such attacks miss two important facts.

Fact one is that there is a crucial difference between ...

November 24, 2016, 4:34 am, 1697109

Simon wonders why disenchantment with globalization has caused people to turn to what he calls snake oil salesmen. That phrase is apt, because snake oil salesmen thrived for decades. And some of the reasons they did so might be relevant today.

My source here is a ...

November 21, 2016, 10:34 am, 1696122

I’m disappointed but not surprised that Theresa May has backtracked on the promise to put workers onto company boards. But let’s be clear why I’m disappointed.

A single worker-director would not greatly empower workers – although of course it might be a stepping stone towards a ...

November 20, 2016, 8:34 am, 1695876

Trump’s election victory has led to calls to bring class back into leftist politics. “Class trumps gender, and it’s driving American politics” says Joan Williams. Sam Dale attacks the “toxic failure of identity politics” and says “Liberal elites have no clue about the lives of the ...

November 17, 2016, 8:34 am, 1695072

Much as I admire both protagaonists, the debate between Simon and Jo on the role of ideology in economics left me cold. I’m not interested in whether economics is mainstream or heterodox.

To see my point, let’s take an example from outside macro – the ...

November 16, 2016, 8:34 am, 1694709

In pre-modern times, people believed in the doctrine of signatures. This was the idea that the cure for an ailment must resemble the ailment itself. So, for example, eyewort was used as a remedy for vision problems and toothwort for toothache because the flowers of those plants ...

November 15, 2016, 8:34 am, 1694325

The apparent popularity of Donald Trump’s demand for protectionism raises a question: why haven’t exchange rates done the job they were supposed to?

I ask because one justification of floating exchange rates back in the 1970s was that they would render protectionism redundant. If a country ran ...