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”

August 24, 2016, 8:35 am, 1667151

The tiresome kerfuffle about whether Jeremy Corbyn lied about being unable to get a seat on a train raises a question: so what if he did lie? We all do. Often, a lie can be a way of expressing a bigger truth. Telling your partner that she ...

August 23, 2016, 8:35 am, 1666807

Neil Woodford’s decision to scrap bonuses at his fund management firm poses the question: does this mean big bonuses in the finance industry are on the way out? I don’t think it does.

First, though, a word of praise. Mr Woodford’s colleague Craig Newman is

August 22, 2016, 10:35 am, 1666495

The Olympic games have raised an old question: does capitalism encourage the pursuit of excellence or does it stifle it?

The question matters because any good social structure should facilitate both virtue and freedom. It should allow us to be the best we can be, whilst freeing ...

August 21, 2016, 8:35 am, 1666263

I’ve long said that support for capitalism and tolerance of inequality is founded in part upon cognitive biases. But I wonder: could it be that support for Corbyn is also based in part upon such biases?

I’m thinking of at least four different ones.

August 19, 2016, 8:35 am, 1665881

There’s a nice headline in the Times today:

Make us sell healthy food, supermarkets implore May.

This invites the obvious reply: if you want to sell healthy food, why don’t you just do so?

The answer lies in competitive pressures. If any individual supermarket tries ...

August 18, 2016, 8:35 am, 1665527

Job polarization is a big problem. This is one message I take from figures released yesterday by the ONS showing employment by occupation.

These show that in the last ten years we’ve seen big rises in “professional occupations” and in managers, directors and senior ...

August 17, 2016, 10:35 am, 1665198

A nice letter in the FT recently described Uber as a form of cyber serfdom. It’s a good analogy not just for Uber but for similar firms in the “sharing economy” such as Deliveroo. Whereas farmers once paid socage to their feudal lords, drivers now ...

August 16, 2016, 10:35 am, 1664827

A strong welfare state helps far more people than you might think. That’s my reaction to Shaun’s description of how low interest rates are hurting savers and pension funds.

To see what I mean, let’s start from Andy Haldane’s justification for low rates – that ...

August 13, 2016, 8:35 am, 1664058

Burton Malkiel claimed that “a blindfolded monkey throwing darts at a newspaper's financial pages could select a portfolio that would do just as well as one carefully selected by experts". He was too harsh – on the monkeys. Subsequent research has shown that they often beat experts*. ...

August 11, 2016, 8:35 am, 1663390

I’ve long been sceptical of the term “neoliberalism”, thinking it a boo-word to describe justifications for theft and fraud. However, the unlikely source of Piers Morgan has made me think I might be wrong. He tweeted:

Just can't get excited by Silver & Bronze ...