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”

February 17, 2017, 10:34 am, 1720928

Should Arsene Wenger go? If so who should replace him? In considering these questions we must remember three important economic principles.

One is that in hiring someone what matters is putting round pegs into round holes. Productivity often results not from the intrinsic quality of a worker, ...

February 16, 2017, 8:34 am, 1720464

There’s an emerging consensus that the Labour party’s longstanding coalition between workers and middle class intellectuals is breaking down. Bo Rothstein says the “alliance between the industrial working class and what one might call the intellectual-cultural Left is over.” Julian Coman laments the division “between Labour ...

February 15, 2017, 10:34 am, 1720100

It’s sometimes said that we live in times of unusual economic uncertainty, with new businesses disrupting old ones and robots threatening to take our jobs. Today’s labour market data seem to undermine such claims, as they show unusual stability in jobs.

My first chart shows one ...

February 14, 2017, 10:34 am, 1719696

The Resolution Foundation says (pdf) that the typical pensioner now has a higher income, after housing costs, than the typical worker. Which poses the question: do younger people have a legitimate complaint here? I think the answer’s yes.

First, though, let’s see what their grievances ...

February 13, 2017, 10:34 am, 1719296

Paul raises an important issue: what’s wrong with experts? I suspect the answer is: plenty.

These many faults, however, don’t include the failure to foresee the financial crisis. It’s not the job of economists to act as soothsayers, any more than we expect mechanics to ...

February 10, 2017, 10:34 am, 1718693

The FT says the government’s decision to sell off some student loans “makes no sense.” From one perspective, this is true: it’s daft to sell an asset that probably has a positive return in order to pay off debt that carries a negative real interest rate. From ...

February 9, 2017, 10:34 am, 1718281

Amber Rudd says she’s stopping child refugees entering the country because “we do not want to incentivise perilous journeys to Europe particularly by the most vulnerable children.” This should remind us of an old trick of the Tory party – the ideological misuse of the language of ...

February 8, 2017, 10:34 am, 1717835

Our perceptions of the economy are shaped not just by current reality but also by the past. For example, Ulrike Malmendier and Stefan Nagel have shown (pdf) that people who experienced recessions in their formative years are more risk-averse than others even decades later; workers in ...

February 7, 2017, 10:34 am, 1717420

Nick Cohen makes a good point: it is not congenital liars that should worry us, but congenital believers – those who fall for the lies of charlatans. We know that many do so: almost half of voters believed the lie that leaving the EU would allow ...

February 5, 2017, 10:34 am, 1716854

Yvette Cooper wants a debate about immigration. I think she’s wrong.

As Stephen Bush points out, Labour has been calling for such a debate for the past 20 years – and we’ve been having one, insofar as the mindless drivel that passes for political discourse ...