Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

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Jobs

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 .


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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?


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Stumbling and Mumbling

"An extremist, not a fanatic”


August 1, 2014, 10:36 am, 1309706

Is poverty structural or due to individuals' failings? Matt Bruenig and Noah Smith are debating this. I'm inclined to agree with both of them.

I agree with Noah that the two are not mutually exclusive. A quick thought experiment shows this. ...


July 31, 2014, 10:35 am, 1308876

Am I a Tory, or is Jesse Norman a socialist? I'm prompted to ask because the other day he reminded me of his superb lecture (pdf) on Burke and Oakeshott.

What I mean is that, as Jesse says, both men, in their different ways, supported ...


July 30, 2014, 10:36 am, 1308028

ResPublica's call for more virtue in banking looks like it is out of step with our times. This is an indictment not of ResPublica, but of our times. In fact, virtue is necessary for a healthy free market economy because virtuous men do the right thing ...


July 29, 2014, 10:36 am, 1307209

Simon Wren-Lewis wonders why the government has been so silent about stagnating productivity. I suspect there's a simple reason for this: you don't look a gift horse in the mouth. The drop in productivity growth has saved Osborne a massive embarrassment.

To see this, consider ...


July 28, 2014, 10:36 am, 1306473

Accountants EY say that the number of firms issuing profit warnings has risen. This reminds us of an awkward fact - that real wages haven't fallen because capitalists have increased their exploitation of workers. Instead, they've fallen because productivity has fallen. And lower productivity means


July 27, 2014, 8:36 am, 1306108

Nick Rowe has raised an awkward point in the philosophy of economics. He writes:

If you want to increase the natural rate of interest, starting now, for the next 3 years [as fiscal expansionst want to], it does not matter what you do to the level of ...


July 25, 2014, 10:36 am, 1305450

Nick Cohen describes how "diversity" can be used to justify illiberal inequality. I suspect this might be true in another way.

What I mean is that there might be less diversity of opinion and character now than there was in the past. Naturally, I can't ...


July 24, 2014, 10:36 am, 1304676

Simon Wren Lewis says that the commentariat's tendency to excuse the coalition's reckless fiscal policy is due in part to groupthink:  

Very Serious People’ talk to each other more often than they talk to people acquainted with the data.

His point is broader and more ...


July 23, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1304132

Most of the retrospectives on Tony Blair, prompted by the 20th anniversary of his becoming Labour leader strike me as missing something.

Whilst I agree with Stephen, James and John that Britain was better place when Blair left office than when ...


July 23, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1304131

This morning, I got into a Twitter row with Jackart. He says: "State spending CAUSES lack of private investment." I agree with him that this can happen sometimes. But I disagree with him that it happened with Gordon Brown's fiscal loosening in the mid-00s.

My ...