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.

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Stumbling and Mumbling

"An extremist, not a fanatic”

September 28, 2016, 10:34 am, 1679200

A commenter on a previous post asks: why is immigration such an obsession on the left? To answer this question, let’s first note that the free market right should be strongly opposed to immigration controls.

This is simply because immigration is a matter of freedom. ...

September 27, 2016, 10:34 am, 1678877

“Perhaps Labour’s day is done, and it is time for something new” says Nick Cohen, a sentiment echoed by Janan Ganesh.

I disagree. Labour has two massive things going for it, which are immense obstacles to the formation of a new party.

One is ...

September 25, 2016, 6:34 am, 1678310

Corbynistas have gotten into the habit of calling their opponents “Blairites”. In some cases, this is unwarranted not because it is a smear, but because it is an unjustified compliment.

I mean this is two different senses.

One concerns immigration. Chuka Umunna thinks the UK should ...

September 23, 2016, 10:34 am, 1677994

Channel 4’s purchase of the Great British Bake Off raises big economic questions: what exactly is a firm, and what are a firms’ assets?

As you all know, Mary, Mel and Sue will not be joining the show when it moves channel, which has prompted everyone ...

September 22, 2016, 10:34 am, 1677663

Tim Farron said this week that “there is a hole in the centre of British politics right now.” This is true, if not in the sense he intends.

What I mean is that several big political developments of recent years are a backlash against centrist politics: ...

September 21, 2016, 10:34 am, 1677301

How should economists engage with a man who knows nothing about economics? Matthew Bishop says we should treat him as a “worthy interlocutor in a way that values his opinion”. I’d caveat this.

We should make two distinctions here. One is between the man who genuinely ...

September 20, 2016, 10:34 am, 1676953

In his attack (pdf) upon macroeconomic theory, Paul Romer is especially critical of the real business cycle view that recessions are caused by negative technology shocks. He calls them “phlogiston shocks” and says:

there is no microeconomic evidence for the negative phlogiston shocks that the model ...

September 19, 2016, 10:34 am, 1676576

Last week, Theresa May spoke of wanting to increase social mobility, so that “it’s your talent and hard work that matter, not where you were born.” This week she wants to restrict immigration. There’s a massive contradiction here.

I say this for a trivially ...

September 16, 2016, 10:35 am, 1673530

In the debate about grammar schools, everybody assumes that it is those who pass the 11+ who should be admitted to them. But why should this be? Mightn’t it be more efficient instead to admit those who do badly?

I ask because of some recent experiments ...

September 15, 2016, 10:35 am, 1673221

Some mainstream economists have recently attacked DSGE models. Olivier Blanchard says (pdf) there are “many reasons to dislike” them. And Paul Romer says (pdf) they’ve caused “intellectual regress” into a “post real” doctrine which attributes economic fluctuations to imaginary causes.

I want to ask ...