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”


September 1, 2014, 10:35 am, 1327444

At the gym yesterday morning, I caught site of a TV show discussing "is fracking the future?" Who might usefully discuss this question: geologists? energy economists? Nope. There was the ubiquitous vested interest; Vivienne Westwood, a frock designer; and James Delingpole, whose field of expertise has ...


August 29, 2014, 10:35 am, 1326545

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission this week reminded us of an old fact - that privately educated people are disproportionately represented among top jobs. Why is this?

It's not solely because prviate schools give people a better chance of going on to get good degrees. This


August 27, 2014, 10:35 am, 1325317

Fraser Nelson's claim that the UK is poorer than any US state other than Mississippi has met with some scepticism on Twitter. However, I reckon he might be right.

Put it this way. Last year, UK GDP was £1612bn ...


August 26, 2014, 10:36 am, 1324632

Simon's post reminds me of Sidney Webb's reaction to Britain leaving the gold standard in 1931: "nobody told us we could do that."

The 1929-31 Labour government tore itself apart because it thought the gold standard was a binding constraint which demanded fiscal ...


August 25, 2014, 8:35 am, 1323945

Which is better - to be a racist in words but not actions, or in actions but not words?* This is one question posed by the Malky Mackay affair.

To see my point, let's juxtapose him (and football generally) with the film and TV


August 24, 2014, 10:36 am, 1323709

Watching The Arsenal last night reminded me of a saying by Niels Bohr and Jon Elster - that the opposite of a great truth is sometimes another great truth.

What I mean is that some Gooners have long been critical of Olivier Giroud and have called for ...


August 23, 2014, 8:35 am, 1323439

All professions - yes, even economists - tend to have a biased perspective on the world; the French call this deformation professionnelle. Reading Theresa May's proposals to combat Muslim "radicalization" reminded me that politicians are prone to such biases too.

I say this ...


August 22, 2014, 10:35 am, 1322997

Whilst I was away, I got a reminder of how I am out of step with modern politics.

Austin Mitchell complained about the feminization of parliament. This, he says, will lead to politics becoming "more preoccupied with the local rather than the international...and small problems ...


August 18, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1320469

What is the optimum number of migrant deaths? The answer is not zero.

Think of this from the point of view of UK voters. They want tougher immigration controls. But these impose the risk of death upon migrants. If people can't ...


August 17, 2014, 8:35 am, 1319914

I have pointed out before that rightists are prone to a rhetorical trick which I've called "small truths, big errors" - a tendency to use a small factual claim to obfuscate a bigger issue. Tim Worstall gives us an example of this today. In ...