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”

July 28, 2016, 10:35 am, 1658153

To those of us who grew up in the 70s and 80s, there’s something odd about politics now. It’s that no main party is, or seems to want to be, the “party of business”.

What I mean is that back then, the Tories were emphatically on the ...

July 27, 2016, 10:35 am, 1657687

We should ask of economic theories not: “are they true?” but rather “how true are they?” I was reminded of this by Noah Smith’s piece pointing out that Friedman’s permanent income hypothesis is wrong – a fact which matters a lot because, as Noah says, the PIH ...

July 26, 2016, 8:35 am, 1657189

Here’s an intelligent idea from Richard Wilkinson:

If we can't have a Lab leader who can inspire and do the nitty gritty of Parliamentary politics, let's split the job in two, not the party.

David Owen has suggested how to do this. He writes:

July 25, 2016, 10:35 am, 1656820

The CBI reported today that manufacturers’ business confidence has fallen at its fastest rate since early 2009, causing falls in investment and hiring plans. This corroborates surveys by Deloitte, Markit (pdf), the Institute of Directors and, to a lesser extent the Bank of

July 23, 2016, 8:35 am, 1656427

The IFS reported this week that income inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, hasn’t much changed since the early 1990s. This does not, however, mean that it is not a problem. There are several reasons why it is.

One is purely statistical. Survey-based measures of ...

July 21, 2016, 10:35 am, 1655735

One book that’s had an especially big influence upon me is John Kay’s Obliquity. He argues that in a complex and unpredictable world our goals are often best achieved indirectly:

Happiness is not achieved through the pursuit of happiness. The most profitable businesses are not ...

July 20, 2016, 10:35 am, 1655344

One of the stranger poll findings of recent days has come from ICM. It asked voters “which team do you think is better able to manage the economy properly?” It found that 53% said May and Hammond against only 15% saying Corbyn and McDonnell. Only 16% said ...

July 19, 2016, 8:35 am, 1654919

Should Labour replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader? I’m in two minds here.

On the one hand, there seem obvious shortcomings in his leadership. There are many stories of the sort from Lilian Greenwood, Thangam Debboniare and Heidi Alexander about basic failures of organization and ...

July 18, 2016, 10:35 am, 1654571

Here’s a theory: one of the most important, yet under-rated, divisions in politics is that between centralizers and decentralizers.

This isn’t quite the same as the authoritarian-libertarian axis used by Political Compass, or Haidt’s liberty-oppression axis. For one thing, the axis I have in mind ...

July 15, 2016, 10:35 am, 1653965

Older readers might remember a TV show called “How”, which began – in unPC fashion – with the presenters raising their hands and shouting “How”. I was reminded of this because the launch of Angela Eagle’s leadership bid raised exactly this question.

She said: