Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 3/9/15

The website was down several hours today, but is back up now.

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.


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Stumbling and Mumbling

"An extremist, not a fanatic”

April 24, 2015, 10:34 am, 1461193

Was Hayek merely a Cold Warrior who is irrelevant today, or does he still have something to teach us? I ask because of two things that have happened to me this morning.

First, I read Steven's observation that my scepticism about the efficiency of bonuses ...

April 23, 2015, 10:34 am, 1460402

Big bonuses for bosses can have adverse effects upon productivity. A new paper by Jorg Oechssler, Anwar Shah and Nikos Nikiforakis concludes:

Managerial bonuses have the potential of generating conflict between managers and their subordinates. Managerial bonuses can be a disincentive for subordinates...firms should exercise ...

April 21, 2015, 10:35 am, 1458953

A leaflet from the Lib Dems sullies my doormat decrying "heartless Tories" and "clueless Labour", echoing Clegg's claim that the Lib Dems would "add a heart to a Conservative government and add a brain to a Labour one". This seems to me to be doubly wrong.

April 17, 2015, 10:34 am, 1457154

Tim and Richard have been having an argument about Laffer curves. Here, in no particular order, are my notes on the matter.

1. There are (at least) two Laffer curves - one that relates top tax rates to GDP, and on that relates ...

April 16, 2015, 10:35 am, 1456464

There's a big difference between forecasting and explaining. This is one point which I fear is being under-emphasized in the culture war about the state of macroeconomics.

Critics often infer that the discipline failed because it ...

April 14, 2015, 10:34 am, 1455075

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster." Labour's manifesto reminded me of these famous words of Friedrich Nietzsche.

It begins thus:

A Labour government will cut the deficit every year. The first line of Labour’s first Budget ...

April 10, 2015, 10:35 am, 1453339

The anti-Miliband campaign seems to have backfired: it's created an image of someone who is both weak and ruthless and a nerd and a shagger - which betokens a certain confusion.

Some on the left, though, believe the Tories have had no option ...

April 9, 2015, 8:35 am, 1452745

There's a lot that we've not seen so far in this election campaign. One of the many absences has been any discussion of happiness policy. This is odd, given that back in 2006 Mr Cameron said:

Improving our society's sense of well-being is, I believe, ...

April 7, 2015, 10:34 am, 1451642

Are the rich diamonds or are they fool's gold? I ask because of something Tim says. He responds to George Monbiot's complaint that:

There is an inverse relationship between utility and reward. The most lucrative, prestigious jobs tend to cause the greatest harm. The most ...

April 6, 2015, 8:35 am, 1451051

Today is pensions freedom day, which has led to fears that people will misuse their freedom and so pay too much tax, stoke up a buy-to-let bubble or just spend too much too soon and so end up in poverty.