Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

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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”

October 5, 2015, 10:34 am, 1553251

Deliberation, which those who begin it by prudence, and continue it with subtilty, must, after long expence of thought, conclude by chance.

Looking at the debate about whether to renew Trident reminded me of these words of Samuel Johnson.

October 1, 2015, 10:34 am, 1551791

I have in the past complained about centrist utopianism. Tim Montgomerie in the Times offers an example of this. He points out "nothing has actually done more in world history to ensure the poor don't stay poor...than the advance of free trade" and then asks: "Do ...

September 30, 2015, 10:34 am, 1551193

"Why is Richard Dawkins such a jerk? asks Matthew Francis.Some recent laboratory experiments help shed light upon this.

Researchers at Microsoft first looked at professional pundits' predictions for the NBA playoffs - which are best-of-seven matches - conditional upon seeing the results of ...

September 29, 2015, 8:34 am, 1550537

Janan Ganesh interprets the rise of Corbyn as a sign of Britain's prosperity - that people "can afford to treat politics as a source of gaiety and affirmation":

A Corbyn rally is not a band of desperate workers fighting to improve their circumstances, it is a communion ...

September 28, 2015, 10:34 am, 1550050

There's a point I made in my previous post that I'd like to emphasise. It's that voters support austerity for the same, sometimes mistaken, reason that they support price controls - because they under-estimate the extent to which emergent processes sometimes produce benign outcomes.

What ...

September 24, 2015, 10:34 am, 1548548

"Why do the British dislike the free market?" asks John Rentoul, pointing to public support for nationalization and opposition (pdf) to privatization: he might have added support for rent and price (pdf) controls too.  

For me, ...

September 23, 2015, 10:34 am, 1547974

Recent allegations have reminded us that some initiation ceremonies can be a little unusual. I'd be failing in my duty if I did not point out some economic aspects of this.

Such rituals are common: we see them among army recruits, football teams, primitive tribes ...

September 22, 2015, 10:34 am, 1547459

There's at least one aspect of Corbynomics which many mainstream economists accept - the case for a National Investment Bank. Even critics such as John Van Reenen and the Economist see no objection to it. Indeed, Corbyn is simply adopting an idea proposed by, ...

September 21, 2015, 10:34 am, 1546924

Diego Costa has something in common with George Osborne. I don't just mean the obvious. I mean that both could be beneficiaries of a common cognitive error - the outcome bias.

Some observers are praising Costa for engineering Gabriel's sending off. "There is ...

September 19, 2015, 10:34 am, 1546383

There's been much debate and, I fear, confusion, about "people's quantitative easing". Personally, I suspect the case for it all depends on the circumstances.

Let's start from a fact - that if it has any effect at all, PQE is inflationary. Whether this is a good thing ...