Economics Roundtable

NOTICE 4/30/18

The Economics Roundtable is back. The technical problem that has limited the set of blogs has been resolved. The RSS feed is, however, still not working.

Flushing caches will likely cause some old posts to show up for a day or two.


Employment as a Percentage of Population

The graph below shows employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old.


Click on the image to get a bigger version.


March 2017 Payroll Employment

Payroll employment has not grown impressively since 2000. Some baby-boomers retired, but that does not totally account for this graph.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


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.


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.


RSS Feed

Stumbling and Mumbling

"An extremist, not a fanatic”


September 12, 2018, 9:49 am, 1898705

In recent years the case for free markets has become tainted by association with a defence of the rich – an association which free market think-tanks have done too little to disentangle. It was not always so, however. Adam Smith and David Ricardo (and Thomas Carlyle!) saw ...


September 11, 2018, 9:09 am, 1898366

Over the weekend, the two main political stories on the BBC were Chuka Umunna’s row with the Labour leadership and Boris Johnson’s attack upon Theresa May, whilst John McDonnell’s plan to gradually end capitalism was ignored*. Then yesterday John Humphrys prefaced a question about the type of ...


September 9, 2018, 7:49 am, 1897780

Lord Blunkett made an interesting point on Friday’s Today programme (2’18” in):

Nobody below their mid-50s will remember the early 1980s…The problem for the group who think it would be possible to create a new [centre] party is that they have forgotten or didn’t know about ...


September 8, 2018, 8:40 am, 1897701

“Higher wages prompt improvements in productivity”. This is one of the central claims in the IPPR’s report this week. But I wonder: how true is it?

Certainly, it can be for individual firms. An employer who pays better than the going rate will attract better ...


September 6, 2018, 9:09 am, 1896993

There’s a widespread consensus that corporate short-termism is a problem. Many have welcomed Donald Trump’s call to end quarterly reporting in the hope that it might lengthen planning horizons; yesterday’s report from the IPPR cited short-termism as one reason for the UK’s lack of investment ...


September 5, 2018, 9:09 am, 1896542

I confess I approached the IPPR’s report, Prosperity and Justice, with low expectations. I feared it would be yet more bland technocratic centrism. I was wholly wrong. It gets to the heart of our economic problem – that inequalities of power are impoverishing millions of us:


September 4, 2018, 9:09 am, 1896152

The on-going row over anti-semitism in the Labour party raises the question: how could parts of the party, and Corbyn in particular, have gotten into such a damned mess?

It’s not because Labour members have unhappy dealings with the Jews they actually meet. In fact, outside of ...


August 30, 2018, 9:09 am, 1895049

Diane Coyle says the fact that different countries have seen different changes in labour’s share of income in recent years – with it falling in the US but not UK - shows that “institutions are playing a big part” in driving factor shares. This is true. ...


August 26, 2018, 7:09 am, 1893670

One thing I especially like about Jesse Norman’s Adam Smith is his description of the social and intellectual climate in which Smith grew up. In doing so, he tells us that Smith’s father – a “cultivated and intelligent man” – had a library of 80 books*. Somebody of ...


August 23, 2018, 9:09 am, 1892912

When I tweeted the other day that the crisis of capitalism consists of a decade-long stagnation in productivity (which has given us falling wages), a wise man replied that this is true only in one country. Which set me wondering: might there be a case for ...