Economics Roundtable

Database Maintenance 7/4/15

Routine database maintenance will induce some duplicated items for the next day or two.

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”

July 4, 2015, 8:35 am, 1501365

One thing I'd like George Osborne to do in Wednesday's "emergency" Budget is to end the something for nothing culture.

I know someone who has made almost £400,000 tax-free without working - equivalent to almost 20 years of getting the maximum welfare benefits the Tories are ...

July 2, 2015, 10:35 am, 1500612

Iain Duncan Smith wants to shift the definition of child poverty from one based upon low incomes to one based on educational attainment, worklessness and addiction.

What's at stake here is, as Amelia Gentleman points out, an ideological issue: is poverty due ...

June 30, 2015, 10:35 am, 1499280

To what extent can the state be used to advance leftist aims? This is one of the questions posed by the Greek crisis. But two things I've seen recently suggest the left in the UK should also be asking this.

First, Fraser Nelson ...

June 28, 2015, 8:35 am, 1498174

Are trends in UK inequality more of a problem for the right than left?

I'm prompted to ask by the fact that recent years have seen two different trends. On the one hand, there's been increased equality between the moderately well-off and the moderately badly off: the ...

June 25, 2015, 10:35 am, 1496874

Does management's pursuit of efficiency crowd out innovation? I ask because of two interviews I've seen recently.

First is Matt Ridley's with Hon Lik, inventor of the e-cigarette, which describes how Mr Lik's invention was inspired by his own desire to quit smoking and facilitated ...

June 8, 2015, 10:35 am, 1487596

To those of us whose political instincts were formed in the 70s and 80s, today's Tories present a strange spectacle.

What I mean is that Thatcherites presented themselves as being on the side of liberty: after she died, The Economist called Lady Thatcher freedom fighter ...

June 6, 2015, 8:35 am, 1486992

Jon Snow's claim that Tariq Aziz was a "nice guy" has been widely attacked: Nick Cohen called it "everything that's wrong with the British Left handily summarised in one tweet."

But what exactly is the error here? I don't think ...

June 5, 2015, 8:35 am, 1486511

For years, Keynesian have complained that governments must not treat the public finances as if they were household finances. This complaint lets the government off too lightly, because no sensible household would manage its finances in the way the government does.

Take three recent examples.

June 4, 2015, 10:35 am, 1485891

Inequality has fallen in the UK - which might be worrying.

This sounds like an odd thing to say. But it's the natural implication of what Ben Chu rightly says. He notes that whilst the Gini coefficient hasn't changed much since the early 90s, ...

June 3, 2015, 10:35 am, 1485199

Andrew Smithers says:

A major cause of low investment is the incentives created by the bonus culture — the practice (now almost ubiquitous in quoted companies) of paying executives huge bonuses to reward short-term success.

I agree that many bosses are overpaid and ...