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”

January 19, 2017, 10:34 am, 1711867

Tribalism in politics isn’t always a bad thing.

I’m prompted to say this by the fact that at least one decent Leaver thinks May’s Brexit strategy is wrong. Pete North calls it “unhinged lunacy” and a “clueless gamble.”

Some of us, though, had an inkling ...

January 18, 2017, 8:34 am, 1711471

Imagine the following scenario. I give you and a stranger an envelope each, one of which contains twice as much money as the other. I then say you can swap envelopes if you give me £1. Do you do so?

You might think: yes, for the following ...

January 17, 2017, 10:34 am, 1711149

Theresa May today said she wanted a “bolder embrace of free trade” so that the UK can “rediscover its role as a great trading nation.” This echoes Gerard Lyons and Liam Halligan’s view (pdf) that Brexit is an opportunity for the UK to “trade more freely ...

January 16, 2017, 10:34 am, 1710873

What’s wrong with inequality? This is the question posed by Oxfam’s claim that eight men have as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population.

Of course, you can quibble with this: if we look only at net financial wealth, someone starting work at ...

January 15, 2017, 10:34 am, 1710693

A poll in the Independent shows that voters think Theresa May and the Tories would do a better job than Jeremy Corbyn of managing the NHS. Which poses the question: how can Labour be so weak on what should be its core strength?

Let’s start with ...

January 14, 2017, 8:34 am, 1710536

In the Times, Janice Turner cites Freud’s saying – that “love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness” – as a reason for people to continue to work into old age to avoid the “void” of retirement. This is both naïve and depressing.

It’s naïve not ...

January 13, 2017, 10:34 am, 1710305

In December 2002 the American Economic Review, one of the most prestigious economic journals, carried a paper by Sven Bouman and Ben Jacobsen called “The Halloween Indicator” in which they showed that selling equities in May and buying on Halloween had paid off very well. Anybody ...

January 12, 2017, 10:34 am, 1709980

The ONS reports that inequality, measured by Gini coefficients for both pre-tax and post-tax incomes, has fallen slightly in the last ten years. I fear this is an example of how statistics sometime don’t tell us very much.

- Even if inequality is now falling, ...

January 11, 2017, 10:34 am, 1709633

Jeremy Corbyn’s call for “some kind of high earnings cap” on high pay has its flaws. But it’s potentially a good idea.

The first flaw in it is that it’s lousy presentation, and suggests Corbyn’s team have learned little from behavioural economics. A wage ceiling ...

January 10, 2017, 10:34 am, 1709270

Here’s the finding of a new study of German firms:

Managerial overconfidence is positively related to the probability of failure of planned investment projects.

This corroborates a decent amount of research summed up (pdf) by Ulrike Malmendier:

A large and growing body of ...