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.


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Stumbling and Mumbling

"An extremist, not a fanatic”

May 24, 2016, 10:35 am, 1639329

Does prospect theory help explain support for Brexit in the UK and for Donald Trump in the US?

The bit of the theory I have in mind is the prediction that people are risk-seeking when they are losing, because they gamble to get even. This explains ...

May 23, 2016, 10:34 am, 1638977

One of the problems with being a Marxist is that one is the subject of silly misunderstandings. Here are a handful of the bad arguments against Marxism I often see, and my replies.

“Don’t you realize central planning has failed?”

We do. But if you want ...

May 20, 2016, 8:35 am, 1638363

My first reaction to the news that Noreena Hertz is to become ITV’s economics editor was: isn’t she slumming it? Others, though, have asked whether a leftie can be trusted to report economics impartially.

On this question, Ben is of course right to say that ...

May 19, 2016, 8:34 am, 1637961

Nigel Farage’s demand for a second referendum if Remain wins has met with the same reaction with which the famous heckler at the Glasgow Empire greeted Mike and Bernie Winters: “Och, Christ. There’s two of ‘em.*” In fact, though, it has a serious implication – it ...

May 18, 2016, 8:34 am, 1637601

There’s much discontent at the state of journalism, not least at the BBC. What’s insufficiently appreciated, however, is that bad journalism doesn’t just arise from individual incompetence and time pressures. There are also systematic structural forces towards bad and biased reporting. Here’s a list of ...

May 16, 2016, 8:34 am, 1636846

A group of “business leaders” writes to the Telegraph:

Britain’s competitiveness is being undermined by our membership of a failing EU…Brussels’ red tape stifles every one of Britain’s 5.4 million businesses.

The BBC gave uncritical coverage to this claim (01’22” in). However, it raises ...

May 12, 2016, 10:35 am, 1635950

How should the Brexit debate be structured, and presented in the media? Two things I’ve seen today pose this question: Vote Leave’s anger at ITV inviting Nigel Farage to debate against David Cameron; and the letter from 196 economists in favour of Remain.

These raise ...

May 10, 2016, 10:35 am, 1635104

Simon Wren-Lewis says that “finance gets away with so much partly through a process of mystification”, and that economists must help to cut the sector back to size. This is an important point.

One of the great ideological tricks of bankers has been to present their ...

May 9, 2016, 8:34 am, 1634605

There’s a growing campaign to sack Laura Kuenssberg. This seems to me an example of the fundamental attribution error. What’s wrong with the BBC is not so much Ms Kuenssberg herself, but the very nature of political reporting. I suspect instead that there’s a case ...

May 4, 2016, 8:34 am, 1632871

Nick Cohen makes an important point here – that the oppressed are not necessarily more virtuous than others. I want to expand upon this. There are several mechanisms that might cause this.

One, which is most relevant to Nick’s argument, is that oppression often produces stress ...