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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EconLog (Arnold Kling)

"The Library of Economics and Liberty”

August 24, 2016, 12:04 am, 1667059
(August 24, 2016 12:02 AM, by Bryan Caplan) This academic year, I'm in charge of the Public Choice Center Seminar series. Seminars are normally on Wednesdays from 12:00-1:15 PM, and are open to the public. Since I am not a fan of actually-existing seminars, I'm experimenting with a... (0 COMMENTS)

August 23, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1666930
(August 23, 2016 03:38 PM, by David Henderson) "We're Hiring Economics Writers," says the headline of a post at the web site FiveThirtyEight. Good for them. Then they write: This is a part-time staff position (up to 29 hours per week) and does not offer benefits. Any idea... (0 COMMENTS)

August 23, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1666886
(August 23, 2016 12:08 PM, by Scott Sumner) Here's Tyler Cowen: The thing is this: whether rationally or not, the American public hates higher rates of price inflation. Perhaps they mis-sample or mis-estimate prices, or perhaps the higher prices really do erode their real wages in a way... (0 COMMENTS)

August 23, 2016, 8:04 am, 1666802
(August 23, 2016 07:02 AM, by Emily Skarbek) A recent piece by Raphaële Chappe discusses the uses and limitations of general equilibrium theorizing. The post is a long-read, but Chappe briefly summarizes the point when she writes: ...the theory lacks explanatory relevance, providing instead a language through which... (0 COMMENTS)

August 23, 2016, 12:04 am, 1666719
(August 23, 2016 12:32 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Evaluate this simple cynical theory of what almost every politically aware person really wants: Minimizing the negative emotions they personally experience when they read/see/hear top news stories. In other words, the politically aware strongly care about even objectively minor problems... (3 COMMENTS)

August 22, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1666542
(August 22, 2016 10:25 AM, by Bryan Caplan) I pride myself on my ability to fairly and accurately explain views with which I disagree. I've tried to enshrine this skill in what I call the Ideological Turing Test - the ability of non-believers to mimic believers in a... (7 COMMENTS)

August 22, 2016, 2:04 am, 1666368
(August 22, 2016 12:54 AM, by Bryan Caplan) The latest installment in my lost works of Michael Huemer series is his 1992 essay, "Relativism and Tyranny." The paper begins with an infamous quote from 1984, then distinguishes nine theses moral relativists (whether self-conscious or by default) routinely equivocate... (0 COMMENTS)

August 21, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1666355
(August 21, 2016 10:16 PM, by David Henderson) Noah Smith recently wrote a piece titled "Being an Ideologue Means Never Having to Say You're Wrong." It starts out well. He writes: "Communism would have worked, if the Soviet Union had only tried it for real." I must have... (3 COMMENTS)

August 20, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1666159
(August 20, 2016 11:54 AM, by Scott Sumner) This post will be about macro theory, but let's with a related example. You are a libertarian and your best friend is also a libertarian. You tend to see eye to eye on most issues, favoring small government. Then some... (0 COMMENTS)

August 19, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1665954
(August 19, 2016 10:03 AM, by Amy Willis) My family has been enjoying watching the Olympics over the past couple of weeks. The spectacle of sport can be inspirational. (And with a young swimmer in the house, we are ALL about Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps.) If... (0 COMMENTS)