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”

September 4, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1539457
(September 4, 2015 01:38 PM, by Scott Sumner) In America, the government heavily subsidizes the provision of "health care." (The scare quotes will be explained later.) For example, roughly 40% of the cost of health insurance for middle class families is paid for by the government, via tax... (0 ...

September 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1539373
(September 4, 2015 12:53 PM, by David Henderson) Those of who you, like my wife and me, are big fans of the TV show The Big Bang Theory, might get a kick out of this title. I've changed the "have always been" that Sheldon says in this segment... (0 ...

September 4, 2015, 12:04 am, 1539093
(September 4, 2015 12:03 AM, by Bryan Caplan) The worker-employer bargain has many funny features.  Scott Alexander points out a few:1. Employers sometimes yell at workers for small mistakes; workers aren't supposed to yell at employers no matter how big the employers' mistakes.2. Employers sometimes demand job applicants'... (0 ...

September 3, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1539032
(September 3, 2015 07:01 PM, by Alberto Mingardi) A few weeks ago, Alexis Tsipras called a new election in Greece, appealing to voters for a new leadership mandate. Most of the mainstream press praised this move of Tsipras, who rapidly moved from the persona of wanna-be communist revolutionary... (0 ...

September 3, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1538750
(September 3, 2015 12:39 PM, by David Henderson) Though it was meant as irony, there was an essential (if accidental) truth behind the speech [in the movie American Beauty]. The technology behind plastic grocery bags is so useful it won a Nobel Prize. Employing an unimaginably small amount... (0 ...

September 3, 2015, 10:04 am, 1538679
(September 3, 2015 09:12 AM, by Scott Sumner) Answers: Maybe, and no. Tyler Cowen linked to a recent paper by Jonathan L. Willis and Guangye Cao, out of the Federal Reserve of Kansas City. Here's the opening paragraph: Over the past three decades, the U.S. economy seems to... (0 ...

September 2, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1538348
(September 2, 2015 08:19 PM, by David Henderson) Over at PJ Media, Rich Moran writes: Since there is a pretty good possibility that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel are likely to "take" a nuclear bomb down the gullet thanks to the ignorant naivete of the president and... (4 ...

September 2, 2015, 10:04 am, 1537986
(September 2, 2015 10:00 AM, by Scott Sumner) Markets are just amazingly wise. But that shouldn't be surprisingly, because they must be smarter than us in order to make it tough to get rich. And that's because if it were easy to get rich we'd quickly run out... (0 ...

September 2, 2015, 12:04 am, 1537720
(September 2, 2015 12:09 AM, by Bryan Caplan) To recap my last post, Scott Alexander's critique of libertarian labor economics amounts to a critique of mainstream labor economics itself.  If Scott were in my labor economics course, I could spend hours of classtime responding to his thought-provoking critique. ... (0 ...

September 1, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1537538
(September 1, 2015 05:49 PM, by David Henderson) Over at Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen has asked people to propose questions for him to ask Luigi Zingales next week. I'm a big fan of Zingales's book A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity. I... (0 ...