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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"The Library of Economics and Liberty”

October 23, 2014, 2:04 am, 1356033
(October 23, 2014 12:08 AM, by Bryan Caplan) How is blogging different from traditional media? My knee-jerk answer is, "It caters to a higher-IQ audience," but that's not really true. The real story is that blogging lets a million voices bloom - including but hardly limited to voices... (0 COMMENTS)

October 22, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1355796
(October 22, 2014 05:01 PM, by Alberto Mingardi) What does it mean that Amazon has "too much power"? Paul Krugman has published a vehement column on the online retailer, arguing basically that Amazon enjoys a significant "market power" vis-à-vis publishers. He refers to the feud between Amazon and... (2 COMMENTS)

October 22, 2014, 8:04 am, 1355421
(October 22, 2014 06:05 AM, by Scott Sumner) Here's Matt Yglesias on fiscal stimulus: What the country needs is a stimulative process that has the bureaucratic properties of monetary policy, but the heft and comprehensibility of fiscal stimulus. If we had a national sales tax like Japan does,... (0 COMMENTS)

October 21, 2014, 10:04 pm, 1355170
(October 22, 2014 12:07 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Criminals are poorly educated. About 68% of state inmates dropped out of high school. Many researchers study whether this effect is causal. As usual, though, I'm more interested in whether the causal effect stems from signaling. Education could reduce crime... (1 COMMENTS)

October 21, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1354829
(October 21, 2014 12:38 PM, by David Henderson) In February 2012, I posted a proposal that the federal government allow contraceptives to be sold over the counter. I wrote: Nevertheless, there is a way that the federal government now cuts access to contraceptives in a way that substantially... (0 COMMENTS)

October 21, 2014, 12:04 am, 1354442
(October 21, 2014 12:07 AM, by Bryan Caplan) I'm pleased by the high quality of comments on my Ebola bet, as well as the unusually high number of people willing to put their money where their mouth is. First, the takers:Troy Barry:I'll take the bet (first form), not... (0 COMMENTS)

October 20, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1354351
(October 20, 2014 04:51 PM, by Art Carden) The world is a pretty complex and mesmerizing place, and people (and firms) do a lot of things that are, at first glance, hard to understand. Consider airlines. I've heard on numerous occasions complaints about how major carriers board their... (0 COMMENTS)

October 20, 2014, 10:04 am, 1354029
(October 20, 2014 09:05 AM, by Scott Sumner) Sometimes I argue that nominal GDP is like Coke, it's the "real thing." By that I mean it's a well-defined concept, the dollar value of all output of final goods and services. Of course I exaggerate, there are some conceptual... (0 COMMENTS)

October 19, 2014, 10:04 pm, 1353772
(October 20, 2014 12:01 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Mainstream scientists assure us that Ebola poses very little threat to Americans; unless you're a health worker who cares for the infected, Ebola is almost impossible to catch in a rich, modern society. Yet many populists and borderline conspiracy theorists... (7 COMMENTS)

October 19, 2014, 10:04 pm, 1353771
(October 20, 2014 01:27 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Economics makes many things funnier. But econ's comedic value-added for the final scene of The Warriors (1979) is truly rich. The first 15 seconds have the big unintended joke, but don't stop there.... (0 COMMENTS)