Economics Roundtable

NOTICE 4/30/18

The Economics Roundtable is back. The technical problem that has limited the set of blogs has been resolved. The RSS feed is, however, still not working.

Flushing caches will likely cause some old posts to show up for a day or two.


Employment as a Percentage of Population

The graph below shows employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old.


Click on the image to get a bigger version.


March 2017 Payroll Employment

Payroll employment has not grown impressively since 2000. Some baby-boomers retired, but that does not totally account for this graph.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


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.


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.


RSS Feed

William J. Polley

"Comments and observations on economics and whatever else catches my eye”


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850256
A student sends me this link from the BEA discussing how much measured investment (and therefore GDP) would increase if R&D spending was counted as investment.

The only other place in the blogosphere where I see this linked is The Intangible Economy... which I think I had ...


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850257
...and they don't even go to Ted Drewes', or Fitz's, or the Zoo (though they do mention Forest Park). Yet they still manage to pack in a lot of fun stuff.

Article here.


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850258
Here's the statement:

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April suggests that the economic recovery is proceeding and that the labor market is improving gradually. Household spending is increasing but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income ...


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850259
Nice article in the NY Times on the switching cost of cell phones. Yes, economic theory really does work.

You would think that there were few barriers to switching cellphones. But the carriers try to make it harder to switch by locking customers into two-year contracts with high ...


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850255
David Leonhardt examines our predicament in today's NY Times.

Finally, the idea that the world's rich countries need to cut spending and raise taxes has a lot of truth to it. The United States, Europe and Japan have all made promises they cannot afford. Eventually, something needs to ...


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850254
Have you heard the Motel 6 radio commercial where Tom Bodett, the chain's long-time pitchman, tells you to visit all the state capitals this summer? He mentions Lincoln, NE; Austin, TX, and South Dakota's capital which he can't remember the name of until the end of the commercial. Of course, ...


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850251
Your government at work again. Remember, they only want to protect you. That attorneys and CPAs should benefit from this at the expense of others is simply coincidence.

Yeah, right.

(Via Craig Newmark)


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850252
NY Times obituary

I have a copy of his classic The Fractal Geometry of Nature, and I have his autograph from the 1990 Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus. His work was not universally accepted and still remains somewhat on the fringes. Yet it captured my imagination as ...


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850253
Interesting question. The Wall Street Journal Real Time Economics blog looks to the FOMC members for clarity and finds precious little.

Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig continues to believe rates need to rise, which leaves him in opposition to the decision made just over a week ago ...


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850250
It's been a while... far too long. Suffice to say that my day job has been keeping me very busy this year and has made blogging difficult. I want to rectify that, but it may be tough going for a while yet.

This, however, was enough to bring ...