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

U.S. Food Policy (Parke Wilde)

"U.S. Food Policy and Economics from a Public Interest Perspective”


July 21, 2018, 9:31 am, 1878179
In the New Republic this week, Emily Atkin reviews the renewed Trump administration interest in restricting the word "milk" on labels for products such as "soy milk" and "coconut milk."

“As the [FDA] Commissioner noted, the dictionary definition of the word ‘milk’ does include coming from nuts, and ...


June 5, 2018, 3:10 pm, 1864757
Because the Donald Trump administration is rolling back U.S. commitments in major trade agreements, our trading partners are retaliating with import restraints on U.S. food and agricultural products.

For example, the European Union (EU) may erect new trade barriers on peanut butter, sweetcorn, and orange juice. Canada may ...


May 22, 2018, 3:29 pm, 1860389
In a significant win for community food security advocates, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker yesterday signed into law a supplemental budget with funding to extend the statewide SNAP Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) through the end of the fiscal year.

This decision reversed a funding-related pause in the popular incentive program ...


May 16, 2018, 9:11 am, 1858014
The question for this new video (third in a series) is: Should the federal government stop encouraging Americans to eat more beef, pork, and cheese?

For more information about reform of the federal commodity checkoff programs discussed in this video,see the bipartisan Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act ...


May 15, 2018, 1:30 pm, 1857578
The House Farm Bill (H.R. 2) passed the Committee on Agriculture with only Republican votes and will soon go to the floor, where it faces strong criticism from Democrats who are concerned about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provisions.

The provisions in question are widely described as ...


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850208
Multiple social media friends recently shared a fall 2015 chart from an organization called "The Other 98%" (slogans: "kicking corporate asses for the working classes" and "we didn't start the class war, but we're going to end it").

I like the chart's implied message. In my own words: ...


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850209
In a commentary for WBUR this week, my faculty colleagues Will Masters and Jennifer Hashley write about Massachusetts Ballot Measure #3, which would ban the sale in Massachusetts of eggs, pork, and veal from confined production methods.

This debate is commonly described as a tension between animal welfare ...


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850193
The fluid milk and dairy checkoff programs are required by law each year to submit a Report to Congress. But these reports have gone missing since 2012.

Under the federal government's authority, the public-private checkoff programs collect several hundred million dollars each year in mandatory assessments from dairy producers, ...


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850191
The United States has a largely automobile-centered approach to grocery shopping. Most Americans shop at their primary retailer using their own automobile.

There are some interesting differences by income. According to data from USDA's Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS), about 95% of comparatively well-off households do their primary ...


April 30, 2018, 8:11 pm, 1850192
In Andy Fisher's ferocious condemnation of anti-hunger organizations -- titled Big Hunger: the Unholy Alliance between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups (MIT Press, 2017) -- there is much to appreciate.

The book rightly uses a poverty-centered lens to diagnose the causes of food insecurity and hunger in the ...