Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

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Jobs

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 .


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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?


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Environmental and Urban Economics


December 16, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1390118
How much do cities suffer from "fat tail" extreme events such as Hurricane Sandy or Katrina? The LA Times reports todaythat the Mayor of LA is forming contingency plans for an ugly scenario where an earthquake in Los Angeles disrupts the aqueducts that carry water into the city. The ...


December 15, 2014, 11:33 am, 1389309
At the NY Times, Michael Wines and Jess Bidgood must have studied some economics. They playfully recast Tiebout "Voting with your Feet" for Cod saying that these fish "Vote with their Fins" as the fish seek out cooler water. Climate change has heated up the local waters and reduced ...


December 14, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1388943
A Tufts Agricultural Economist named Parke Wilde has nudged me to write out a few more thoughts about the carbon emissions from flying. First, some assumptions based on this web source.

Assumption #1:

Los Angeles is 2400 miles from New York City and it costs 10 ...


December 14, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1388876
Who knew that the LA Times could cover topics unrelated to Kobe Bryant! In today's LA Times, Severin Borenstein has an excellent piece about the political economy of California's nascent carbon cap & trade market. Starting in January 2015, gas refiners will be included under the cap and at ...


December 13, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1388722
Mark Bittman writesin the Sunday NY Times; "The progress of the last 40 years has been mostly cultural, culminating, the last couple of years, in the broad legalization of same-sex marriage. But by many other measures, especially economic, things have gotten worse, thanks to the establishment of neo-liberal principles ...


December 12, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1388477
I have been arguing for five years now that urbanization will protect us from many of the blows that climate change will cause. Cities (relative farming) have an edge in adapting to climate change. Cities always compete for talent. Those cities that figure out how to adapt (either due to ...


December 11, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1387850
Read Gov. Jerry Brown's piece in today's LA Times. He is an optimist about the role that carbon regulation plays in stimulating an economy. I believe that the WSJ would disagree with the following direct quote from his piece.

"Last year, our four governments — the states ...


December 11, 2014, 11:33 am, 1387474
In today's WSJ, Congressman Kevin Cramer (R, Norh Dakota) asks the following questions; 1. how costly will it be for the stability of the U.S electricity grid to swap out low cost, dirty and reliable coal for more expensive, clean, and intermittent renewables such as wind and solar? 2. ...


December 10, 2014, 11:33 am, 1386729
The NY Times published an OP-Ed by Jason Markthat reviews recent Hollywood movies (think of Interstellar, Elsyium, Waterworld!) about the end of the world.

A direct quote:

"Perhaps the best of this bunch is “Snowpiercer,” the Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s fable about social injustice and environmental ...


December 9, 2014, 9:33 pm, 1386322
I'm happy to announce that I've accepted an offer to be a Co-Editor of Regional Science and Urban Economics. Dan McMillen, Yves Zenou and Giovanni Perri will continue as "the Editors". My role will be to review and edit submissions related to applied environmental and urban economics. ...