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.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

The Classic Economic Models cover micro, macro, and financial markets.

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Environmental and Urban Economics

May 3, 2016, 7:33 pm, 1632691
Environmentalists and concerned citizens should read this piece.  It covers a lot of ground but for a blog post, it offers a lot of ideas at a price of $0.  Towards the end of the piece, the authors finally get to their main point.  They believe that Agent Based ...

May 3, 2016, 11:33 am, 1632511
The NY Times has published a long piece about households in Louisiana who are moving away from the area.  The people in this group are called "climate refugees".  This is very good sociology and a nice case study but is this "good economics"?  

Over our life, ...

May 2, 2016, 7:33 pm, 1632278
The UC Energy Institute has an excellent blog.  On this blog, Jim Lazar claims that for every mile of driving that this causes $2 in social costs. He credits Todd Litman with this estimate.   In this blog post, I will use this estimate to show how this ...

May 2, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1632159
Andrew Ross Sorkin revisits a classic Keynesian counter-factual.  Would the Great Recession have been less painful if the stimulus plan had been larger?  Here is a direct quote from his NY Times Magazine cover interview with President Obama.


"Many argue today that Obama’s $800 ...

May 2, 2016, 11:33 am, 1632107
The Smithsonian has published an excellent piece that reports on an academic study which examined the productivity of 6 people working in a climate controlled building who were exposed to different levels of VOC and carbon dioxide emissions.   Yes, this is a very small sample of observations and I ...

May 1, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1631848
Here is quote from a book review (of a new book by Thomas Frank) published in today's NY Times.  In Econ 101 classes, young people learn that economists are skeptical that policies such as high minimum wages and rent control will achieve their intended goals. Students hear a full ...

May 1, 2016, 11:33 am, 1631821
The NY Times has published another piece celebrating the extension of the Los Angeles Expo Line (which will take place on May 20th).   I am really excited about this because the extension of the train will now pass through Westwood and this will mean that I no longer ...

April 30, 2016, 7:33 pm, 1631656
I ride public transit to USC.  I like it and it helps me to beat the uncertainty of the traffic along the 10 highway to USC.  This article highlights the benefits of the train and it implies that another benefit of using the train is that traffic congestion in ...

April 29, 2016, 9:33 pm, 1631485
Argentina is a major supplier of Soy Beans and it has recently experienced major flooding.  World Soy Bean prices have jumped 13% in one month but are now at the same level that they were in June 2015.

April 26, 2016, 11:33 pm, 1630253
James Heckman has written many papers  (and see this) about the importance of developing non-cognitive "soft skills" in young children.  He argues that such early age investments can build up these skills and that these skills pay off in terms of higher future wages.   A standard approach ...