Economics Roundtable

Database Maintenance 7/4/15

Routine database maintenance will induce some duplicated items for the next day or two.

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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Environmental and Urban Economics

July 28, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1517238
I have now figured out how to operate my office PC and how to deposit a paycheck.  At USC Econ, I've even gotten some work done.   I'm editing the proofs for my JEL review of Jeff Sachs' new book and I'm finalizing my forthcoming Princeton Press book (joint ...

July 27, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1516502
Climate scientists continue to warn us that flood risk in coastal areas is increasing because of sea level rise. How do we adapt to this anticipated but vague threat?  The threat is vague because we don't know when and how severe and where will any specific flood occur. We ...

July 26, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1515899
When I was a kid, I played Stratomatic baseball. This was a precursor to Billy Beane's Moneyball.  Now that I'm now longer a kid, I have signed up for REPEC's fantasy League and below I report my initial roster (that I was assigned at random).  I find it ...

July 26, 2015, 11:33 am, 1515873
Arthur Brooks' OP-ED focuses on the politics of optimism but I would prefer to recast his focus on what should be the basis of our optimism about our collective future.  In 2015, we live in a world with roughly 7.3 billion people whose life expectancy is higher than it ...

July 25, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1515704
Jianfeng Wu, Siqi Zheng, Weizeng Sun and I have just released a new NBER paper titled "The Birth of Edge Cities in China: Measuring the Spillover Effects of Industrial Parks".

July 25, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1515664
My parents joined us in Cambridge, MA this week and on Thursday morning I met them outside the Sonesta Hotel as they were reading Paul Krugman's column titled "The MIT Gang".   My father is a cardiologist at NYU and he is aware that there was a long ...

July 24, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1515390
We are flying back to LA.  Hundreds of talented, ambitious and mostly young economists have been meeting at the Sonesta Hotel.   The week started off with environmental and urban papers and then labor studies, crime, kids and aging. Plenty of new ideas to think about.   Alan Krueger gave ...

July 18, 2015, 9:33 pm, 1511612
Read Richard Freeman's and Doug Kruse's OP-ED in the New York Times today.   They argue that more companies should pay their workers with stock equity in the company. They point out that great companies such as Google and Starbucks already do this.  What they don't discuss is a simple ...

July 18, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1511531
Do competitive markets treat people fairly?  Starbucks offers me a "take it or leave it" offer for their coffee. If I pay $2, I get a "tall" cup.  Everyone is charged the same price and treated the same way. You choose to stand on line, you stand there, you order ...

July 17, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1511154
Did Prof. David Neumark agree with Paul Krugman's NY Times piece today praising the benefits of raising the minimum wage?   Here are some direct quotes that challenged some things that Becker, Heckman, Rosen, Lazear, Murphy and Topel taught me a long time ago.

"Many economists used ...