Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 1/21/15

The website was down for a day and a half, but is back up now.

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

January 27, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1410994
I have been in NYC since Sunday night.  On Sunday night, I had the opportunity to sit snugly with some teenagers in the Economy Plus section of a United Flight.    I worked for several hours and then watched Think Like a Man.  Kevin Hart packs a punch.   When ...

January 22, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1408179
The NY Times holds a diversified portfolio.  On page 3, I read an optimistic piece by David Leonhardt highlighting economic growth in Africa and the progress in their middle class' quality of life.  In the same front section, I read a pessimistic Opinion Piece by Nick Kristoff that ...

January 21, 2015, 10:23 am, 1407338
The NY Times  returns to Owens Valley near Los Angeles.  Recall that that water from Owens Valley played a key role in the growth of Los Angeles (we do use water here but it doesn't rain).  A consequence of grabbing the Owens Valley water was that the lake dried up ...

January 19, 2015, 11:33 am, 1406743
The NY Times this morning wrote about three new companies that I have never heard of.  Each of them seeks to make loans to people who they believe will pay them back.  These potential lenders rely on crunching "big data" to determine if an individual is "worthy" of a ...

January 18, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1406478
In this new world where more scholars are focusing on the development of a child's non-cognitive skills, it still is interesting to ask where you stand in the pecking order with respect to your cognitive ability.  Today, the lead piece in the NY Times Book Review is written ...

January 18, 2015, 11:33 am, 1406415
Back in the 1980s, Hyde Park in Illinois looked a little run down.  The housing stock was a series of single family homes and brownstones that looked old and battered.   Flash forward to November 2014 (my last trip to Hyde Park) and tremendous reinvestment has taken place making this ...

January 17, 2015, 11:33 am, 1406218
The NY Times achieves quite a feat today. It simultaneously gossips about Prince Andrew's life while it also gets philosophical and ponders what is a meaningful life.  I am impressed with this "two for one bundle".    This "news item" implicitly gives Prince Andrew "thumbs down".  At the mere ...

January 14, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1404720
Gary Becker's theory of marriage appears to be receiving empirical support based on new evidence from China.  The China Daily reports "Love is not the only criterion for marriage in China. A recent survey shows that more than 40 percent of Chinese look to marry someone who suits ...

January 14, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1404719
My long plane ride to Boston for the annual ASSA meetings provided me with the chance to read a biography of UCLA's great coach John Wooden and Leon Panetta's autobiography.    At UCLA, John Wooden's long run of multiple NCAA College Basketball Championships sets a high bar for the ...

January 13, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1403913
This University of Chicago Booth webpage reports the unanimous agreement among some 25 top economists with the statement that; "The recent decline in oil prices will promote higher real GDP in the US over the next couple of years." So, I must ask a symmetry ...