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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EconModel

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Environmental and Urban Economics


July 30, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1308432
The NY Times has published a fun "Room for Debate" focused on climate change fiction and the role of such work in shaping public opinion.   To say something new here, let's think about this topic through the lens of the modern field experiment literature.  I will embrace the 


July 30, 2014, 1:33 am, 1307802
UCLA does not have enough Ph.D. students interested in a graduate course on environmental economics.   That's a shame but I don't take it too personally (maybe I should?).   Fortunately, the University of California's Center for Energy and Environmental Economics offers a week long summer course. Ph.D. ...


July 29, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1307447
This article highlights that President Obama and the Democrats are changing tactics in their worthwhile attempt to build a political coalition to reduce U.S GHG emissions.  The Green Team now wants to tell a narrative that the U.S will save money over the long run by reducing GHG emissions ...


July 26, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1306005
Secretary Rubin recently wrote an Opinion Piece in the Washington Post.  Having read his autobiography (and having met him once at Brookings), I know that he is the ultimate prudent man thinking hard about future scenarios, their likelihood of taking place and the impacts of such scenarios.  In simple ...


July 25, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1305810
As I walk the streets of Berkeley, CA,  I hear many chickens clucking away.  Today, the NY Times presents a video profile of my Hamilton College classmate Robert McMinn.   I see that after 26 years he hasn't changed!  He has his hair and his chickens.  Time has not been ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1303997
Ice melts when temperature exceeds 32 F.  Many Canadian kids have practiced hockey on frozen outdoor ponds and lakes. If climate change warms winters, will the quality of NHL hockey suffer?  This article says "yes".    An economist might posit that indoor hockey rinks are a close substitute for ...


July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1303996
At the University of Chicago, I was taught human capital theory by several future Nobel Laureates and Clark Medalists (Becker, Heckman, Murphy) and by a man who would have won a Nobel Prize.  None of these scholars ever mentioned the link between human capital and environmental economics.  


July 20, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1303755
For some pessimism about quality of life in the year 2393 read this blog entry by Joe Romm.  He indicts free markets ideology with encouraging an individualism that chips away at collective action solutions. In the absence of a collective solution such as a global carbon tax, he argues ...


July 20, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1303728
NBA basketball players know their age, their contract's terms and the likely length of their playing career, and they can form a good guess of their post-career earnings.  Why isn't this information sufficient for planning one's lifetime consumption so that one saves while earning the high salary and lives off ...


July 19, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1303529
On July 5th and 6th, Ed Glaeser and I participated in a large Shanghai conference at a very elegant Howard Johnson Hotel.   Throughout the conference, a Lamborghini sports car was parked in front of the hotel. It did not belong to me.  Here my slides for my Shanghai ...