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


September 20, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1338533
Every quarter, students fill out teaching evaluations.  The Chronicle just ran a piece about how to evaluate these evaluations.  I know that my evaluations are good but I rarely take a close look at what the students write. I know when I've done a very good job versus when ...


September 19, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1338291
Here is a photo taken of King James today at UCLA.  To my surprise, his people didn't call my people to arrange a meeting. I just sent him a tweet telling him to stick around Westwood for 2 weeks so he can attend my environmental economics class.  I ...


September 17, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1336608
When people fear a flood they buy sand bags and create a type of "sand wall",  these entrepreneurs claim that they have created a substitute for such sand bags.  Will the HydroGuard be an effective product? Who will be the guinea pigs who try it? If the product is ...


September 17, 2014, 11:33 am, 1336532
The NY Times acts as Paul Revere citing a report that Washington DC will face increased flood risk in 2050.   Who will bear the costs of such sea level rise? Will the American people be hurt if Congress is not in session?  Will the Congress all drown or ...


September 16, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1335937
In my recent public lectures on climate change adaptation, I have argued that we need a less durable building capital stock.  Today, Columbia University's student newspaper offers a funny example.  Such Ivy League schools as Harvard, Princeton and Columbia have 100 year old and older dorms that do not have ...


September 16, 2014, 11:33 am, 1335859
There is a long article reported here  that California sushi prices could rise because of lasting drought.  The causal claim is that drought will reduce the supply of "sushi rice" that is traditionally grown in California.  But, at the end of the article there is the following quote highlighting how ...


September 15, 2014, 11:33 am, 1335151
Here is a MP3 file  of my recent Cal State Long Beach University Lecture (from 9/9/14) titled "How Will Los Angeles Adapt to Climate Change? An Economist's Perspective".  The podcast starts about 2 minutes into my talk and you will need to click Music Player for Google Drive to listen ...


September 14, 2014, 9:33 pm, 1334793
LA's heatwave continues.  The climate modelers predict it will be over on Wednesday.   My family responded by staying inside today. My son didn't even bother to get dressed.  The Beverly Hills Farmers' Market featured more people shopping at 9am rather than waiting until it was hotter in the middle ...


September 14, 2014, 1:33 am, 1334500
For the last five years I have argued that coastal areas all around the world should be required to pay for their own defense.  Given that $ does not grow on trees, why should one area of the nation insure another area of the nation?  If people want insurance, they ...


September 12, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1334053
Many college campuses feature large number of environmentally conscious students.   What should these optimistic young people focus their efforts on?  One active branch of activism is nudging their campus leaders to divest from carbon intensive companies.  Here is the discussion at Yale.   I side with Harvard's Drew Faust. ...