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


December 7, 2016, 1:33 am, 1700406
Here is a link to my second piece written for The Conversation.  I discuss three main reasons why China is making a Low Carbon push;  1.  the co-benefits of reducing its local air pollution problem, 2. the pursuit of new export markets,  3.  the pursuit of soft power at ...


December 5, 2016, 11:33 am, 1699840
Dr. Ben Carson will be named the new head of HUD.  I have been to HUD several times and I serve on at least one of its academic boards, so I feel like I can offer some advice.  While economists tend to stress comparative advantage when discussing which people ...


December 4, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1699658
Tenured academic economists have tremendous freedom to do what they want to do.  While I celebrate this, it is important to acknowledge that there is a positive externality effect such that if more researchers continue to try to write peer reviewed papers that this accelerates the aggregate progress made by ...


December 4, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1699624
Dr. Krugman posted a short note  arguing that China is not responsible for the decline of U.S manufacturing.  With one graph, he shows that a simple negative linear trend does a great job of explaining the share of people working in manufacturing from 1950 to 2010 and that this share ...


December 3, 2016, 11:33 am, 1699494
Macroeconomists have trouble testing key hypotheses related to the causal effects of policies and shocks because they don't have valid control groups.  Intuitively, if the U.S cuts taxes for the rich --- how do we evaluate the causal "trickle down" effects of such a policy given that we will never ...


December 2, 2016, 11:33 am, 1699279
I see that two leading senior macro economists have enough free time that they are having a Twitter war, so permit me to introduce a new puzzle for them to ponder.    At least since Hsieh and Klenow published their 2009 QJE paper, economists have been talking about ...


December 2, 2016, 9:33 am, 1699230
A reliable source (the NY Post) is reporting that traffic congestion is worse than ever in Manhattan.  This not only inconveniences millions but it means that those who need fire protection or an ambulance may lose valuable minutes because their responders are stuck in traffic.


December 1, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1698982
Before I talk about airplanes, I want to thank USC's media team for writing this very nice article about the The USC Economics Review (our new undergraduate economics journal).  Two weeks ago, Jerry Nickelsberg and I released a new NBER Working Paper titled "An ...


November 29, 2016, 1:33 am, 1698057
The Professor Watchlist has been posted and I see that a brilliant co-author of mine is on the list.  While he would "shoot from the hip" and say witty but controversial things, I have always viewed him to be an open minded debater and I always enjoyed speaking to ...


November 27, 2016, 7:33 pm, 1697669
Six years ago, I published Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in Our Hotter Future.  I'm on record arguing that urbanization will allow us (especially those who live in richer cities) to adapt to climate change.  Cities will compete to be resilient and footloose people will vote with their ...