Economics Roundtable

March 2017 Fed Funds Rate

What is the effect of a 0.25% change in the Fed Funds rate?.

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March 2017 Payroll Employment

Payroll employment has not grown impressively since 2000. Some baby-boomers retired, but that does not totally account for this graph.

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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


March 19, 2017, 11:33 am, 1729921
President Trump is helping a future generation of economists to publish natural experiment papers.  In a "natural experiment" research design (see QJE back in the 1990s), a sudden policy change provides exogenous variation that allows for a test of whether X causes Y.  For example, X may be a new ...


March 17, 2017, 5:33 pm, 1729717
This Houston Chronicle piece is worth reading.   The new Trump Administration budget calls for eliminating funding for the U.S Chemical Safety Board.   This agency investigates chemical spills.  In the absence of such an entity (and thus a weakened deterrence effect), will polluters take less care and devote less ...


March 16, 2017, 1:33 pm, 1729267
My new Harvard Business Review piece is based on this recent NBER paper.

Climate change will increase the risk of temperature extremes. Induced innovation could offset some of this threat. This paper explores the ...


March 15, 2017, 11:33 am, 1728870
The LA Times has published a fascinating piece pointing to California as an important state where Republicans wield little political clout. In such a "progressive paradise", is all well?  Or , to repeat this again;  when progressives are in charge does the wise governance of the TV show West ...


March 14, 2017, 11:34 am, 1728483
Two years ago, I was chatting with one of the current editors of one of the "top 5" economics journals. I sketched my climate change adaptation arguments and he grudgingly agreed with my optimism (this occurs quite often in private discussions).  He then said that a major challenge that ...


March 13, 2017, 9:33 am, 1728075
Caltrain is a painfully slow train that connects San Francisco to Stanford to San Jose.  This double decker train stops every mile and cruises at a speed of about 25 miles per hour.    Here is  a photo of this bus  on rails.  This train could move faster if the ...


March 11, 2017, 5:33 pm, 1727824
I remember April 1988 as if it was yesterday.  I had been accepted by the University of Chicago's Economics PHD program and I flew in to the city where I was born to see if I wanted to try my luck at this rigorous PHD program.   The first person ...


March 11, 2017, 1:33 pm, 1727801
Bernie Sanders offers President Trump some advice in this NY Times opinion piece.  The Senator goes on to single out UCLA for making millions from selling a drug patent to a for profit drug company.  Senator Sanders bemoans that U.S tax payer dollars (through NIH grants) paid for the ...


March 10, 2017, 9:33 pm, 1727743
Back in 2011,  David Levinson and I wrote a well regarded Hamilton Project Paper called "Fix it First".  In two weeks, I return to Brookings to present my new Hamilton Project Paper.


March 9, 2017, 5:33 pm, 1727311
I continue to work on topics related to China's economic growth. My co-authored 2017 JEP paper and my 2016 Princeton Press book capture many of my past ideas. In this blog post, I'm going to sketch a new idea that I'm working on.

In Why Nations Fail, ...