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.


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?


Click on the chart for a larger version.


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Environmental and Urban Economics


February 26, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1429940
For those professors starting to write economics final exams, I suggest that you post the following two comments that were posted on the NY Times webpage. Ask your students for an evaluation of the logic behind each of them. Each quote highlights that economists have failed in our educational mission ...


February 26, 2015, 11:33 am, 1429577
In the year 2015, our cities are increasingly safe, clean and green. Yet, the NY Times points out new challenges that cities around the world now face. Example #1 is Jeju, South Korea. This article sketches the recent trend that large numbers of wealthy Chinese tourists are visiting ...


February 25, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1429228
The 2022 World Cup will be played in Qatar. The NY Times reports that Qatar is hot during the summer. Anticipating that soccer players are less productive running around in 115 degree heat for 90 minutes, there is now a proposal to move the World Cup to the cooler ...


February 24, 2015, 11:33 am, 1428015
The NY Times asks a good question related to basic energy research. Given that the world needs cheap, green energy, why aren't more US top research nerds working on this topic? Part of the answer is related to our global endowments of fossil fuels, increased ability to access them ...


February 23, 2015, 11:33 am, 1427276
The Times reports the sad and scary case of the spread of a superbug at UCLA as an invasive piece of medical equipment was used on multiple patients without being properly sterilized after each use. Economic risk analysis can be used here to analyze the tradeoffs between costs ...


February 22, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1426911
I learned a piece of algebra recently. Did you know that rent per month = ($/sqft)*sqft? Where "sqft" = square feet of the apartment and $/sqft = price per square foot. In major coastal cities, price per square foot continues to rise. This is caused by both ...


February 21, 2015, 11:33 am, 1426622
Citylab reports some great stuff in this blog post. Such information plays the same role as Paul Revere did a long time ago. Now that we know that coastal Manhattan has a problem, the efficient markets hypothesis makes some testable predictions about how asset prices will adjust. Investors will ...


February 20, 2015, 9:33 am, 1426013
Optimists of the world unite. While this piece does not discuss the cost of constructing and operating floating schools, it demonstrates the power of the Climatopolis Two Step; Anticipate a challenge and invest accordingly.

"Bangladesh — a country of waterways — is one of the ...


February 19, 2015, 11:33 am, 1425330
The NY Times engages in the guilty pleasure of checking out how my Bel-Air neighbors live in their 40,000 square foot homes. This is "50 Shades of Green". One quote from the piece caught my eye;

"Mr. Landry learned how to design for the special needs of ...


February 19, 2015, 11:33 am, 1425329
Michael Greenstone has a nice quote on Marketplace making the green case for raising gas taxes now. At the same time, the NY Times recently reported that Ragu Rajan is celebrating that importer India is now paying low gas prices. "With crude prices now halved, fuel costs for ...