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 2, 2014, 1:33 am, 1327610
LA boomed in the 1950s and 1960s and much of this infrastructure is now old and depreciating. Durable capital depreciates over time.  Walk around my Little Holmby neighborhood in Westwood and you will see some ugly 1950s homes whose current owners are investing in upgrading.  These are private homes and ...


September 1, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1327550
If I'm reading this correctly,  the British Prime Minister will require that British citizens who have spent considerable time in Iraq and Afghanistan will have to attend "deprogramming" classes if they return to England.  The enormous economics literature on "treatment effects" has some insights to offer.

I have ...


August 31, 2014, 9:33 pm, 1327275
I spent a lot of time in Singapore in the Summer of 2012 and 2013.  I was amazed at the amount of land that Singapore (a small city/state) devotes to its port.  Such land could be used for other purposes that might yield more long term economic growth?  Few wanted ...


August 30, 2014, 9:33 pm, 1327059
The annual economics meetings will take place in January 2015 in Boston.  Today I booked tickets for my wife and myself from LA to Boston.  There are very few direct flights (especially non red-eye) flights connecting these cities.   In contrast, United has plenty of direct flights from San Francisco ...


August 30, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1327016
Back in October 2012, the Lincoln Institute hosted a great conference celebrating the work of UC Berkeley's John Quigley.    After a long and thorough review process,  RSUE (one of the leading urban and regional economics journals) has published a special issue based on revisions of the conference papers. ...


August 30, 2014, 11:33 am, 1326996
When is supply elastic?  What technologies feature roughly constant returns to scale?  At a top restaurant in NYC, the lead  Chef faces a scope and control issue. If the restaurant tried to sharply scale up its number of seats, the Chef wouldn't be able to maintain the quality of the ...


August 29, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1326668
Anthony Flint appreciates the beauty of the Rhode Island coast but worries about its future.  With sea level rise, there certainly will be specific parcels of land and structures there that will vanish.  The owners of such parcels will lose.  Anticipating this, the structures will be allowed to depreciate ...


August 29, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1326667
The University of Chicago's Professor Casey Mulligan has published a new $3 e-book titled "Side Effects".  He provides an in depth examination of the future of health care in the United States.    Building on some of the ideas discussed in his WSJ profile,  the book provides a ...


August 28, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1326274
The NY Times doesn't offer much of its space to economists not named Krugman.  Yes, I read the Business Section on Sunday but those pieces are short and often lack punch.  Today, the NY Times allocates some web space to humanities professors to see what they have to ...


August 28, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1326062
While Eric Snowden and friends worry about the costs of spying, new monitoring technologies also offer benefits.   This piece  discusses how drones are being introduced to patrol over nature parks to see if poachers are actively invading parts of a park.   Such information should help environmentalists to focus ...