Economics Roundtable

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.


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 .

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

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.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

The Classic Economic Models cover micro, macro, and financial markets.

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Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

"Who would have thought an economics blog could be this exciting?”

October 3, 2015, 9:33 am, 1552804

Suppose that monopoly power (as measured by the markup of price over marginal cost) has been increasing over time. What effect would that increase in monopoly power have on the equilibrium (real) rate of interest?

Let's start with a very simple model. Assume a technology: C+I=Y=F(K,L) and dK/dt=I-dK, where K is ...

September 24, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1548701

Something I always wondered about, but was too scared to ask. Noah Smith's (quite reasonable) post nudges me into asking it.

Even if everyone is perfectly rational, where is it written that stock market returns cannot be predictable? The stock market rate of return is a rate of interest. Where ...

September 23, 2015, 11:33 am, 1548044

Faculty Books Recycling is a company that takes the complimentary copies of textbooks that publishers send professors, resells those comp copies to students, and makes a profit on the transaction.

Faculty Books does everything possible to make professors feel that selling - or giving away - comp copies is ...

September 22, 2015, 1:34 pm, 1547586

A much higher gasoline tax may currently be a political conversation stopper but fortunately it doesn’t stop conversation in economic policy.   Enter Joel Wood’s paper about higher gasoline taxes for Toronto which appears in the latest issue of Canadian Public Policy/Analyse de Politiques (which I am promoting here as ...

September 21, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1547053

Random musings from a small sample on a subject about which I know little.

Where did I read that military amateurs talk strategy, but military professionals talk logistics? Or that if they did a re-make of The Graduate, the one word career advice would be changed from "plastics" to ...

September 21, 2015, 11:34 am, 1546978

Helicopter Money is (almost) inevitable. The only questions are: who does it; and when do they do it. And we can't (easily) tell when it gets spent, and what it gets spent on, because money is fungible and we don't observe counterfactual conditionals.

Let's make some ballpark-correct assumptions. Assume currency ...

September 19, 2015, 11:33 am, 1546414

Well, the federal election Leader's debate on Thursday evening was in the end a rather disappointing affair.   It was essentially a series of thrusts, parries and spins on taxation, housing, immigration, energy, etc...but left out in the entire debate was any fundamental recognition of what I think is a major ...

September 10, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1542071

Well, all I was trying to do was introduce a set of lecture slides on the nineteenth century timber trade with a simple overview of the Canadian logging industry's employment in the twentieth century.  Well, three hours later it has proven to be a more frustrating exercise than I would ...

September 3, 2015, 11:33 am, 1538746

I'm hoping some game theorists will chime in here; it doesn't matter if you don't get macro. I need your help, and want your thoughts on my intuitions:

Not all Nash equilibria are created equal.

Game A. There are n identical players who move simultaneously. Player i chooses Si to minimise a ...

August 31, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1537047

What is the difference between:

A. I print $100, and give it to you as an interest-free loan.

B. I print $100, lend it to you at 5% interest, so you give me $5 per year, and then I give that $5 per year straight back to you.

C. I print $100, lend ...