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.


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Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

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

November 25, 2016, 5:34 am, 1697278

This post is about something I don't understand.

Let's start out simple. There are two parallel imaginary worlds: the green world and the red world.

In the green world people use positively-valued green money as the medium of exchange. If I buy something I give the seller my green money in exchange. ...

November 15, 2016, 1:34 pm, 1694446

I wrotemyself aletter, and answeredit:

Dear WCI,

The senior guy in my field acts like a total jerk sometimes. He's working in an area I care deeply about - gender and taxation. But he trivializes and sensationalizes critically important issues. For example, I just heard him give a talk about the optimal ...

November 12, 2016, 1:34 pm, 1693547

In the wake of the US presidential election and Donald Trump’s ascension to the mantle of “leader of the free world”, one is left pondering the factors that differentiate Canada from the United States. When I was a young boy and visited relatives in Italy, much to my confusion we ...

November 6, 2016, 11:34 am, 1690996

Brad DeLong calls it my "self-imposed Sisyphean task". He's probably right. But it seems worth a try, as long as there's a small chance he's wrong. I have a Cunning Plan.

Like it or not (and there is much to like as well ...

November 1, 2016, 9:34 pm, 1689251

J.W. Mason and Arjun Jayadev have a paper making a new (to me) point about the assignment of targets to instruments.

First I'm going to present an (over-?) simplified version of their model, to explain the gist of it. [I think I've got the gist of it, but I'm ...

October 31, 2016, 7:34 am, 1688592

Ontario has no eerie, overgrowncemeteries. There are no dangerously angledtombstones, no grave markers obscured by rambling vines, nor ancient trees with branches sweeping the ground.

In Ontario, cemetery operators are required to maintain graveyards properly. There must be an accessible entrance. Grave markers must be stabilized. Section 29of the Funeral, Burial ...

October 27, 2016, 9:34 am, 1687358

You decide to make a new monetary system from scratch. You give everyone a chequing account on your computer, with an initial balance of 0 units. If Andy buys bananas from Betty and pays her 100 units, Betty now has a positive balance and Andy now has a negative balance. ...

October 24, 2016, 11:34 am, 1686158

Here is the number of new permanent residents to Canada, as a percentage of the existing population, over time:

"New permanent residents" is not a perfect ...

October 22, 2016, 3:34 pm, 1685851

Canada is, as far as countries go, relatively cold and sparsely populated. Our houses are large by global standards, and we drive a fair amount. We are rich enough to consume a lot of stuff. These factors, together with the oil sands, mean that we have one of the world's ...

October 20, 2016, 9:33 am, 1685245

Last August, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announcedthat, in future, only candidates who are "functionally bilingual" in French and English will be recommended for positions on the Supreme Court of Canada. With the information released subsequent to the nomination of Malcolm Rowe to the Court, we now have some sense ...