Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 3/9/15

The website was down several hours today, 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.


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?”

March 26, 2015, 7:34 am, 1445631

In one important respect, what we call "New Keynesian" macroeconomic models are in fact New Gesellian macroeconomic models. That's only in one respect, but it is important.

Silvio Gesell proposed a tax on currency. The higher the tax rate, the faster people would spend that currency. A tax is ...

March 23, 2015, 9:34 pm, 1444096

Liquid goods are easy to buy and sell. Illiquid goods are hard to buy and sell.

I think we need to break up "buy and sell" into its two component parts.

In a buyer's market, goods are easy to buy and hard to sell. The same good is liquid from the buyer's ...

March 22, 2015, 9:34 pm, 1443448

A random thought on Germany and Greece.

If apple producers and banana producers have the same symmetric Cobb-Douglas preferences U = A0.5.B0.5 the competitive equilibrium has half the apple crop being exchanged for half the banana crop.

But if the apple producers only like apples, and refuse to eat bananas, the relative ...

March 18, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1441604

The OECD has cut its growth forecast for Canada citing the drop in oil and commodity prices.  With all the talk about the slowdown in the Canadian economy picking up steam and slow growth as a result of the drop in oil prices that began last spring, one ...

March 17, 2015, 9:33 am, 1440597

The Children's Fitness Tax Credit gives parents a non-refundable tax credit to recognize the cost of registering children in sports. When the credit was first introduced, its cash value was $77.50 - the amount of the credit ($500) times the basic marginal tax rate (then 15.5%). ...

March 16, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1440157

I confess this is a bit of a "Gotcha!". But it's a bit more than that as well. It illustrates the difficulty that people (even economists) have in "seeing" money.

Brad DeLong flatters me (but he's right that this is right up my street), then sends me to

March 15, 2015, 11:33 am, 1439574

I've been asked to write a paper reviewing "social benefits" delivered through the personal income tax system. I have no idea what this means. In economics, "social benefits" refers to the benefit side of a social benefit/cost calculation; the increase in social welfare associated with a particular project or policy. ...

March 14, 2015, 9:33 am, 1439312

I wrote this partly for Sandwichman, and mostly I wrote it because this same question crops up time and time again. It's a very old question, but it always looks like a new question if the technology is new enough. People in caves were probably arguing about whether ...

March 12, 2015, 9:33 am, 1438116

The amount of research on tax policy for Canadians with disabilities is fairly limited. Moreover, a number of key publications (such as the 2004 Brown and Torjman report) are hard to find. Thus, for my own convenience, and that of other researchers, I have created a reading list. Publications on ...

March 10, 2015, 9:34 am, 1436657

I want to do some very back-of-the-envelope calculations. (I will probably get the arithmetic wrong.)

A bond-financed deficit is where the government prints bonds to finance a deficit. A money-financed deficit is where the government (or the central bank it owns) prints money to finance the deficit. They are different for ...