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?”

August 27, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1325609

A lot of US econobloggers are talking about the Tim Hortons-Burger King merger. But all they seem to talk about is corporate tax rates.

I think they are missing the big picture.

The big picture is here. [I can't figure out how to embed that picture in Typepad.]

To my eyes, ...

August 26, 2014, 7:33 am, 1324530

Does anybody here remember 1982? When interest rates went very high, and so asset prices went very low. Just the opposite of today.

What were people saying back then?

1. Were they saying: "Central banks are setting high interest rates and making asset prices low, which is bad for the rich, who ...

August 25, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1324165

I think this diagram helps us understand the Eurozone problem in simple game-theoretic terms:

Let's start with a "normal" country, where there is one monetary authority that sets the money base M, and one fiscal authority ...

August 22, 2014, 9:33 am, 1322988

[This post covers too much ground and stretches my brain too far. I'm trying to put Lipsey-Lancaster and game theory together, and apply it to monetary-fiscal. I blame Brad DeLong for making me think about this.]

Brad DeLong says:

"But as long as Nick Rowe recognizes that fixing situations of ...

August 21, 2014, 7:33 am, 1322259

[This post is not as clear as I want it to be. Sorry.]

Most discussions of long run secular stagnation, and short run liquidity traps, ignore land. They shouldn't.

If a central bank runs out of other options to increase aggregate demand, it could always use helicopter money. Or it ...

August 20, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1321811

The Canadian Medical Association has been having its annual meetings this week in Ottawa and in honor of the event, let me put out another international comparison on physicians using data from the OECD Health Statistics 2013. The first chart (Figure 1) is a basic resource availability measure ...

August 12, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1317223

[This is very long, and covers a lot of old ground for me, as well as some new. It was supposed to be a belated reply to Brad DeLong's post. But my thoughts wandered. (By the way, for some reason I never remember being annoyed at Simon Wren-Lewis, ...

August 11, 2014, 11:33 am, 1316212

Ontario last week announced the signing of Strategic Mandate Agreements with each of its 45 universities and colleges as part of a move to “drive system-wide objectives articulated by the Ministry’s Differentiation Policy Framework.” Essentially, in a restrained fiscal environment the provincial government prefers to target money for new programs ...

August 10, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1315797

On the face of it, the Bank of Canada has done absolutely nothing for nearly 4 years now, and most people think it won't do anything until sometime next year. The target of the overnight rate has stayed at 1% for a very long time.

This is very puzzling. I do ...

August 10, 2014, 3:33 am, 1315555

Every piece of software I use in the course of academic administration isterrible.

Sure, the systems do what they're supposed to do most of the time, and they're not that difficult to learn how to use. But every single one has numerous design flaws; clunky features that eat up seconds or ...