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.

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Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

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

April 27, 2015, 7:34 am, 1462283

Here is a very simple model of a pure exchange economy where the mechanics of exchange (who can trade what with whom) determine whether very small departures of prices from market-clearing cause very large welfare losses.

There are three goods, apples, bananas, and carrots, with prices Pa, Pb, and Pc.

There are ...

April 24, 2015, 3:34 pm, 1461420

Well, another Ontario budget has come and gone. The government still plans to balance its budget by 2017. According to the budget projections it will do this largely by increasing revenues and restricting expenditure growth.

Between 2014/15 and 2017/18, revenues are expected to grow from ...

April 23, 2015, 7:34 am, 1460314

Is a "balanced budget law", even a flexible law that allows temporary deficits (and surpluses) in appropriate circumstances, the right way to think about prudent sustainable fiscal policy?

A financial asset is just a bit of paper with a promise written on it. A promise is a commitment about the future ...

April 22, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1459859

In honour of the 2015 Federal Budget and the balancing of the budget, why not a retrospective on Canadian federal government deficits since 1867. In the period from 1867 to 2014, the Federal government has run a deficit in 108 out of 148 years or 73 percent of the time. ...

April 17, 2015, 9:34 am, 1457145

Is Woodford's "cashless" economy a model of a monetary exchange economy, or a model of a barter economy? (In a monetary exchange economy, all other goods are only exchanged for one good called "money"; in a barter economy each good can be exchanged for any other good.)

If you answer "barter ...

April 16, 2015, 1:34 pm, 1456621

“We're two ships that pass in the night, And we smile when we say it's alright
We're still here, It's just that we're out of sight
Like those ships that pass in the night” Barry Manilow

April 9, 2015, 11:33 am, 1452883

No answers here, only questions.

By "secular stagnation" I mean "declining equilibrium real interest rates".

Most explanations of secular stagnation say it is caused by a rising desire to save and/or a falling investment demand. Call this the "Saving/Investment Hypothesis".

But there are lots of different real interest rates. For example, the real ...

April 5, 2015, 9:34 am, 1450780

This year, the per-vote subsidy once enjoyed by Canadian political parties ends. Parties will have to raise funds entirely through donations. So,who gives?

There is agenerous federal tax creditfor political donations, worth 75 percent of the first $400 donated, 50 percent of the next $350, and 33 ...

April 3, 2015, 1:34 pm, 1450361

Well, the past week saw notifications go out to academic economists on the results of their 2014-15 Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Grant applications. Needless to say, there will be a lot of unhappy campers but then there always are when it comes to grant ...

March 31, 2015, 11:34 pm, 1448784

I was reading Frosti Sigurjonsson's proposal for monetary reform in Iceland. [Click on the document thingy halfway down the page.] His proposal is a variant on 100% reserve banking. I got stuck on page 72 and footnote 66, where he discusses overdrafts.

This post is just my attempt to ...