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 23, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1376520

Donna Ginther and Shulamit Kahn have just published a paper that tracks thousands of American academics from the time they first get their PhDs through to their tenure and promotion decisions. They conclude:

Economics is the one fieldwhere gender differences in tenure receipt seem to remain even ...

November 19, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1374489

Statistics Canada has released its provisional estimates of Canadian Government Finance Statistics (CGFS) for the period 2008 to 2012. This is a move away from the Financial Management System (FMS) data that was previously published by Statistics Canada.

As described by Statistics Canada: “The FMS was founded ...

November 18, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1373581

I hope that I am reinventing the wheel by writing this post. And that some game theorist has already written something much better on the same subject. (If not, then they should have done.) But I need a game theorist to tell me about it and explain it to me, ...

November 15, 2014, 5:33 am, 1371969

Stephen has a new post defending the Neo-Fisherian perspective. He links to a new paper he and David wrote (pdf). It is not an easy paper. This is what I think is the intuition behind the results.

Start with the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level, ...

November 13, 2014, 9:33 am, 1370583

This post is ironic.

I have a really neat new theory of what causes countries to hit the Zero Lower Bound. It's got a beautifully counter-intuitive policy implication. The government needs to tax investment, or subsidise saving, to help the country escape the ZLB. What I need is a co-author to ...

November 11, 2014, 9:33 pm, 1369452

Oil prices are down lately, and over at the Broadbent Institute, Andrew Jackson is worried about the staples trap:

Building on the seminal work of Harold Innis, [Mel] Watkins argued that the dominant theme of Canadian economic history has been development fuelled by external demand for and ...

November 11, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1369184

Statistics Canada has released experimental estimates of gross domestic product for the period 2001 to 2009 for 33 census metropolitan areas. The results of course reinforce what we already know – that Canada’s economic activity is concentrated in its cities and half of our GDP is produced in ...

November 10, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1368562

Neo-Fisherite fun. Plus concrete steppes fun.

1. Suppose you don't care what speed you drive. Anything between 0 and 200 is all the same to you. But the cops do care what speed you drive. They want you to drive at exactly the speed limit S*, neither faster nor slower. (They ...

November 8, 2014, 11:33 am, 1367249

Attending the Social Science History Association Meetings in Toronto this weekend provided as usual an opportunity to take in new papers and ideas, digest them and then think about what further insight they might add to our knowledge of past economic events. One such paper was

November 8, 2014, 7:33 am, 1367138

Suppose you live in a Neo-Wicksellian economy, where the central bank sets a nominal rate of interest. Black holes are a theoretical possibility. Nominal demand for goods can spiral down to zero, if people expect it to. And white explosions are a theoretical possibility too. Nominal demand for goods can ...