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.


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Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

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

July 3, 2015, 1:34 am, 1500983

This is just to record my thoughts, so I can look back on this and see what I got right and what I got wrong. Or at least, what I changed my mind about.

The Euro was a mistake. I hoped (and still hope) to see the Euro dissolved. But the ...

July 1, 2015, 7:34 am, 1499866

Another Canada Day, another year of Confederation – we are now 148 years old– and another opportunity for taking a historical look at some economic aspects of Canada. For your Canada Day musings, I decided to take a look at economic indicators according to the tenure of Bank of Canada ...

June 30, 2015, 9:34 am, 1499276

Steve Poloz is good at economics, but not always so good at finding the best metaphor.

Greg Quinn says "Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said his “controversial” decision to cut interest rates in January could be compared to life-saving surgery for the economy and any resulting increase in ...

June 28, 2015, 9:34 pm, 1498298

Two identical countries A and B share a common (paper) currency C. The demand for currency is 5% of annual (Nominal) GDP.

Suppose B decides to quit the currency union and print its own currency. There are two different ways it could do this:

1. Convert and destroy. The people in B ...

June 27, 2015, 11:34 am, 1497986

Why did it takes so long?

Currency and deposits are imperfect substitutes. Currency is more convenient for some things, and deposits are more convenient for other things, so many people hold both.

If a banking system is working normally, deposits include the option to convert them into currency at a fixed exchange ...

June 25, 2015, 7:34 am, 1496785

Suppose I were totally indifferent about the size of government. Because I thought that the government was always equally good (or equally bad) at spending money as private households and firms. And not just at the margin, but everywhere. Never better, never worse, but always exactly the same. The marginal ...

June 24, 2015, 11:34 am, 1496277

If you recall, several posts ago I lamented that the downloadable csv files that used to be part of archived web edition of Historical Statistics of Canada seemed to have disappeared or were not working. I am delighted to say that the files are back.

It turns out that ...

June 24, 2015, 9:34 am, 1496186

They are just simple correlations, but a sample of 34 (split into two groups) beats a sample of the one country the economist just happens to live in. Correlations of data are themselves data, and it is our job to try to interpret (or explain) the data.

This is ...

June 23, 2015, 7:34 am, 1495462

[More musings. I started writing this post arguing that they are joint inputs. Now I'm not so sure. So I changed the title into a question.]

We need both land and labour to produce wheat, but land and labour are not "joint inputs", because we can combine them in variable proportions. ...

June 20, 2015, 9:34 am, 1494302

More random musings, mostly to try to get my own head straight on some questions. (I should steal Robert Waldmann's idea of calling them "stochastic thoughts".) And probably not very original. But sometimes it's easier to try to reinvent the wheel than walk to the library and read ...