Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

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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 .

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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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December 17, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1390888

In this week's EconTalk episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts talks with NYU's Gary Marcus on how artificial intelligence may influence human flourishing and when such effects might become a real concern.

As always, we want to hear what you think.

December 15, 2014, 6:44 am, 1389111

Gary Marcus of New York University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the future of artificial intelligence (AI). While Marcus is concerned about how advances in AI might hurt human flourishing, he argues that truly transformative smart machines are still a long way away ...

December 11, 2014, 4:44 am, 1387194

In this week's episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts talks with James Otteson about socialism and capitalism, touching on camping, G.A. Cohen, Adam Smith, and education along the way.

Use the questions below to check your knowledge or respond. As always, we love to hear from you.

December 8, 2014, 6:44 am, 1385026

James Otteson of Wake Forest University talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book, The End of Socialism. Otteson argues that socialism (including what he calls the "socialist inclination") is morally and practically inferior to capitalism. Otteson contrasts socialism and capitalism through the ...

December 5, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1384143

Bostrom Follow-up

For me, the interview with Nick Bostrom was mind-blowing. I've been thinking about it quite a bit since we did the interview and the thoughtful comments from listeners have continued the process.

I made a strong claim early on that surprised Bostrom so I want to try ...

December 2, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1381090

In this week's futuristic episode, Roberts chatted with philosopher Nick Bostrom on the promises and potential dangers of superintelligence, smart machines which he believes will be able to radically outperform humans in the future.

Are you as concerned as Bostrom about these supermachines? Do you share Roberts' skepticism about their ...

December 1, 2014, 6:44 am, 1380012

Nick Bostrom of the University of Oxford talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. Bostrom argues that when machines exist which dwarf human intelligence they will threaten human existence unless steps are taken now to reduce the risk. The ...

November 26, 2014, 6:44 pm, 1378591

EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes back University of Chicago's Emily Oster in this week's episode, in which they discuss the differences in infant mortality rates across nations, as well as the challenges and opportunities afforded by health data.

Share your thoughts on this week's conversation by responding to any or ...

November 24, 2014, 6:44 am, 1376774

Emily Oster of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about why U.S. infant mortality is twice that in Finland and high relative to the rest of the world, given high income levels in the United States. The conversation explores the roles ...

November 21, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1375959

This week's EconTalk episode with Vernon Smith helped me understand something that has been bothering me for a long time.

Economics students are taught that human beings are maximizers--we want more rather than less of the things that give us pleasure. But we are constrained by our income. That ...