Economics Roundtable

NOTICE 4/30/18

The Economics Roundtable is back. The technical problem that has limited the set of blogs has been resolved. The RSS feed is, however, still not working.

Flushing caches will likely cause some old posts to show up for a day or two.


Employment as a Percentage of Population

The graph below shows employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old.


Click on the image to get a bigger version.


March 2017 Payroll Employment

Payroll employment has not grown impressively since 2000. Some baby-boomers retired, but that does not totally account for this graph.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


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.


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.


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Economics and …


April 30, 2018, 8:06 pm, 1848604
Following up on my last post concerning Nick Rowe's application of rational expectations to public policy: it occurs to me that the way to look for evidence of policy effectiveness is to find cases where policy was, in retrospect, irrational. In other words, look for cases ...


April 30, 2018, 8:06 pm, 1848605
Why is it that so many economists assume that private agents are rational but policymakers are irrational?

Breaking with that rather silly custom, Nick Rowe (hat tip: Mark Thoma) applies the rational expectations concept to policymakers and reaches the conclusion that we will never be able to ...


April 30, 2018, 8:06 pm, 1848606
A headline on Bloomberg:

Fed Loans Guided by Raters Grading Subprime Debt AAA

Oh, my God! You mean the Fed is actually relying on ratings provided by major ratings agencies? Can you imagine such a thing? And did you know there are homosexuals in Iran? ...


April 30, 2018, 8:06 pm, 1848607
If I were a currency trader, I'd be selling Euros.


April 30, 2018, 8:06 pm, 1848603
If you believe in a NAIRU, or anything remotely like a NAIRU or an accelerationist Phillips curve, the prognosis for prices is looking increasingly ugly. For those who believe confidently in such a Phillips curve and accept historical estimates of the parameters, deflation is now a certainty, and ...


April 30, 2018, 8:06 pm, 1848602
Yeah, it's not just "good for you"

Here's how things stand: the stimulus bill is way too small, it's floundering in the Senate, and we stand possibly on the edge of a deflationary abyss.

Solution: find, say, the 5 most wavering Republican senators and offer ...


April 30, 2018, 8:06 pm, 1848599
It appears now that the G-20 intend to make their compromise with the devil. That’s pretty much inevitable, since the devil is one of them. When I say the devil, I am of course referring to the nation that invented the automobile (hint, President Obama: not the ...


April 30, 2018, 8:06 pm, 1848600
Reading Karl Smith’s comment on my previous entry, I started to think about the implications of rational expectations in the context of potential deflation. I’m thinking of a model like “Rational Expectations meets Calvo Pricing meets the Keynesian Multiplier meets the Mundell-Tobin Effect.” It goes something like ...


April 30, 2018, 8:06 pm, 1848601
In a blog post a couple of weeks ago, Paul Krugman presents a scatterplot of the change in the inflation rate (y) as a function of the output gap (x), with the following regression line:

y = 0.5228 x - 0.4739

I'm puzzled as to why he includes ...


April 30, 2018, 8:06 pm, 1848598
It certainly seems to be functioning as an effective spam collector.

Maybe I should actually try posting something again.