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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Knowledge & the Wealth of Nations

"A Story of Economic Discovery”


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849249

Gavin Kennedy, emeritus professor at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University and blogger at Adam Smith’s Lost Legacy, is upset (May 23 entry) that Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations doesn’t do justice to the subtley of the views of Adam Smith.  It most certainly does not. But then that is not what the book is ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849250

Asif Dowla, professor of economics at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, points out an error on page four of Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations, where it is asserted that the American Economic Association has never been headed by anyone who was not an American citizen, “the three who were ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849251

Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations is the beneficiary of an especially perspicacious and kind review in the Economist.  


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849252

Stanford’s John McMillan enjoyed Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations. He writes, “I found no nits to pick, except one:  your use of ‘dismal science’ in a chapter heading. You might check out Carlyle’s article ‘Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question.’  Economic analysis was ‘dismal,’ in his view, because its ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849248

Lionel W. McKenzie of the University of Rochester, a significant player in Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations and careful reader of the book, has along sent “a little paper” untangling the highly-compressed description of turnpike theorems that appears in connection with the series of conferences on growth theory that occurred in the early 1960s. [P. 156: “Exciting new theorems ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849247

My old friend Reuven Brenner (eight books, including History: the Human Gamble, Betting on Ideas:  Wars, Invention Inflation, and, most recently, The Force of Finance: Triumph of the Capital Markets) writes from McGill University, where he holds the Repap Chair of Business on the Faculty of Management,

I believe you make a ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849244

Knowledge Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations appeared in 2006 without a bibliography,rendering it more suitable to airplane reading than classroom use. That is not such a bad thing for a book about technical economics. (The British Wallpaper guidebook series breveted it “best long-haul read” last ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849245

One of the problems of writing Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations had to do with deciding how to deal with the many realms in which parallel discussions had gone forward about the same time. What to say about the related work in international trade?  In industrial organization? In growth ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849246

This page was created to make some sort of response to the reception of Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations: A Story of Economic Discovery, enlarging and elaborating  mostly, annotating occasionally. To those who formed the expectation that its discourse would be incessant, or even regular, I apologize. I’ve have been traveling, visiting, working in ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849243

Prof. Gavin Kennedy, of Heriot-Watt University (emeritus) and Adam Smith’s Lost Legacy, has called my attention, indirectly, and Paul Walker, of  Anti-dismal, directly, to an error in ...