Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

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Jobs

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.


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July 28, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1306735

“THIS dollar-a-day measure,” says Amartya Sen, a Nobel laureate in economics, “doesn’t take into account many variations that influence the conversion of income into good living.” Mr Sen argues that if we simply focus on eradicating extreme poverty (living on less than $1.25 a day), we will miss important social ...


July 25, 2014, 10:44 am, 1305452

AS ANY fruit enthusiast knows keeping track of the seasons is important. Looking for strawberries in winter or apples come the summer is bound to result in high prices, poor quality or both. Curiously,new researchby Justin Murfin of Yale University and Mitchell Petersen from the Kellogg School ...


July 25, 2014, 8:44 am, 1305380

WHO would have thought a couple of years ago that the British economy would be among the fastest-growing in the developed world? The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has just releasedits latest GDP estimates, which confirm its surprising revival: the UK has expanded for the sixth consecutive quarter. Overall, ...


July 25, 2014, 8:44 am, 1305379

“IF I have seen further”, Isaac Newton once demurred, “it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants”. The process of invention has long been a cumulative one, in which incremental advances are made on previous innovations. However, a new NBERworking paper* by Alberto Galasso of the Rotman School ...


July 24, 2014, 8:44 am, 1304600

WHEN Alibaba launched Yu’E Bao, an online investment fund, there was a flood of optimism that the e-commerce company would shake up the sclerotic Chinese banking sector. For a while it did just that. But its performance ...


July 23, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1303836

LOOKING backward, it is clear that American productivity growth has been pretty disappointing over the past 40 years, with the exception of an IT boomlet lasting from about 1996 to 2004. But past performance need not imply continued disappointment in future. The impressive gathering of innovative momentum in recent ...


July 23, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1303838

TYLER COWEN has written a column on inequality, in which he notes that while inequality is rising within many economies it is falling globally. That is true, though it is worth pointing out that among the economies within which inequality is rising are large emerging markets like China and ...


July 23, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1303837

REPUBLICANS renewed their assault on the Federal Reserve recently, as they debated legislation to curtail the Fed's freedom to set monetary policy as it sees fit. The legislation would require the Federal Reserve to set interest rates according to a Taylor rule:a formula which adjusts interest rates according to ...


July 17, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1302465

IS THE informal sector a poison pill to economic development or is it a by-product of stagnation and poverty? Academics who believe in the former typically argue either that entrepreneurs in the informal sector are a vast untapped resourcethat must be unleashed to spur growth, or that informality—through ...


July 17, 2014, 8:44 am, 1302309

ONE of the trickiest targets for Shinzo Abe’s third arrow of structural reform was always going to be opening Japan’s agriculture sector up to international competition. Japanese farmers have a powerful political presence, and have long been heavily protected from trade with tariffs upwards of 100%. Indeed, in the lead ...