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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Core Economics

"Commentary on economics, strategy and more”

April 18, 2015, 11:23 am, 1457679

The traditional textbook model of competition in an oligopoly goes likes this. Firms choose prices and other variables (like product quality, advertising and R&D) to maximise their own profits and disregard the impact of their actions on (a) competing firms and (b) consumers; although with the latter ...

April 17, 2015, 1:23 am, 1456929

Australia as a whole seems finally to be taking serious notice of the sorts of trends that some of us academic economists have been rattling the chain about for years in regard to academic standards, university corruption, and international students.

ABC Four Corners will be airing a show entitled “Degrees ...

April 12, 2015, 7:23 pm, 1454092

World Development Report 2015: Overview: Mind, Society, and Behavior. A World Bank Group Flagship Report. Available at or doi: 10.1596/978-1-4648-0342-0

[What follows are excerpts from a review forthcoming in the Journal of Economic Psychology; full version there or write me … ]

The World Development Report 2015 (henceforth, the Report) was ...

April 6, 2015, 3:23 pm, 1451314

I have previously written on CET about the sorry state of the experimental (social) sciences (see here and here). Recent news about publishers having to withdraw (again) scores of papers in the wake of a rigged peer-review process (see here and here) and a flurry of retractions in psytown ...

March 26, 2015, 1:23 am, 1445483

Over the last 15-20 years academic school meetings have gone from rambling and unstructured brawls to dull “executive infomercials”. The former led to marathon meetings. The current model has led to a middle-management culture that often does not take advantage of the very valuable specialists skills of talented, highly trained ...

March 18, 2015, 9:23 pm, 1441724

Education Minister Christopher Pyne is concerned that some universities are educating students who do not repay their HECS debt:

Universities churning out graduates who do not repay their student debts would face financial penalties under a proposal by Education Minister Christopher Pyne aimed at securing Senate support for ...

March 3, 2015, 5:23 pm, 1432810

[The following contribution is the unedited version of the comment that The Australian published today under a different title. The Australian is pay-walled, so I put the draft here, with a few links added for good measure. For the record, I prefer the headline that I proposed … ]

Two years ...

March 1, 2015, 7:23 pm, 1431355

Those following the exploding story about Paul Frijters’ research on racism and UQ’s subsequent reaction to it might wonder, as I did: what exactly is in the “public interest disclosure” referred to in media reports (e.g.,

To satisfy your curiosity, I’ve written below a summary brief of the core allegations ...

February 26, 2015, 5:23 pm, 1429856

I am glad this has been finally made public:

Academic who revealed Australian bus driver racism ‘victimised’

It has been a source of great concern for me because I care about the University of Queensland. It has been a source of great personal embarrassment because that was the place where ...

February 26, 2015, 5:23 pm, 1429855

Joshua Gans asked yesterday whether UQ suppressed the Mucic/Frijters working paper on racism. In the comments to that piece, the possibility has been raised implicitly that the paper might have been suppressed because its authors employed unethical or illegal tactics in conducting their research.

Two main concerns are raised. Let’s take them in ...