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?


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"Commentary on economics, strategy and more”


August 27, 2014, 3:23 pm, 1325486

Kwanghui Lim posted a link to this post from Cloudfare on what they pay for transit around the world. As you will see from this table, Australia is the most expensive region — by a long, long way.

And ...


August 27, 2014, 11:23 am, 1325358

After slamming the last Government for not doing a cost-benefit analysis on the NBN, Malcolm Turnbull has produced the goods. My view on cost-benefit analysis remains unchanged: if you have already decided what to do, a cost-benefit analysis is of no help except for vindication.

Nonetheless, there is another unintended consequence ...


August 10, 2014, 11:23 am, 1315741

Last week I did an interview with Phil Dobbie for CommsDay on the ACCC’s approach to the setting of rates that carriers pay each other to terminate calls. I argued — as I did 15 years ago — that marginal cost rather than Total Service Long-Run ...


August 5, 2014, 7:23 pm, 1312048

With Rohan Pitchford.

The proposed change to HECS made in the recent budget doesn’t seem
to have been well thought out. It is likely that there will be
extensive deliberations, perhaps an enquiry, before major changes
to HECS are implemented. In this post we propose that in any future
HECS type ...


August 5, 2014, 7:23 pm, 1312047

I’ve been making a few claims regarding the fact that we really don’t understand what to expect from the proposed changes to HECS. I had a couple of people in my office today, chalk-in-hand, trying to explain some of the distortions that we may expect. Here is a simple example.

Consider a ...


August 5, 2014, 7:23 pm, 1312049

The French economists Thomas Piketty recently published a long-prepared book on the growth of inequality in the Western World over the last few centuries. His main contention, as I see it, is that wealth inequality is rising rapidly again and that we are returning to 19th century levels of ...


August 5, 2014, 7:23 pm, 1312044

With Rohan Pitchford.

Following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, the Australian government may have quietly bailed out an investment bank or two. It did so by transferring bank risk to itself. For example, in  early 2009 Macquarie Bank was allowed to sell US ...


August 5, 2014, 7:23 pm, 1312043

The 2014 soccer world cup opens in Brazil this coming Thursday with the bookies’ favorite (the home team) playing Croatia.  Argentina is currently tipped to be the other finalist, with Germany and Spain (the defending champion) trailing these two by considerable margins.

In a paper just published in a ...


August 5, 2014, 7:23 pm, 1312045

A couple of weeks ago (April 26) Seth Roberts died; he collapsed near his home in California. He was a Professor of Psychology at Tsinghua University in Beijing and Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. He was also the author of bestselling book The Shangri-La Diet.  His ...


August 5, 2014, 7:23 pm, 1312046

The Australian government education minister Christopher Pyne has made his wishes clear for the tertiary education sector: he is following the wishes of the GO8 Vice-Chancellors and wants to remove the caps from the HECS fees asked of domestic students. This seems to fit in a vision of greater competition ...