Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 1/21/15

The website was down for a day and a half, 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”

January 11, 2015, 11:23 pm, 1402532

The spate of `Islamist’ violence recently perpetrated by individual people is a puzzle for mainstream economics. In the world of rational agents intent on maximizing their wealth, the destruction of human or material resources is only sensible when that destruction provides a direct competitive advantage. Why then would Homo Economicus ...

January 4, 2015, 3:23 am, 1398353

A couple of days before Christmas 2014, Environment Minister Greg Hunt – he who rather consults Wikipedia than rely on the considerable in-house expertise at his fingertips – published data that seemed to show that  during the second year of its existence the carbon price (often falsely called a ...

December 16, 2014, 7:23 pm, 1390320

It’s the time of the mid-year Economic Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) and we’re told that we’re about 11 billion deeper in the red this financial year than we thought, with the treasurer blaming the dropping iron price and the reduced wage growth. I have gone over the MYEFO documents (which ...

December 12, 2014, 1:23 am, 1387915

Middle-East watchers have been surprised by the events in Syria and Egypt the last 2 years. The betting markets in 2011 and 2012 expected the collapse of the Syrian regime, but it didn’t happen. The West and most Al-Jazeera commentators thought the coup that deposed the Morsi-government was unsustainable and ...

December 9, 2014, 5:23 pm, 1386200

In a recent article published in The Journal of Economic Perspectives (Vol 28. Nr 3, summer 2014), Conley & Oender follow up on an earlier paper published the year before with others in Economic Inquiry.

In their earlier contribution, drawing on a panel dataset of 14,271 individuals that were awarded ...

December 9, 2014, 3:23 pm, 1386123

In a recent working paper which has received considerable play on social and other media (and is allegedly forthcoming in The Journal of Economic Perspectives next year), a sociologist called Marion Fourcade and two French economists (Algan, Ollion, the former a research fellow at the CNRS of the University ...

December 3, 2014, 11:23 am, 1382427

I previously commented on the batch of submissions (all 16 of them) that were available during the weekend following the May 2, 2014 deadline for submissions. In the following week, 132 submissions were added for a total of 148 (one being a duplicate entry it seems: 16, 146). I have ...

December 3, 2014, 11:23 am, 1382426

The education of young adults is a task of a democratic society.  Here I will propose the notion of a core university, which is an economic institution that I think is resilient and that nurtures a resilient full education. The core university is a university engaged in the narrow business of ...

December 3, 2014, 11:23 am, 1382425

Jan has posted a recent interview with me on economic policy. It ranges from stuff that Joshua and I did a decade ago to my views on university fees in the recent budget. The link is here.

December 3, 2014, 11:23 am, 1382424

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 ...