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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The Baseline Scenario

"What happened to the global economy and what we can do about it?”


April 30, 2018, 8:10 pm, 1849902

By James Kwak

After the dangerous clown show that has been the Trump White House, it’s comforting to return to some good, old-fashioned conservative policymaking: bashing the poor to cut taxes on the rich. I’m talking, of course, about the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Health care financing ...


April 30, 2018, 8:10 pm, 1849903

By James Kwak

If you teach introductory economics or introductory micro, at either the high school or university level, and you’re interested in possibly using Economism in your class, let me know and I’ll send you a (free) review copy. Just email me at james.kwak@uconn.edu from your school account, tell ...


April 30, 2018, 8:10 pm, 1849904

By James Kwak

In general, the State of Connecticut offers pretty good defined contribution retirement plans to its employees. Most importantly, it offers several low-cost index funds in institutional share classes. For example, you can invest in the Vanguard Institutional Index Fund Institutional Plus Shares, which tracks the S&P 500 for ...


April 30, 2018, 8:10 pm, 1849905

By James Kwak

There’s a story you hear often these days. The story is that America has too many lawsuits: too many lawyers, too many people filing frivolous suits, too many excessive damages awards by juries, and so on. This story is the reason for all the “litigation reform” in recent decades: the Private Securities ...


April 30, 2018, 8:10 pm, 1849901

By James Kwak

Public pension funds are having a tough time. On the one hand, the average funding ratio (assets as a percentage of the present value of future obligations) is below 80% because of inadequate contributions by sponsors (states and municipalities) and poor investment returns since the collapse of the technology ...


April 30, 2018, 8:10 pm, 1849900

By James Kwak

The Congressional Budget Office’s assessment of the Republican health care plan, as passed in the House, is out. The bottom line is that many more people will lack health coverage than under current law—23 million by 2026—even though the bill allows states to relax the ...


April 30, 2018, 8:10 pm, 1849897

By James Kwak

A couple of weeks ago I posted a 6,000-word essay laying out a new economic vision for the Democratic Party. It kind of vanished into the ether, although Stephen Metcalf was kind enough to say this:

Reupping. I really think this ...


April 30, 2018, 8:10 pm, 1849898

By James Kwak

A lot has been written recently about the direction of the Democratic Party. This is what I think.

I have been a Democrat my entire life. Today, the Democratic Party matters more than ever because it is the only organization currently capable, at least theoretically, of preventing the Republicans ...


April 30, 2018, 8:10 pm, 1849899

By James Kwak

As banking scandals go, Wells Fargo opening millions of new accounts for existing customers so that it could pump up its cross-selling metrics for investors is about as clear-cut as it gets. It’s up there with HSBC telling its employees how to get around ...


April 30, 2018, 8:10 pm, 1849896

By James Kwak

My friend and co-founder Marcus Ryu wrote an op-ed in the Times today. Here’s how it begins:

The tax cut framework recently put forward by President Trump relies on a central claim: that reducing taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals will open the wellsprings of entrepreneurship and investment, ...