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.


RSS Feed

Keith Hennessey

"Your guide to American economic policy”


July 19, 2018, 4:07 pm, 1877618

In an interview with CNBC’s Joe Kernen, President Trump pressured Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell not to raise interest rates.

Let’s examine it in two parts: (1) Fed independence, and (2) economic substance.

On Fed independence:

He supports Powell — “I put a very good man in the Fed.” But ...


July 9, 2018, 10:07 pm, 1874198

I worked with Brett Kavanaugh on a near-daily basis for three years, from mid-2003 to mid-2006. Part of my job was to write memos and prepare briefing memos for President Bush, and Brett was the coordinator and gatekeeper who made sure my work was ready for the president’s desk. I ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849239

President Trump has a $2 trillion hole in his fiscal policy proposals. His numbers don’t add up. This creates a conflict between two of his fiscal policy goals: tax reform and balancing the budget.

Let’s look at three elements of President Trump’s economic policy and how they interact:

Last ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849241

Last Tuesday President-elect Trump said, “My Administration will be focused on three very important words: jobs, jobs, jobs.” Mr. Trump emphasizes geography: American policies should encourage economic growth “right here in America.” Nothing wrong with that.

He follows a hallowed tradition of politicians emphasizing jobs and talking about the ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849238

Kate Davidson and Richard Rubin have an excellent article in today’s Wall Street Journal examining what President Trump’s economic advisors are now saying about how the President wants to allocate $2 trillion in budget benefits they think will result from faster economic growth. I wrote about this question Tuesday.

Trump ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849240

For the classes I teach at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business I make my students write policy memos to a friend or family member as if that person was a Member of Congress. I have done the same here. These memos are similar in style to those I used to write for ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849236

Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post performs a valuable service with his Fact Checker column. He plays the referee, holding policymakers to account for the accuracy of what they say, and working hard to research, understand, and educate his readers on the veracity of a range of important policy questions. ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849234

In their Axios story “Trump team considers nationalizing 5G network,” Jonathan Swan, David McCabe, Ina Fried, and Kim Hart report that “Trump national security officials are considering an unprecedented federal takeover of a portion of the nation’s mobile network to guard against China, according to sensitive documents obtained by ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849235

I write in support of Kirstjen Nielsen, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security, and to recommend the President nominate Kevin Warsh for Chairman of the Federal Reserve. I worked with both of them in the Bush White House, and they are in both cases the best candidates for ...


April 30, 2018, 8:07 pm, 1849237

Both President Obama’s 2016 signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change and President Trump’s withdrawal from that agreement today fit into a category I will label as QTIIPS.

QTIIPS stands for Quantitatively Trivial Impact + Intense Political Symbolism.

QTIIPS policy changes provoke fierce political battles over trivially small ...