Economics Roundtable

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.


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?


Click on the chart for a larger version.


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Donald Marron

"Musings on Economics, Finance, and Life”


September 29, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1343077

Lending programs create special challenges for federal budgeting. So special, in fact, that the Congressional Budget Office estimates their budget effects two different ways. According to official budget rules, taxpayers will earn more than $200 billion over the next decade from new student loans, mortgage guarantees, and the Export-Import ...


September 17, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1336763

Dane Stangler at the Kauffman Foundation debunks four myths about entrepreneurship:

Spoiler: 20-somethings make headlines, but founders in their 30s and 40s are more important.

(Disclosure: The Kauffman Foundation funds some of my research at the Urban Institute.)



September 10, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1332655

Suppose your aunt decides to start a business making pizza ovens. She will design and build the ovens, and her daughter will manage operations. A bank is ready to lend her $100,000 to get started, but it wants someone to co-sign and be on the hook if she misses any ...


August 30, 2014, 5:33 am, 1326912

In this TEDx talk, Bob Litan shows how economic insights shaped the web economy, from dating to search to travel to logistics.



August 26, 2014, 11:33 am, 1324708

“On Sunday, a United Airlines flight was forced to divert after two passengers got into an argument over the Knee Defender, a $22 gadget that stops the person in front of the user from reclining,” report Alex Davies and Julie Zeveloff at Business Insider.

By packing people in tight spaces, ...


August 5, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1312183

Blogging’s been very light of late, but I couldn’t let June 28th slip by without commemorating Tau Day.

Math aficionados often celebrate March 14 as Pi day, since Pi starts 3.14. All good fun. But as Michael Hartl argues over at the Tau Manifesto, Pi was likely a mistake. If ...


August 5, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1312185

How big is the underground sex economy in the United States and how does it work? The Urban Institute is out with a big study today that offers some answers. Here’s a brief summary of the full study (see also the accompanying feature).

Our study focused on eight US cities— ...


August 5, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1312184

Today I had the chance to testify before the House Small Business Committee on the many tax issues facing small business. Here are my opening remarks. You can find my full testimony here.

America’s tax system is needlessly complex, economically harmful, and often unfair. Despite recent revenue gains, ...


July 10, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1299389

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve confirmed that it would end new purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities (MBS)—what’s known as quantitative easing—in October. In response, the media are heralding the end of the Fed’s stimulus:

“Fed Stimulus is Really Going to End and Nobody Cares,” says the Wall Street Journal.

“Federal ...


July 2, 2014, 11:33 pm, 1295834

Jonathan Schwabish has just published a wonderful guide to visualizing economic data. If you produce charts, you really ought to study it.

Here’s one example, transforming a default Excel “spaghetti” chart into something more tasty: