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?


Click on the chart for a larger version.


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Donald Marron

"Musings on Economics, Finance, and Life”


March 22, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1620181

Britain will soon tax sugary drinks. Whether you love that idea or hate it, you’ve got to give the Brits credit: They’ve designed a better version of the tax than any other government.

Beginning in 2018, the United Kingdom will charge the equivalent of 0.75 cents ...


March 2, 2016, 3:33 pm, 1614261

On Monday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) defended the current method for budgeting for federal lending programs, known as “credit reform.” By endorsing the status quo, GAO puts itself at odds with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which has championed a “fair value” alternative. The details are wonky but ...


February 23, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1611462

Adele Morris co-authored this post.

A US carbon tax could raise $1 trillion or more in new revenue over the next decade. There is no shortage of ways to use it.

Tax reformers want to cut business and personal taxes. Budget hawks want to reduce future deficits. Environmental advocates want to ...


February 16, 2016, 7:33 pm, 1609185

The Council of Economic Advisers celebrates its 70th anniversary this week. You can read a great history of CEA from its soon-to-be-released Economic Report of the President.

CEA has helped develop many beneficial policies through the years. It also helps kill bad ones:


January 29, 2016, 11:33 am, 1603445

What do indoor tanning, shopping bags, junk food, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, “gas guzzling” cars, ozone-depleting chemicals, sugary drinks, marijuana, gasoline, coal, carbon-containing fuels, and financial transactions have in common? Taxes that discourage them. The United States taxes indoor tanning to reduce skin cancer, for example, while Washington DC taxes shopping ...


December 14, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1590816

With obesity and diabetes at record levels, many experts believe governments should tax soda, sweets, junk food, and other unhealthy foods and drinks. Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, and Mexico have such taxes. So do Berkeley, California and the Navajo Nation. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is waging a high-profile campaign to ...


November 10, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1574152

Should you face an extra tax if you drink soda? Eat potato chips? Uncork some wine? Light up a cigarette or joint? Toast yourself in a tanning booth? Many governments think so. Mexico taxes junk food. Berkeley taxes sugary soft drinks. Countless governments tax alcohol and tobacco. Several states tax ...


September 16, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1544883

Behavioral “nudges” can increase college enrollment by low-income students, boost health insurance take up, encourage federal workers to save for retirement, cut delinquencies on student loans, reduce vendor fraud, and save paper, according to the first annual report of the White House’s “nudge” unit.

President Obama established the unit—officially known ...


July 5, 2015, 1:33 am, 1503295

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 ...


July 5, 2015, 1:33 am, 1503294

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.)