Economics Roundtable

January 2014 Payroll Employment

We are getting closer to the previous peak.

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.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

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Donald Marron

"Musings on Economics, Finance, and Life”

April 9, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1253302

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, ...

March 12, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1239484

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— ...

February 11, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1222384

You’ve probably heard that Treasury will hit the debt limit on October 17 and soon thereafter it won’t be able to pay all of America’s bills. That second part is true: Congress needs to act soon—preferably before the 17th—so Treasury doesn’t miss any payments. But the first part isn’t: Treasury ...

February 11, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1222385

February 11, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1222383

Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen, and Robert Shiller won the Nobel Prize in Economics this morning for their work studying asset prices. In one sense, they are a motley trio: Fama is famous for emphasizing efficient markets, Shiller for emphasizing investor psychology and inefficient markets, and Hansen for high-tech econometric ...

February 11, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1222382

The Council of Economic Advisers just released an interesting paper examining the macroeconomic harm from the government shutdown and debt limit brinksmanship. To do so, they created a Weekly Economic Index from data that are released either daily or weekly (and weren’t delayed by the shutdown). These data include measures ...

February 11, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1222381

Congressional negotiators are trying to craft a budget deal by mid-December. Fareed Zakaria’s Global Public Square asked twelve experts what they hoped that deal would include. My suggestion: it’s time to fix the budget process:

Odds are slim that the budget conference will deliver anything big on substance. No grand ...

February 11, 2014, 5:33 pm, 1222380

Photo Credit: FannyBanny1 via Compfight cc

Snowy owls are popping up all over the eastern United States and Canada. One even made it to Bermuda.

Biologists aren’t sure why. Perhaps a summer lemming boom fed many more snowy owlets than ...

February 5, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1220121

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:

January 20, 2014, 11:33 am, 1211908

In a lengthy piece on “The Future of Jobs“, the Economist cites some estimates of the risk that IT will eliminate jobs over the next 20 years:

So Keynes was right: Economists should aspire to ...