Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 3/9/15

The website was down several hours today, but is back up now.

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.


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.


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Stephen Williamson

"Stephen Williamson:  New Monetarist Economics
My lastest ideas on macroeconomics, monetaryu economics, economic policy and current events”

May 21, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1478692
I had heard Paul Romer is disgruntled, and now that he's written down his thoughts, we can perhaps sort this out. We'll start with his recent blog post on "Protecting the Norms of Science in ...

April 13, 2015, 10:34 pm, 1454734
Noah Smith's Bloomberg post on the wonders of sticky price models caught my eye the other day. I'm going to use that as background for addressing issues on financial stability and monetary policy raised by Ben Bernanke.

First, Noah is more than a little confused about the ...

April 4, 2015, 2:34 pm, 1450620
Brad DeLong has a post on New Keynesian (NK) models. Things are certainly looking up, as I'm finding DeLong more agreeable by the day. As far as I can tell, we both think there is a deficiency of safe assets in the world, and we're not big fans of ...

April 3, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1450428
As you probably know, Ben Bernanke has a series of blog posts on why we have low interest rates. My two main points are: (i) Bernanke may be missing what is most important about the phenomenon of low real interest rates; (ii) He's giving Larry Summers way too much ...

March 22, 2015, 6:35 pm, 1443431
Simon Wren-Lewis will unfortunately have to join Brad DeLong and Nick Rowe in the ranks of not-ready-for-prime-time monetary economists. There is always hope, though. We can allow him a retake of the David Levine's Keynesian economics exam. He could even attempt the same problem, if he wants. ...

March 20, 2015, 6:35 pm, 1442996
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. David Levine's piece on Keynesian economics appears to have generated plenty of heat. See for example the comments section in my post linking to Levine. I'm imagining an ...

March 16, 2015, 2:34 pm, 1440101
This piece be David Levine is a lot of fun. Paul Krugman refers to Levine as "incompetent" and "ignorant," which I think we can interpret as a strong positive signal.

March 11, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1437639
Thanks to Brad DeLong and Noah Smith for resurrecting a 2011 panel discussion on the roots of modern macroeconomics, which includes Michael Lovell, Robert Lucas, the late Dale Mortensen, Robert Shiller, and Neil Wallace. If you're interested in the history of macro thought, this is fascinating.

March 9, 2015, 4:35 pm, 1436193
I was interested in Paul Krugman's NYT column from this morning, mainly for his take on mid-1990s monetary policy in the United States. Krugman says:

Recent job gains have brought the Fed to a fork in the road very much like the situation it faced circa 1995. Now, as ...

February 9, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1418974
This Financial Times article by Larry Summers articulates ideas that he has been talking about recently.

First, I take it as a good sign that Summers understands that the Phillips curve is not all it's cracked up to be:

...the idea that below normal unemployment will necessarily ...