Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 1/21/15

The website was down for a day and a half, 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”

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 ...

February 9, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1418975
This post by Simon Wren-Lewis brings the dead parrot sketch to mind (with Simon playing the Michael Palin role). I'm interested in the last couple of paragraphs of his post. Simon is analyzing the ...

February 5, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1417093
The Turkish President is in a fight with his central bank governor over monetary policy. Possibly President Erdogan came up with this idea on his own, or maybe he's been reading blog posts. In any case, he certainly sounds like a neo-Fisherite.

“They’re simply going to drive one mad. ...

February 3, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1415566
Paul Krugman has an interesting post on Phillips curves and monetary policy. There are two pieces of "theory" at the heart of his argument: (i) the Phillips curve; (ii) the "deflationary trap." He shows us annual observations on the unemployment rate and core inflation for 2007-2014, estimates a linear ...

February 1, 2015, 10:34 pm, 1414177
I was a bit confused by this post by Tony Yates on the Taylor rule. I think this issue is important, and worth sorting out.

John Taylor first wrote about the rule in a Carnegie-Rochester conference paper in 1993. The basic Taylor rule specifies a central bank ...

January 2, 2015, 2:34 pm, 1397995
Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century has declined a nomination to the French Legion of Honor. The Legion of Honor is a big deal. It's described as an "order," and was founded in 1802 by Napoleon. The structure of the order is rather militaristic (no surprise). ...

January 1, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1397627
Paul Krugman has an interesting perspective on the history of economic thought. According to him, the Volcker disinflation played out exactly as Keynesians thought it would. Cutting to the chase:

So were Keynesian economists feeling amazed and dismayed by the events of the 1980s? On the contrary, they were ...

December 28, 2014, 10:34 am, 1395559
Robert Waldmann thinks there are "non-Keynesians" who are excessively dismissive of the Keynesian multiplier:

Various non Keynesians have argued that the pattern of public spending and GDP in the USA during the current recovery (that ...

December 22, 2014, 12:34 am, 1392926
I'm going to try to clear up some issues in the blog discussion among Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Paul Krugman, and Simon Wren-Lewis, among others, about zero-lower-bound monetary policy. Rather than parse the thoughts of others, I'll start from scratch, and hopefully you'll be less confused.

I'll focus ...

December 3, 2014, 10:34 pm, 1382904
Some people (Noah Smith, Paul Krugman) have recently written about The Superiority of Economists by Fourcade et al. This is a paper written by two sociologists and an economist, who give us a sociological perspective on the economics profession. To get my bearings I found the most ...