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.


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”

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 ...

November 24, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1377190
So you've all forgotten who Thomas Piketty is, right? Recall that he is the author of the 685-page tome, Capital in the Twentieth Century, a bestseller of the summer of 2014, but perhaps also the least-read bestseller of the summer of 2014. I was determined, however, not to be ...

November 13, 2014, 12:34 pm, 1370676
I've noticed a flurry of blog activity on "Neo-Fisherianism," and thought I would contribute my two cents's worth. Noah Smith drew my attention to the fact that Paul Krugman had something to say on the ...

November 11, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1369348
Here's a common view of how the Fed implemented monetary policy prior to the financial crisis.The chart shows a typical framework, pre-financial crisis, that was used in hitting a particular fed funds rate target, depicted by ...

October 23, 2014, 12:34 am, 1355970
David Wessel gives us five reasons to worry about deflation. Should we worried? Well, probably not for the reasons Wessel mentions, which are:


Deflation is a generalized decline in prices and, sometimes, wages. Sure, if you’re lucky enough to get a raise, your paycheck goes further–but those whose ...

September 19, 2014, 10:35 am, 1337924
In September 2009, Paul Krugman wrote "How Did Economists Get It So Wrong? The key points in that magazine article were:

1. Economists did not see the financial crisis coming, therefore there is something wrong with economics.
2. It's not hard to see what is wrong with economics ...

September 8, 2014, 10:35 pm, 1331483
How do macroeconomists think about inflation? To get a grip on this, it's useful to dig into the history of economic thought. Long ago, in the mid-1970s, when I had no idea what formal economics was about (and, you might say, nothing much has changed), I had heard about "wage-price ...

August 19, 2014, 12:35 pm, 1321081
There is an ebook available on "Secular Stagnation: Facts, Causes, and Cures," which consists of a set of papers by a group of economists, brought together in an attempt to understand secular stagnation, and how we might address the problem, if it is one. Some of the papers are ...

August 5, 2014, 8:35 pm, 1312435
I will shortly be taking up a full-time position in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The Federal Reserve System has always been good to me, in spite of the grief I give the Fed from time to time. I'm looking forward to working with ...

August 5, 2014, 8:35 pm, 1312434
From a post by Brad DeLong on Krusell and Smith's comment on Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-First Century:"

As time passes, it seems to me that a larger and larger fraction of Piketty's critics are making arguments that really make no sense at all--that I really do not ...