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”

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 ...

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 ...