Database Maintenance 7/4/15
Routine database maintenance will induce some duplicated items for the next day or two.
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 .
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.
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?
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"Out of the CROOKED TIMBER of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.”
There’s been a lot of back and forth about economic reasoning and the EU. This article by Kevin O’Rourke, takes a different perspective, one that is well worth reading, exploring the consequences of economists’ handwaving over utility for the technocratic politics that we face today. I’ve seen
I’m now coming up to (what I hope will be) the most challenging part of my book-in-progress, Economics in Two Lessons. The core theoretical point the first part of the book (Lesson 1) is that, under a set of ideal assumptions, competitive equilibrium prices both reflect and determine the opportunity ...
Another excerpt from my book-in-progress, Economics in Two Lessons. To recap, the Two Lessons are
Lesson 1: Market prices reflect and determine opportunity costs faced by consumers and producers.
Lesson 2: Market prices don’t reflect all the opportunity costs we face as a society.
In this section, I’m ...
Following up on Noah Smith’s marvellous definition of derp, I thought I would add the first person to give the declension of this irregular verbI can’t see this happening You regularly restate your tight (low probability) prior He flerped a herp of derp
The classic example, cited by Noah is that ...
Chris has already pointed out the failure of the core European institutions in their response to the global financial crisis. One excuse that can be made for these institutions is that they are still in the process of development, and were ill-prepared, intellectually and institutionally, for an ...
Here’s another draft excerpt from my book in progress, Economics in Two Lessons. To recap, the idea of the book is to begin with the idea that market prices represent opportunity costs for the households and business who face them (Lesson 1), and then go on to explain why market ...
On June 10th the Washington Post’s editorial page chastised Congress for “making free trade difficult”. Champions of Trade Promotion Authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) continue to label all skeptics as “opponents of free trade.” Many skeptics actually favor free trade, but the Trans-Pacific Partnership appears to be less about ...
I’m still redrafting the opening section of my book, on the concept of opportunity cost. Some applications to specific problems coming soon, I promise. In the meantime, comments and criticism, including editorial corrections and nitpicks, much appreciated.
What is opportunity cost?
Remember that Time is Money. He that can ...
As part of the research for Economics in Two Lessons, I’m looking in to the history of some of the ideas I’m talking about, including Pareto optimality, externalities and of course opportunity cost. I’m undecided as to whether I’ll include this material, perhaps as starred (skip if you feel like ...
Over the page, the draft preface for my book-in-progress, Economics in Two Lessons
I got some great comments first time round, but I can see it would be easier if I presented my drafts in a more orderly fashion, though not necessarily sequential. So, I’ll begin at the beginning. Comments, both ...