Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

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Jobs

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 .


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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?


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Crooked Timber

"Out of the CROOKED TIMBER of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.”


September 8, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1331397

The 1970s saw two important and influential publications in the long debate over justice, equality and public policy. In 1971, there was Rawls Theory of Justice, commonly described in terms like “magisterial”. Then in 1974, at lunch with Jude Wanniski, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, Arthur Laffer drew his now-eponymous ...


August 21, 2014, 12:04 am, 1322088

Reading Jon Chait this morning:

With predictable fury, supply-siders have denounced this heresy [that Reagan-era supply-side policies might not be optimal today, even granting that they were in 1980]. You can get a flavor of the intra-party debate in columns appearing in places like Forbes or The Wall Street Journal, ...


August 20, 2014, 10:04 am, 1321660

Watching the nightly demonstrations and confrontations from Ferguson, I was reminded of James C. Scott’s discussion in chapter 1 of his Two Cheers for Anarchism of the role of riots, confrontations, violence and disorder in effecting social change. They don’t always, or even usually, make things better. They sometimes makes ...


August 1, 2014, 12:04 am, 1309429

I got lots of very helpful responses to my recent post on the search theory of unemployment, here and at Crooked Timber. But it has occurred to me that I haven’t seen any answer to one crucial question: How many offers do unemployed workers receive and decline before taking a ...


July 27, 2014, 8:04 pm, 1306220

One of the striking features of (propertarian) libertarianism, especially in the US, is its reliance on a priori arguments based on supposedly self-evident truths. Among[1] the most extreme versions of this is the “praxeological” economic methodology espoused by Mises and his followers, and also endorsed, in a more qualified fashion, ...


July 24, 2014, 8:04 pm, 1305073

I’ve been working for quite a while now on a book which will respond to Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson a book that was issued just after 1945 and has remained in print ever since. It’s an adaptation of the work of the 19th century French free-market advocate Frederic ...


July 19, 2014, 4:04 am, 1303421

I have a piece in The National Interest, looking at various recent events including the latest round of the Argentinian debt crisis, in which a New York court ruled in favor of a group of ‘vulture’ investors, led by a New York billionaire, and the agreement of the


July 10, 2014, 12:04 am, 1298938

This is going to be a long and wonkish post, so I’ll just give the dot-point summary here, and let those interested read on below the fold, for the explanations and qualifications.

The dominant model of unemployment, in academic macroeconomics at least, is based on the idea that unemployment can best ...