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.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

The Classic Economic Models cover micro, macro, and financial markets.

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- Recent Entries

February 7, 2016, 8:34 am, 1606114

It was thirty-five years ago that young economists first explicitly tackled the mysteries of technical change, opening up a topic that until then had been carefully bracketed and set aside as a black box by macroeconomists preoccupied with the rhythms of the business cycle. One unassailable gain from that time ...

February 7, 2016, 8:04 am, 1606113
(February 7, 2016 06:37 AM, by Emily Skarbek) Often economists want to isolate questions of public debt and analyse these issues as if public choice considerations weren't at play. Perhaps less studied are the ways in which debt practices can systematically exert pressure on formal political institutions. But... (0 ...

February 7, 2016, 7:34 am, 1606112

The Super Bowl is later today. To get ready, here's a review of what in some years is the best part of the game: the commercials.

Bonus: Somehighlights of a really excellent campaign, "ETRADE Top 5 Baby Commercials".

February 7, 2016, 5:34 am, 1606105

February 7, 2016, 5:03 am, 1606088

February 7, 2016, 4:05 am, 1606086

Immigration and Top Income Inequality
Draft coming soon
Top income inequality rose sharply in the U.S. over the last 35 years. A majority of that can be accounted for by right-skewed salary income. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain ...

February 7, 2016, 4:04 am, 1606085
My regular column is available to subscribers on This is an excerpt. Negative interest rates are in vogue. The Bank of Japan a few days ago joined a club which includes Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and the European Central...

February 7, 2016, 2:04 am, 1606075

Tobias J. Moskowitz has a recent paper on this question, the results are illuminating:

I use sports betting markets as a laboratory to test behavioral theories of cross-sectional asset pricing anomalies. Two unique features of these markets provide a distinguishing test of behavioral theories: 1) the bets are completely ...

February 6, 2016, 10:44 pm, 1606064
Parallels are often drawn between the Great Recession of the past decade and the economic turmoil of the interwar period. In terms of global trade, these comparisons are based on obsolete and incomplete data. This column re-estimates world trade since the beginning of the 19th century using a new database ...

February 6, 2016, 10:44 pm, 1606063
The benefits of microfinance are in the details. This column takes a look at commercial bank lending to Indian self-help groups – smaller, informal community-based groups – as a new and successful microfinance initiative. Different ways of thinking about getting credit to the poorest and most marginalised in society can ...

February 6, 2016, 10:44 pm, 1606062
There is no consensus on the effects of agglomeration on innovation. This column presents new evidence on how knowledge turnover impacts the quality of innovation. Agglomerated regions with active knowledge turnover, as measured by interregional migration of university graduates, tend to have a higher number of patent citations, the metric ...

February 6, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1606061

Today is President Ronald Reagan’s birthday, he was born on February 6 in 1911 and would have been 105 years old today. Here are a few items to honor and celebrate the birthday of President Reagan.

1. Amazingly, in the entire history of the United ...

February 6, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1606044
(Don Boudreaux)

Kenneth Regas e-mails me (link added):

Dear Professor Boudreaux,

On the EconLog blog Professor Caplan recently opined that ...

February 6, 2016, 3:34 pm, 1606041

February 6, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1606032

From FoxNews6:

“Gov. Scott Walker is set to sign a bill that would allow people to carry concealed switchblades and knives.”

February 6, 2016, 2:05 pm, 1606031

February 6, 2016, 2:05 pm, 1606030

A BuzzFeed article predicts that Twitter will soon move from a time-ordered feed to an algorithmic feed, one that shows you tweets that it predicts you will like before it show you lesser-ranked tweets. Naturally, twitter exploded with outrage that this is the end of twitter.

My ...

February 6, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1606029

Today is President Ronald Reagan’s birthday, he was born on February 6 in 1911 and would have been 105 years old today. Here are a few items to honor and celebrate the birthday of President Reagan.

1. Amazingly, in the entire history of the United ...

February 6, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1606012

Hillary Clinton: “I am a Progressive who gets things done.”

Bernie Sanders: “I do not know any Progressives who collect $15 million for their SuperPacs from big corporate donors. That is not a Progressive thing to do.”

From a historical perspective, Bernie and Hillary are both progressives. Yet the ideological divide between ...

February 6, 2016, 11:34 am, 1606010


She should have been more careful. Someone actually did find strong evidence that she changed a vote. . . .It was none other than Elizabeth Warren who raised the question in 2004 about Hillary switching positions on a bankruptcy bill that (in oversimplified terms) made it easier ...

February 6, 2016, 9:03 am, 1605989

February 6, 2016, 9:03 am, 1605988
The key economic report this week is January retail sales on Friday.

The focus will be on Fed Chair Janet Yellen's Semiannual Monetary Policy testimony to the Congress.

----- Monday, February 8th -----
10:00 AM ET: The Fed will release the monthly Labor Market Conditions Index (LMCI). ...

February 6, 2016, 8:35 am, 1605987
● Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of American Abundance By Donald Worster Summary via publisher (Oxford University Press) The discovery of the Americas around 1500 AD was an extraordinary watershed in human experience. It gave rise to the modern period of human ecology, a phenomenon global in scope ...

February 6, 2016, 8:34 am, 1605986

Diane Coyle’s question – what should the well-read student read? – has prompted some good answers, not least her own. But for me it raises a question: are there some classic books which are age-specific – which youngsters might love but older folk not, and vice versa?

February 6, 2016, 8:04 am, 1605983
(February 6, 2016 07:25 AM, by Alberto Mingardi) A well-known economic journalist, Hugo Dixon, published an op-ed in the New York Times on "How to make capitalism more appealing". I wholeheartedly agree with one of his points: "The classic left-wing response to the perceived unfairness of capitalism has... (0 ...

February 6, 2016, 8:04 am, 1605982
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 111 of the 1978 collection, edited by Eric Mack, of Auberon Herbert’s essays, The Right and ...

February 6, 2016, 7:34 am, 1605979

More than just "jokes," this list also includes videos of some of the routines. Some really excellent ones are included, but almost needless to say, the more modern ones tend to be vert rude and very lewd.

February 6, 2016, 5:34 am, 1605974

Yet another huge triumph of socialism.

See also "Venezuela Is So Fucked".

February 6, 2016, 4:05 am, 1605969

That is from Venkatesh Rao, retweeted by Ben Southwood, a version of “Questions that are rarely asked.”

I suppose if you haven’t read the Bible or Quran those are easy answers, but let’s say you have.

I’ve only read snippets of Mein Kampf, so that has to stand as a ...

February 6, 2016, 3:03 am, 1605960

February 6, 2016, 2:04 am, 1605959

1. The subtitle is A New Theory of Chinese History, and volume one has just been translated and published from the Chinese.

2. The author, Dingxin Zhao, now is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago.

3. The book has a curious 19th century air to ...