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.

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- Recent Entries

September 28, 2016, 4:04 am, 1679123

Our findings provide empirical evidence that ride-sharing services such as Uber significantly decrease the traffic congestion after entering an urban area.

Here is the paper, by Li, Hong, and Zhang, via the excellent Kevin Lewis.  Kevin also directs our attention to this paper by ...

September 28, 2016, 2:04 am, 1679104

1. Robert Kanigel, Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs.  Lots of information about Jane Jacobs, so it has to be a good book and indeed it is.  I found Becoming Jane Jacobs more engaging to read, but this one covered the latter ...

September 28, 2016, 1:23 am, 1679103
‘Most of us could do with a little more randomness in our lives’

September 28, 2016, 12:44 am, 1679093

September 27, 2016, 8:44 pm, 1679068

September 27, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1679050

Charles L. Schultze, the top economic adviser to President Jimmy Carter for his entire presidency and a budget director for President Lyndon B. Johnson, died Tuesday at age 91.

Mr. Schultze, who was also a longtime scholar at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, served in the White House during two ...

September 27, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1679049
From housing economist Tom Lawler:

Data from the 2015 American Community Survey suggest thatFor the first time since 2006, the number of single-family housing units occupied by renters declined slightly last year. The share of occupied single-family (detached and attached) housing units occupied by renters, which went up ...

September 27, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1679048

By James Kwak

Last week, Council of Economic Advisers chair Jason Furman took to the Washington Post to announce that President Obama has “narrowed the inequality gap.” Furman’s argument, bolstered by charts and data from a recent CEA report, has won over some of the more perceptive commentators ...

September 27, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1679046
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from Dan Ikenson’s splendid essay, from earlier this year, titled “Trade on Trial, Again“:

The benefits ...

September 27, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1679045

The polls before the debate suggested Americans thought Hillary Clinton would win the first presidential debate of the general election season. The post-debate CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey suggests the public’s prediction was correct.

Presidential debates are serious things, and Americans expect the candidates to prepare for them. Trump appeared to have ...

September 27, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1679044

September 27, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1679043

The College Board released its 2016 SAT college-entrance test results today, see report here from the Washington Post “SAT scores fall modestly in a ...

September 27, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1679016

Taxes played a central role in last night’s presidential debate, as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump presented contrasting visions for U.S. economic policy. The candidates mentioned taxes over 40 times throughout the course of the debate, promoting their respective tax plans and criticizing each other’s proposals. ...

September 27, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1679015
Here is an indicator that I'm following that appears to be a leading indicator for industrial production.

From the American Chemistry Council: Chemical Activity Barometer Continues Solid Growth in September

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), expanded 0.4 ...

September 27, 2016, 4:44 pm, 1679014

September 27, 2016, 4:44 pm, 1679013

September 27, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679011

Sebastian Mallaby, The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan.

Self-recommending, I will start it as soon as possible.

The post Arrived in my pile appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

September 27, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679010

Once the craft approaches Mars — a trip of about 20 months or more — the craft will have to get through the atmosphere, reaching a temperature of 1,700°C, and use rockets to lower the craft gently onto the moon.

That is a description of the new Elon ...

September 27, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679009

Last week, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul released “A National Strategy to Win the War Against Islamist Terror” at an AEI event. In the strategy, Chairman McCaul notes that “extremists are crowd-sourcing their violence and franchising terror to small cells and independent followers” and associating with ...

September 27, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1679008

The College Board released its 2016 SAT college-entrance test results today, see report here from the Washington Post “SAT scores fall modestly in a ...

September 27, 2016, 3:23 pm, 1679002

Things have been a wee bit quiet in macroblog land the last few weeks, chiefly because our time has been devoted to two exciting new projects. The first is a refresh of our labor force dynamics website, which will feature a nifty tool for looking at the main ...

September 27, 2016, 2:44 pm, 1678971

September 27, 2016, 2:44 pm, 1678970

new paper by Franceso D'Acunto and Albert Rossi, both at the University of Maryland's Department of Finance, contends that the Dodd-Frank Act resulted in "a substantial redistribution of credit from middle-class households to wealthy households", as lenders reacted to regulations by reducing credit to middle-class households and increasing ...

September 27, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1678966
(September 27, 2016 02:17 PM, by David Henderson) Although Donald Trump is a very close second. And, I agree with Paul Krugman but he left something out. I tried to watch last night's "debate" between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I really did. Unfortunately, I lasted only about... (2 COMMENTS)

September 27, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1678963

Politico asked a range of contributors to comment on the performances of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the first presidential debate last night. Below is Danielle Pletka’s response. Read the entire symposium here.

Most of the debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had passed before we got ...

September 27, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1678964
Nick Confessore Reporter 9:20 PM ET Just to pull back for a second here, you can see a part of Clinton’s strategy. She is not campaigning against him as a crazy man. She is campaigning against him as a traditional and, in her argument, flawed conservative Republican. – First Clinton ...

September 27, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1678965
Stan Fischer: “I think we’d be better off if there was a price for using money, or for not investing, in terms of monetary returns” — Matthew B (@boes_) September 27, 2016 Data link… Red circle is 2nd quarter 2016.

September 27, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1678962

I often complain that presidential debates rarely deal with monetary policy. But Donald Trump went there last night:

We are in a big, fat, ugly bubble. And we better be awfully careful. And we have a Fed that’s doing political things. This Janet Yellen of the Fed. The Fed is doing ...

September 27, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1678961

Last night at Hofstra University, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off in their first presidential debate. AEI political scholars are available to comment:

Karlyn Bowman:

Hillary had a strong opening and she held on to her lead throughout the debate because she addressed the questions directly, and was more ...

September 27, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1678959


We propose reducing the corporate tax rate to 15 percent and replacing the foregone revenue with a tax at ordinary income rates on the accrued, or mark-to-market, income of American shareholders of publicly traded corporations, accompanied by an imputation credit for U.S. corporate income taxes paid. The proposal would dramatically reduce the tax significance ...

September 27, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1678960

Yesterday, the New York Times published an article called “Debacle” – a fascinating oral history of the first presidential debate in 2000 between Vice President Al Gore and Governor George W. Bush, with advisers to each candidate and the moderator sharing their recollections.

September 27, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1678956

Once upon a time,canals werethe latest thing ininfrastructure investment. During the early years of the Industrial Revolution, they made it possible to move heavy goods, ...

September 27, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1678955
I did an EconTalk Podcast with Russ Roberts. The general subject is economic growth, the reasons it seems to be slipping away from us and policies (or non-policies) ...

September 27, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1678924

Today is September 27, the date Google has decided is its birthday. Happy birthday, Google!

Here are some interesting links I came across:

Debate Night: Taxes came up. My colleague Scott Greenberg is writing an analysis that will be posted today. (Tax Foundation)

Majority of Senate Signs on to Beer Tax ...

September 27, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1678923

Stanley Fischer:

Why Study Economics?: I am very pleased to visit today with the students and faculty of the Howard University Economics Department. First, a fact that you know but others may not: The Howard University Economics Department is the only producer of economics Ph.D.'s among the nation's historically ...

September 27, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1678922

Paul Krugman:

Trump On Trade: For the most part,... the media consensus seems to be that Clinton won. This is a big deal: you know, just know, that they were primed to declare Trump the winner... But he was so bad and she so good that they couldn’t. ...

Trump on ...

September 27, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1678921
Here is the earlier post on Case-Shiller: Case-Shiller: National House Price Index increased 5.1% year-over-year in July

The year-over-year increase in prices is mostly moving sideways now around 5%. In July, the index was up 5.1% YoY.

In the earlier post, I graphed nominal house prices, ...

September 27, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1678920

September 27, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1678915

September 27, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1678914
(September 27, 2016 10:27 AM, by Scott Sumner) Tyler Cowen linked to a paper by Peter Navarro, which discusses Trump's economic plan. To put it simply, it's a complete mess. Here are just a few examples: Under WTO rules, any foreign company that manufactures domestically and exports goods... (0 COMMENTS)

September 27, 2016, 11:03 am, 1678882

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has leveraged the economic pain caused by China’s rise into voter support by promising to aggressively challenge the Asian giant as a fundamental threat to the U.S. economy.

But the agony of the past isn’t the threat of the future. Instead of China’s rise, the ...

September 27, 2016, 11:03 am, 1678881
Ordinary economic weakness is responsible for as much as three-quarters of the collapse in trade between the precrisis years starting in 2003 and the postcrisis years, the International Monetary Fund says.

September 27, 2016, 11:03 am, 1678880
S&P/Case-Shiller released the monthly Home Price Indices for July ("July" is a 3 month average of May, June and July prices).

This release includes prices for 20 individual cities, two composite indices (for 10 cities and 20 cities) and the monthly National index.

Note: Case-Shiller reports Not ...

September 27, 2016, 11:03 am, 1678879
From the Richmond Fed: Manufacturing Sector Activity Still Soft in September; Employment Index at 36-Month Low

Manufacturing activity in the Fifth District continued to soften in September, but somewhat less so than in August, according to the Richmond Fed's latest survey. ...

Overall manufacturing activity, as measured by ...

September 27, 2016, 10:44 am, 1678878

September 27, 2016, 10:34 am, 1678877

“Perhaps Labour’s day is done, and it is time for something new” says Nick Cohen, a sentiment echoed by Janan Ganesh.

I disagree. Labour has two massive things going for it, which are immense obstacles to the formation of a new party.

One is ...

September 27, 2016, 10:04 am, 1678874
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 161 of Princeton University economist Thomas Leonard’s excellent 2016 book, Illiberal Reformers, which is ...

September 27, 2016, 10:04 am, 1678872

Who won the first presidential debate? In my opinion, Hillary Clinton did. Much of what she said was eminently fact-checkable. There were times when she looked smug and supercilious. But she got out some of the attacks she wanted — including breaking in at the end to attack his coments ...

September 27, 2016, 10:04 am, 1678871

During the first debate, the Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton sought to deflect her Republican opponent Donald Trump’s criticism of President Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq by arguing that it was President George W. Bush who agreed to withdraw US forces from Iraq and that the only way to keep them ...

September 27, 2016, 10:04 am, 1678873

Donald Trump had plenty of moments on Monday night that would have disqualified any other candidate in a presidential debate: bragging about getting through a discrimination investigation “with no admission of guilt”; saying he had not “given lots of thought” to NATO; noting that he often took advantage of laws; ...

September 27, 2016, 10:04 am, 1678870

“Hillary Clinton’s Plan for Lowering Prescription Drug Costs” — a campaign briefing — is a blueprint for destroying our pharmaceutical industry. And it isn’t just drug companies that should be scared. The plan sets a precedent for destructive command and control in every part of the economy.

Citing ACA provisions that ...

September 27, 2016, 10:04 am, 1678869

During the first debate between Democratic and Republican nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Clinton defended the nuclear deal initiated under her tenure at the State Department by saying that it used diplomacy to neutralize Iran’s nuclear program, which had grown significantly during the tenure of President George W. Bush.

But ...

September 27, 2016, 9:33 am, 1678866

I can't really tell if they are seriously wondering how to make money from this thing:

In 2005, the town of Boone committed funding so that AppalCART could provide free service for in-town routes. At that time, annual recorded trips were at 652,000, Hughes said.

Fare-free service was wonderful, he said, because ...

September 27, 2016, 9:03 am, 1678834

Hillary Clinton came to Monday night’s debate with a label for Donald Trump’s tax plan, twice calling it “trumped-up, trickle-down” economics. Mr. Trump’s defense: It works.

The candidates quickly touched on other tax issues that divide them: business taxation, estate taxes and what Mr. Trump’s plan would do to ...

September 27, 2016, 8:34 am, 1678833

US economic growth estimates for the third quarter have been trimmed in recent weeks, but most analysts are still projecting a solid rebound. If the predictions are correct, output is on track to expand at the strongest pace in two years when the Bureau of Economic Analysis publishes the “advance” ...

September 27, 2016, 8:34 am, 1678832

By James Kwak

[Note: Usually I post things here first, then on Medium. This time I did the opposite.]

Jason Furman, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, is in a celebratory mood:

Everyone talks about income inequality these days. President Obama has actually ...

September 27, 2016, 8:04 am, 1678827
(Don Boudreaux)

I listened to the first 20 or so minutes of last night’s “debate” between what George Will correctly calls a “bloviating ignoramus” ...

September 27, 2016, 7:33 am, 1678823

So true.

The problem with the “free college” idea is, however, not merely financial. It also reinforces the myth that college is appropriate or even possible for all students. That myth already has destructive consequences for both the quality of higher education and for some of the students ...

September 27, 2016, 7:33 am, 1678825

Glenn Reynolds:

But this is more proof that in a Hillary administration, all criticism will be dismissed as sexism, just as under Obama it is all dismissed as racism.

September 27, 2016, 7:33 am, 1678824

Threeuseful things to know:

. . . 1.5 million children were homeschooled in the United States in 2007. This is up significantly from 1.1 million children in 2003 and 850,000 children in 1999. . . .

. . .sociologists Philip Q. Yang and Nihan Kayaardi argue ...

September 27, 2016, 7:03 am, 1678802

Monday’s presidential debate featured two sharply different portraits of the U.S. economy, offering voters a choice not only on the details of trade and tax policy but also on which assessment best reflects the state of the nation.

Hillary Clinton characterized the economy as improving—and nearing a turn towards breakout growth—from a painful ...

September 27, 2016, 7:03 am, 1678801

In the private sector, the decision to take on debt can be considered to be a bet on the future.

By and large, when a new debt is incurred, it means that both borrower and lender have made a determination that the borrower will have sufficient ...

September 27, 2016, 6:04 am, 1678800

It was said before that wedding that there would be ‘White House-level security,’ and there was an anti-drone falconer on the property.

The headline of the story is:

Art scion, 46, marries billionaire’s daughter, 23, in $5million French Riviera fete with ‘White House-level security’ and guests including Heidi Klum, ...

September 27, 2016, 5:33 am, 1678797

Columnist for the U.K.Telegraph argues for a proposition that I've long suspected is usually true.

September 27, 2016, 5:33 am, 1678796

"It sounds crazy: a band of animal lovers and firemen in the mountains of Arizona, led by a Buddhist girl scout, making a pink milkshake for rats that may eventually improve the lives of millions of people."

September 27, 2016, 4:04 am, 1678774

To score the benefits of eliminating trade deficit drag, we don’t need any complex computer model. We simply add up most (if not all) of the tax revenues and capital expenditures that would be gained if the trade deficit were eliminated. We have modeled only the impacts of implicit ...

September 27, 2016, 2:04 am, 1678750

From Brinca, Chari, Kehoe, and McGrattan, there is a new NBER paper “Accounting for Business Cycles“:

First with the notable exception of the United States, Spain, Ireland, and Iceland, the Great Recession was driven primarily by the efficiency wedge.  Second, in the Great Recession, the labor wedge plays ...

September 27, 2016, 2:04 am, 1678749

At 9 p.m. on Monday September 26, Hofstra University hosted the historic first presidential debate between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald J. Trump. From Hempstead, NY,  multiple major news outlets — including NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CSPAN, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and Univision — and a Twitter ...

September 27, 2016, 1:03 am, 1678743

September 27, 2016, 12:04 am, 1678740
(September 27, 2016 12:04 AM, by Bryan Caplan) I hate politics. Part of the reason, to be honest, is that I'm a libertarian, and libertarian views have almost no influence in the world of politics. Libertarians don't just lose every election; policy-makers normally summarily reject our position. Libertarians... (0 COMMENTS)

September 27, 2016, 12:04 am, 1678739
I actually really liked Clinton tonight.  I mean, her.  I liked her.  I didn’t think that could happen. And it wasn’t just because Trump was so awful. It feels good.