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.


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 .


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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August 24, 2016, 7:34 am, 1667146

"No one should be surprised if much scholarly writing continues to be mediocre and confused."

I, for one, won't.


August 24, 2016, 7:34 am, 1667145

August 24, 2016, 7:34 am, 1667144

If you haven't seen this, this is a fun two minutes.

I've been reading some of Ms. Ephron's essays recently and I'm having a good time. She was a terrific writer. Here's a few short samples: "An Ode to Nora Ephron and Her Words". And a documentary about ...


August 24, 2016, 7:03 am, 1667126

Travel day. Not sure when I can post.


August 24, 2016, 7:03 am, 1667125
CR Note: I'm in NYC, graphs will be posted next week.

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 2.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ...


August 24, 2016, 5:34 am, 1667123

I'm suspicious of the "just marketing" claim, but the piece is still interesting.


August 24, 2016, 5:34 am, 1667122
Here are some of the books I have read this summer, all recommended.
Nobody's Fool by Richard RussoSuccess and Luck by Robert FrankThe Upside of Inequality by Edward ConardHillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance


August 24, 2016, 5:04 am, 1667103

Every three months, just about at the time that the market's quarterly earnings season ends shortly after the midpoint of the quarter, we take a snapshot of the expectations for future earnings in the S&P 500.

Today, for the first time in the last seven quarters, ...


August 24, 2016, 5:03 am, 1667102

August 24, 2016, 4:05 am, 1667100

How many who think we should subsidize manufacturing also think high corporate tax rates are harmless?

That is from Modeled Behavior.

The post Elasticity optimism for me but not for thee appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.


August 24, 2016, 2:05 am, 1667083

This is perhaps the best and most instructive one I have heard:

…Mr Xi’s authority remains hemmed in. True, his position at the highest level looks secure. But among the next layer of the elite, he has surprisingly few backers. Victor Shih of the University of California, San Diego, has ...


August 24, 2016, 2:05 am, 1667082
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August 24, 2016, 1:23 am, 1667079
‘To enjoy higher wages, smart people must waste time and money going to the trouble of acquiring a degree’


August 24, 2016, 12:04 am, 1667059
(August 24, 2016 12:02 AM, by Bryan Caplan) This academic year, I'm in charge of the Public Choice Center Seminar series. Seminars are normally on Wednesdays from 12:00-1:15 PM, and are open to the public. Since I am not a fan of actually-existing seminars, I'm experimenting with a... (0 COMMENTS)


August 23, 2016, 11:33 pm, 1667058

Have you heard yet about the “Cajun Navy“? Here’s the group’s Facebook page.

If not, it’s “Louisiana’s 100% Volunteer Group That’s Helping Flood Victims” according the Huffington Post:

While FEMA was just gearing up, a group of people dubbed ‘The Cajun Navy’ were already navigating the floodwaters to ...


August 23, 2016, 9:03 pm, 1667041

So spake Donald J. Trump, September 13, 2012. Here’s what actually happened.

Figure 1: Log real value of US dollar against broad basket of currencies, 2012M09=0 (blue, left scale), ...


August 23, 2016, 8:04 pm, 1667038
(Don Boudreaux)


August 23, 2016, 8:04 pm, 1667037

August 23, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1667019

David Halpern at Bank Underground:

It’s time to bring more realistic models of human behaviour into economic policy andregulation: The Centre for Central Banking Studies recently hosted their annual Chief Economists Workshop, whose theme was “What can policymakers learn from other disciplines”. In this guest post, one of ...


August 23, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1667018
Note: I'm in New York and posting will not be frequent (too much to do and see).

Thanks to Joe Weisenthal for having me on Bloomberg's WDYM. And Barry Ritholtz on his MIB radio and podcast.

Wednesday:
At 7:00 AM ET, The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will ...


August 23, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1667012
(Don Boudreaux)

Matt Ridley laments the recent retreat of genuine liberalism.  A slice:

“Laissez faire, laissez passer” is the most tolerant of all ...


August 23, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1667011

Cities and states around the country that are considering a hike in their minimum wages to $15 an hour might want to take a look at ...


August 23, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1667010

…. is from Jason Kuznicki, writing at Libertarianism.org:

The overwhelming majority of the poor in the United States enjoy technological wonders that didn’t even exist a few decades ago. Outside the free market/liberal democratic synthesis, essentially no other social system has ever delivered as much — because almost ...


August 23, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1667006

Cities and states around the country that are considering a hike in their minimum wages to $15 an hour might want to take a look at ...


August 23, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1667005

…. is from Jason Kuznicki, writing at Libertarianism.org:

The overwhelming majority of the poor in the United States enjoy technological wonders that didn’t even exist a few decades ago. Outside the free market/liberal democratic synthesis, essentially no other social system has ever delivered as much — because almost ...


August 23, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1666973

Earlier today, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign released a small business policy plan, which includes several proposals aimed at simplifying tax filing for small businesses.

So far, during the campaign, Clinton’s tax proposals have largely focused on raising taxes on high-income individuals and multi-national companies, rather than reforming the ...


August 23, 2016, 4:44 pm, 1666972
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August 23, 2016, 4:44 pm, 1666971
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August 23, 2016, 4:05 pm, 1666969

Hong Kong’s streets are safer, with fewer murders by the fierce crime organizations known as triads that figured in so many kung fu films. And its real estate is among the world’s most expensive, making it difficult for training studios to afford soaring rents.


August 23, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1666968
(Don Boudreaux)

HT David Henderson


August 23, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1666936

Brad Setser:

IMF Cannot Quit Fiscal Consolidation (in Asian Surplus Countries): In theory, the IMF now wants current account surplus countries to rely more heavily on fiscal stimulus and less on monetary stimulus.

This shift makes sense in a world marked by low interest rates, the risk that ...


August 23, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1666935

Today, we present a guest post written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and formerly a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. This is an extended version of a column that appeared at Project Syndicate.

Among the many ways ...


August 23, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1666934
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 Suggests Accelerated Business Activity; Notches Sixth Consecutive Gain

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


August 23, 2016, 2:05 pm, 1666931

1. The economic value of book awards.  And “Perhaps even more impressive: the original English edition tops the current bestseller lists in both Germany and France.”  Link here.

2. 538 is hiring economics writers, and MRU is hiring.

3. ...


August 23, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1666930
(August 23, 2016 03:38 PM, by David Henderson) "We're Hiring Economics Writers," says the headline of a post at the web site FiveThirtyEight. Good for them. Then they write: This is a part-time staff position (up to 29 hours per week) and does not offer benefits. Any idea... (0 COMMENTS)


August 23, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1666929
(Don Boudreaux)

Duke University’s great historian of thought and Hayek scholar Bruce Caldwell sent the following e-mail ...


August 23, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1666926

Key Points

The Hispanic community’s battle for educational freedom started well before the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954 through a series of court cases that helped lay the foundation of our modern public school choice movement. Beginning in the 1990s, charter schools proved to be a popular public choice model ...


August 23, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1666928

This week marks the 20th anniversary of welfare reform. Welfare reform broadly refers to the bipartisan Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996. Among other things, it eliminated the cash welfare program Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and replaced it with a block grant program ...


August 23, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1666927

In July, during the Republican convention, I pointed out here that Donald Trump’s questioning whether he would come to the defense of Central and Eastern European countries if Russia attacked them – and Trump’s changing the GOP platform to strip out the provision of defensive weapons to Ukraine – could ...


August 23, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1666894

Today is August 23, the date in 1775 when King George III declared the American colonies to be in rebellion, rejecting the Olive Branch Petition proffered by American moderates. The Proclamation of Rebellion led directly to the Second Continental Congress’s decision to adopt a Declaration of Independence, listing ...


August 23, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1666893

Team USA’s dominant performance at the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games didn’t stop a trend that had been spreading medals more equally among nations.

The same formula often used to measure income inequality among households is a handy tool for comparing the distribution of Olympic medals.

Measured by the Gini ...


August 23, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1666892

I have a new column:

Why We Need a Fiscal Policy Commission: During the Great Recession, monetary policymakers were aggressive and creative in their attempts to revive the economy. I wish they had been even more aggressive, and at times they were a bit slow to react due to ...


August 23, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1666891
A


August 23, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1666890

In theory, the IMF now wants current account surplus countries to rely more heavily on fiscal stimulus and less on monetary stimulus.

This shift makes sense in a world marked by low interest rates, the risk that surplus countries will export liquidity traps to deficit economies, and concerns about ...


August 23, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1666886
(August 23, 2016 12:08 PM, by Scott Sumner) Here's Tyler Cowen: The thing is this: whether rationally or not, the American public hates higher rates of price inflation. Perhaps they mis-sample or mis-estimate prices, or perhaps the higher prices really do erode their real wages in a way... (0 COMMENTS)


August 23, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1666885

Over one hundred and fifty years after President Lincoln signed into law the initial legislation setting aside national cemeteries, most veterans today will not be able to be buried in these dedicated grounds.

Originally intended “for the soldiers who shall die in the service of the country,” Congress has successively broadened ...


August 23, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1666884

A group of top US technology companies recently raised concerns with a Department of Homeland Security proposal that “would prompt travelers to volunteer ‘information associated with [their] online presence,’”such as the social media platforms they use, as well as user names.

DHS’s proposal was released as a response to the terrorist ...


August 23, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1666883

There has been concern recently over the fate of China’s private sector, ranging from Premier Li Keqiang to the Wall Street Journal . It is said to be struggling, in need of quick government help. But China’s own numbers do not support this view ...


August 23, 2016, 11:33 am, 1666879

….. is from Matt Ridley’s latest column “What Ever Happened to Adam Smith?” (emphasis mine):

Last week both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump set out their economic policies in set-piece speeches. Mr. Trump’s, delivered in Detroit, so far as one could tell from the fractured syntax and the digressions ...


August 23, 2016, 11:03 am, 1666848

Everyone knows staying home from work when you have the flu helps protect your co-workers from getting sick. Unfortunately, not everyone does it.

A new National Bureau of Economic Research paper argues that one reason for that is access to paid sick leave. The paper by Stefan Pichler and Nicolas R. ...


August 23, 2016, 11:03 am, 1666847
CR Note: I'm in NYC for a few days and having a great time. Sorry - no graphs until I return home.

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 654 thousand.

The previous three ...


August 23, 2016, 10:44 am, 1666846
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August 23, 2016, 10:44 am, 1666844
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August 23, 2016, 10:44 am, 1666845
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August 23, 2016, 10:04 am, 1666842

Welfare reform may be the last great bipartisan success story. It was enacted in 1996 by a Republican Congress led by Newt Gingrich and by Democratic President Bill Clinton in response to decades of public frustration with the U.S. system of aid to the poor. At the time, the ...


August 23, 2016, 9:33 am, 1666840

More evidence that adaptation is no panacea:

Residents of a small Alaskan village voted this week to relocate their entire community from a barrier island that has been steadily disappearing because of erosion and flooding attributed to


August 23, 2016, 8:44 am, 1666809

Bankruptcy filings by major cities have reinvigorated attention to municipal bankruptcy. As chapter 9 and its application have become more like chapter 11, a wide range of creditors are being swept into the process. As written before, city cases now have classes ...


August 23, 2016, 8:35 am, 1666808

Fed fund futures continue to imply a low probability of a rate hike at next month’s FOMC meeting, but the annual trend in real (inflation-adjusted) base money supply points to a slightly firmer bias for anticipating another round of monetary policy tightening in the near-term future.

The ...


August 23, 2016, 8:35 am, 1666807

Neil Woodford’s decision to scrap bonuses at his fund management firm poses the question: does this mean big bonuses in the finance industry are on the way out? I don’t think it does.

First, though, a word of praise. Mr Woodford’s colleague Craig Newman is


August 23, 2016, 8:04 am, 1666802
(August 23, 2016 07:02 AM, by Emily Skarbek) A recent piece by Raphaële Chappe discusses the uses and limitations of general equilibrium theorizing. The post is a long-read, but Chappe briefly summarizes the point when she writes: ...the theory lacks explanatory relevance, providing instead a language through which... (0 COMMENTS)


August 23, 2016, 8:04 am, 1666801
(Don Boudreaux)

I found this cartoon on Bob Higgs’s Facebook page.


August 23, 2016, 8:04 am, 1666800
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from the fifth-century B.C. Chinese philosopher Mozi, whose writing on war I learned about ...


August 23, 2016, 8:04 am, 1666799


August 23, 2016, 7:34 am, 1666796

Nice piece by John McWhorter.

It is hard to miss a certain joy in this ritual, stylized witch hunting. A certain Blue American type these days is consumed with a lust for being offended, never feeling so alive as when finding something “problematic.” Some may consider this a ...


August 23, 2016, 7:34 am, 1666795

"Trillions" with a "T"? Really? Oh well, to paraphrase and update the late Senator Dirksen, "A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money."

(Yes, I know, he probably never said that. But let's give him the benefit of the doubt.)

...


August 23, 2016, 7:34 am, 1666794

Scott Sumner writes a nice post that expands upon the proliferation of "free lunch" arguments I noted recently.

I'd say this is the just the tip of the iceberg. Old hydraulic Keynesianism from the 1960s was already a pretty implausible model. But what's happened since 2009 involves ...


August 23, 2016, 7:34 am, 1666793

John R. Lott asks a really good question:

But gun-control groups spend much more money than the NRA does. Why aren’t they more successful in buying votes?


August 23, 2016, 7:03 am, 1666781


August 23, 2016, 6:44 am, 1666780
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August 23, 2016, 6:05 am, 1666779

I’ve been hearing plenty of calls for a higher inflation target, perhaps four percent.  I do understand the case for this, and furthermore it is not obvious that the higher rate of inflation would bring significant social costs.

The thing is this: whether rationally or not, the American public hates ...


August 23, 2016, 5:34 am, 1666776

August 23, 2016, 5:03 am, 1666758

August 23, 2016, 4:05 am, 1666756

In 2015 our iron ore exports alone were four times the value of all of our combined services exports to China. And in services the only things that really count are tourism and education. That’s not going to change for a long, long time.

The article, by Greg ...


August 23, 2016, 2:44 am, 1666739
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August 23, 2016, 2:05 am, 1666738

No, this is not a repeat of the post from yesterday, there is another twist:

Doctors in Belgium have rejected an imprisoned murderer and rapist’s request for medically assisted suicide, the Justice Ministry said on Tuesday, less than a week before he was due to receive a lethal ...


August 23, 2016, 12:34 am, 1666724
A A Tags Home | Feed | Blog.rssMoney and BanksWar and Foreign PolicyGold StandardMoney and Banking45 Years Without Gold


August 23, 2016, 12:04 am, 1666719
(August 23, 2016 12:32 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Evaluate this simple cynical theory of what almost every politically aware person really wants: Minimizing the negative emotions they personally experience when they read/see/hear top news stories. In other words, the politically aware strongly care about even objectively minor problems... (3 COMMENTS)