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 19, 2017, 10:44 pm, 1721374
The revival of nationalism in western Europe, which began in the 1990s, has been associated with increasing support for radical right parties. This column uses trade and election data to show that the radical right gets its biggest electoral boost in regions most exposed to Chinese exports. Within these regions ...

February 19, 2017, 10:44 pm, 1721375
A majority of UK-based macroeconomists welcome the government’s new industrial strategy, but doubt that the government can deliver. This column, which presents the results of the latest Centre for Macroeconomics and CEPR survey, shows a large majority of economist think that the UK needs a new regional strategy to tackle ...

February 19, 2017, 10:04 pm, 1721370
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 66 of Noah Berlatsky’s review – in the April 2017 issue of Reason ...

February 19, 2017, 9:34 pm, 1721369
Frank Diebold, on Mostly Harmless Econometrics:

All told, Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion is neither "mostly harmless" nor an "empiricist's companion." Rather, it's a companion for a highly-specialized group of applied non-structural micro-econometricians hoping to estimate causal effects using non-experimental data and largely-static, linear, ...

February 19, 2017, 9:03 pm, 1721364
From the WSJ: Trump Administration Considers Change in Calculating U.S. Trade Deficit

The Trump administration is considering changing the way it calculates U.S. trade deficits, a shift that would make the country’s trade gap appear larger than it had in past years ...

The leading idea under consideration ...

February 19, 2017, 6:34 pm, 1721360

One thing you should know about Vladimir Putin:  he gives a good speech.  Probably you don’t know that he does. Here are three brief excerpts, from occasions that presumably every Russian remembers, more vividly than snippets in translation can convey.

In September 2004, after the Beslan massacre, in which 334 ...

February 19, 2017, 6:04 pm, 1721359

Here is one bit from an excellent longer piece by Michael Kofman:

Russia’s gradual approach is inherently vulnerable, since it is based around fielding the bare minimum amount number of troops in the battlespace to achieve desired political ends.  In order to deter and dissuade peer adversaries Russia ...

February 19, 2017, 6:04 pm, 1721358
(Don Boudreaux)

Over the past several months I’ve been told many times, in many different ways ...

February 19, 2017, 2:04 pm, 1721330
(Don Boudreaux)

David Henderson offers a useful primer on the deadweight losses caused by taxes.  A slice:

Last, and possibly most important, the ...

February 19, 2017, 1:33 pm, 1721328
The National Academy of Sciences has released a brand new report that you can download herethat has a definitive feel on stating the academic environmental economics' community consensus on the social cost of carbon. In this blog post, I will clearly state that I do not believe this number ...

February 19, 2017, 12:04 pm, 1721323

February 19, 2017, 12:04 pm, 1721322

One of the responses to the financial turmoil of 2008 was new legislation and regulation intended to prevent such a disaster from recurring. These measures include the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 and the third international accord from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision of 2010-11. But today ...

February 19, 2017, 12:04 pm, 1721321
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 125 of Milton and Rose Friedman’s 1984 book, Tyranny of the Status Quo:

February 19, 2017, 11:03 am, 1721310
Two years ago I wrote: Demographics and GDP: 2% is the new 4%. As I noted, "One simple way to look at the change in GDP is as the change in the labor force, times the change in productivity. If the labor force is growing quickly, GDP will ...

February 19, 2017, 10:04 am, 1721308
(February 19, 2017 10:23 AM, by Scott Sumner) David Beckworth has done a very interesting set of interviews with leading figures in monetary economics and related fields. One of my favorite occurred a few weeks ago when David interviewed Gauti Eggertsson. Eggertsson is a prominent monetary theorist, who... (0 COMMENTS)

February 19, 2017, 8:44 am, 1721296

February 19, 2017, 8:04 am, 1721295

February 19, 2017, 7:33 am, 1721294

My older daughter and her colleagues, as well as I, vote for "bad idea".

February 19, 2017, 7:23 am, 1721293

Picture Credit: jen collins


I am a fiduciary in my work that I do for my clients. I am also the largest investor in my own strategies, promising to keep a minimum of ...

February 19, 2017, 6:04 am, 1721280
by New Deal democrat The shallow industrial recession is fading in the rear view mirror A year ago the “shallow industrial recession” induced by the strong US$ and imploding oil patch was bottoming.  At that time I described the historical pattern: Typically new orders turn positive first (red, left scale ...

February 19, 2017, 5:33 am, 1721278

An answer to another of life's most pressing questions.

February 19, 2017, 5:33 am, 1721277

Louis Sokoloff's son Kenneth authored, or co-authored, important papers on how patents aided invention in the 1800s.

(p. A21) Dr. Louis Sokoloff, who pioneered the PET scan technique for measuring human brain function and diagnosing disorders, died on July 30 [2015] in ...

February 19, 2017, 4:04 am, 1721267
My regular column is available to subscribers on This is an excerpt. There is some news we should make a point of celebrating. The announcement a few days ago that Britain’s employment rate hit a record high of...

February 19, 2017, 2:04 am, 1721261

1. Jean-Yves Camus and Nicholas Lebourg, Far-Right Politics in Europe.  A very good and extremely current introduction to exactly what the title promises, with plenty on earlier historical roots.

2. Noo Saro-Wiwa, Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria.  More or less a travelogue, but also one ...

February 19, 2017, 12:04 am, 1721248

It is very much a twist on Adam Smith’s argument about the division of labor:

One further remark however, which I cannot omit, is that the people in America are necessitated, by their local situation, to be more sensible and discerning, than nations which are limited in territory and confined ...

February 18, 2017, 10:44 pm, 1721247
There is growing concern that dominant companies use patents strategically to keep competitors from entering their market. This column uses the landmark 1956 Consent Decree against Bell Labs to explore whether antitrust enforcement is an effective remedy to the problem. Results show that patents can indeed be used as an ...

February 18, 2017, 8:44 pm, 1721245

February 18, 2017, 6:04 pm, 1721230
C-Span just released a ranking of US Presidents based based on a survey of historians, journalists and other scholars. Obama came in 12th. Here is the survey’s description of the process used to generate the rankings: C-SPAN’s academic advisors devised a survey in which participants used a one (“not effective”) to ten ...

February 18, 2017, 5:34 pm, 1721229

While waiting for the kettle to boil in the Economics department lounge, I searchedfor something - anything - to read. Then I spotted the 1961 Ontario Economic Survey on the departmental bookshelf.

Opening the old volume at random, I hitgold:

A problem peculiar to gold mining is that the price ...

February 18, 2017, 4:04 pm, 1721219
A little Ella Fitzgerald for you today. Kind of fits with what is going on in the US today. Over at Vox, Matt Yglesias has an interesting article on the Trump Transition Team ordering government economists to cook up rosy economic forecasts. With his far reaching economic “it will be ...

February 18, 2017, 4:04 pm, 1721218

My CD blog post a few days on China’s alleged “currency manipulation” (“We should thank, ...

February 18, 2017, 3:33 pm, 1721214

My CD blog post a few days on China’s alleged “currency manipulation” (“We should thank, ...

February 18, 2017, 2:44 pm, 1721210

This is a joint post by Mark Weidemaier and Mitu Gulati

In a previous post, we talked about how ordinary corporate-law principles, and especially the rules concerning piercing the corporate veil, might play an important role in any debt restructuring conducted by Venezuela or PDVSA, the ...

February 18, 2017, 2:04 pm, 1721209

February 18, 2017, 10:04 am, 1721185
(February 18, 2017 11:06 AM, by David Henderson) In his excellent post on taxes and the incidence of taxes, co-blogger Scott Sumner does not mention another important issue in taxation: deadweight loss. The deadweight loss from a tax is the part of the loss to those who bear... (0 COMMENTS)

February 18, 2017, 10:04 am, 1721184
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from Ludwig von Mises’s 1958 essay “Foreign Investment“:

The ...

February 18, 2017, 10:04 am, 1721183
by Sandwichman Recall and the General Strike The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the “emergency situation” in which we live is the rule. — Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History, 1940 Back in December, I posted Full Employment and the Myth of the General Strike to start ...

February 18, 2017, 10:04 am, 1721182
by New Deal democrat Industrial production: We’re DOOO …. oh, wait, it’s the global warming hoax At first blush yesterday’s negative industrial production print gives the lie to the proposition that the economy has left last year’s “shallow industrial recession” behind, as it looks to be going mainly sideways: But ...

February 18, 2017, 9:03 am, 1721171

February 18, 2017, 9:03 am, 1721170
The key economic report this week are January New and Existing Home sales.

----- Monday, Feb 20th -----
All US markets are closed in observance of the Presidents' Day holiday.

----- Tuesday, Feb 21st-----
No major economic releases scheduled.

----- Wednesday, Feb 22nd -----
7:00 AM ET: ...

February 18, 2017, 8:34 am, 1721169

Fed Up: An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America
By Danielle DiMartino Booth
Commentary by author via CNBC
It’s no ...

February 18, 2017, 7:33 am, 1721165


Related Stories"Dolly Parton ...

February 18, 2017, 7:33 am, 1721166

I'm no lawyer, but itsounds like he may have a lawsuit.

February 18, 2017, 5:03 am, 1721157

February 18, 2017, 4:04 am, 1721156

Overall, I estimate that the average white player in the N.B.A. has a fan base that is 56.7 percent white and 22.7 percent black. The average black player has a fan base that is 46.7 percent white and 32 percent black, a significant difference…

If a ...

February 18, 2017, 2:04 am, 1721148

From a loyal MR reader:

I’m very curious about the macroeconomics of the sheepskin effects. Traditional productivity forecast research tends to assume the wage premium is entirely human capital. Eg, Bosler/Daly/Fernald/Hobijn use a mincer equation with five education dummies
  Jorgensen’s approach dividing workers into types also assumes ...

February 18, 2017, 12:34 am, 1721144
By: Louis Rouanet

Even the most innocent novel can give its reader a fresh perspective on the economy during the author’s time. Economic writings and economic conditions often inspired great writers who, in turn, allowed us to contemplate either a glimpse or a ...

February 18, 2017, 12:34 am, 1721143
By: Mises Institute

This week, Janet Yellen was again before Congress to once again kick the can down the road. The position of Yellen and the Fed appears to be, yet again, that they'll some day ...