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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February 8, 2016, 11:34 am, 1606397

Steve Serby, New York Post, January 29, "Broncos missile can recreate Tom Brady’s hell for CamNewton":

Miller was on the other end of the phone Friday when I informed him I am picking him to be MVP of Super Bowl 50. . . .Miller won’t be quarterbacking. ...

February 8, 2016, 11:03 am, 1606366
Job applicants await their turn at the Lockheed Martin booth at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation ‘Hiring Our Heroes’ military job fair in Washington on Jan. 8.

February 8, 2016, 11:03 am, 1606365
This is a key distressed market to follow since Las Vegas has seen the largest price decline of any of the Case-Shiller composite 20 cities.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported Local Housing Market Starts 2016 With Steadily Rising Home Prices

According to GLVAR, the ...

February 8, 2016, 10:44 am, 1606364

February 8, 2016, 10:44 am, 1606363

February 8, 2016, 9:34 am, 1606356

February 8, 2016, 9:23 am, 1606355

February 8, 2016, 8:44 am, 1606323
Since 1964, three election years—1980, 1992 and 2008—have posted a higher unemployment rate in November than January, the first and third as the result of a recession. So as you track the latest poll numbers, keep an eye on the jobless rate, too.

February 8, 2016, 8:44 am, 1606322

February 8, 2016, 8:44 am, 1606321

February 8, 2016, 8:44 am, 1606320
The presidential campaign has brought new attention to the problem of banks that are too big to fail (TBTF).

As everyone agrees, the largest banks are bigger than ever. As the following ...

February 8, 2016, 8:35 am, 1606319
The crowd piled into investment-grade bonds last week as economic worries triggered an exodus out of risky assets. Reviewing the major asset classes for the week just passed through an ETF lens reveals sharply divided results. The safe-haven trade generated handsome gains for several ETFs representing broad measures of the ...

February 8, 2016, 8:34 am, 1606318

Saturday’s protest by Liverpool fans at the proposed rise in ticket prices poses a question: why are football tickets so cheap?

What I mean is simple. Fans are addicts; many would pay much more to see their team. Demand is therefore price-inelastic. And despite playing indifferent ...

February 8, 2016, 8:34 am, 1606317

WSJ Citypasses on word that “Work Phones Are Being Phased Out at Banks.”

It has long been considered a standard part of a City worker’s tool kit, but the work phone could be on the way out as banks seek to encourage individuals to use their personal devices.

Banks including Citi, ...

February 8, 2016, 8:05 am, 1606313

Here is a powerful video from the Tomorrow’s Cures Today Foundation on the right to try experimental medicines. I sometimes worry that we hold out too much promise to patients. Tomorrow’s drugs are rarely cures. Tomorrow’s drugs are a little bit better than today’s and that is how progress is made. ...

February 8, 2016, 8:04 am, 1606312
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from a personal conversation that I had in the summer of 1991 with Julian Simon.  I was then ...

February 8, 2016, 7:34 am, 1606309

Michael Barone:

How stupid and vicious does he think we are?

Actually, it's not that hard for ordinary people to keep in mind two different ideas that the elites think they'll find confusing — that most terrorists these days are Muslims, and that most Muslims are not ...

February 8, 2016, 7:34 am, 1606308


Most importantly, we know that your minimum-wage job did not teach you “patience, teamwork and leadership.” No one learns anything from minimum-wage jobs except how much they hate people and that they shouldn’t have majored in political science.

February 8, 2016, 7:34 am, 1606307

As always with forecasts, the proper qualification is "maybe". But Richard Cohen, "a senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute," predicts

. . . that as a new “virtualized infrastructure” gets built out over the next 15 years, as many as 25 million jobs will be created. He ...

February 8, 2016, 7:34 am, 1606306

It certainly sounds promising. Bring it on!

The annals of cancer research are full of brilliant ideas that failed, but neoantigen vaccines just might be an exception.

Link via

Related:"The Man Who Would Tame Cancer".

February 8, 2016, 7:34 am, 1606305

Entertaining and informative (about 1 hour video of a talk + about 20 minutes of Q & A).

The F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics welcomed Roland G. Fryer, Jr., the Henry Lee Professor of Economics and faculty director of the Education ...

February 8, 2016, 7:33 am, 1606304

If you haven’t seen The Big Short, you should. The acting is superb and the story enlightening: a few brilliant outcasts each discover just how big the holes are that eventually bury the U.S. financial system in the crisis of 2007-2009. If you’re like most people we know, you’ll walk ...

February 8, 2016, 7:03 am, 1606273

At the end of the last week of January 2016, stock prices rallied on the news that the Bank of Japan would implement negative interest rates in that country and that the Fed was likely to back off its plans to hike interest rates again before ...

February 8, 2016, 6:44 am, 1606272

Adam Ozimek of Moody's Analytics and blogger at Forbes talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about why economists change their minds or don't. Ozimek argues that economists make erratic but steady progress using econometrics and other forms of evidence ...

February 8, 2016, 6:35 am, 1606271
● US jobs growth slows in Jan; jobless rate hits 8-yr low | MarketWatch ● Sluggish jobs report raises questions about US economy | LA Times ● Yellen to Balance Confidence With Caution in Testimony | Bloomberg ● Strong US dollar stokes recession fears | Sydney Morning Herald ● U.S. ...

February 8, 2016, 5:34 am, 1606268

Sites for online courses, learning how to code, "learn[ing] to work with data," and more.

February 8, 2016, 5:03 am, 1606257

"It feels as if you’ve entered a different intellectual and moral universe":

The Time-Loop Part, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: By now everyone who follows politics knows about Marco Rubio’s software-glitch performance in Saturday’s Republican debate. ... Mr. Rubio’s inability to do anything besides repeat canned talking points ...

February 8, 2016, 4:04 am, 1606255

Impact Investing has emerged as an innovative and powerful tool to create change. To address today’s major global challenges, high-impact philanthropy leverages grant and investment dollars to create a multiplier effect and spur new investments. Through public-private partnerships, meaningful and rigorously measured impact investments, and innovative programs such as 10,000 ...

February 8, 2016, 3:03 am, 1606234

February 8, 2016, 2:04 am, 1606233

Dennis Shiraev emails me:

You are an investor with $10 million planning to cash out in 20 years. A genie appears and offers to send you the price of one but only one asset 20 years from now to inform your investment decisions (a stock, currency pair, commodity, equity index, etc.). ...

February 8, 2016, 2:04 am, 1606232
(February 8, 2016 12:35 AM, by David Henderson) On Monday, February 8, I will be giving a talk at the University of Toronto. Topic: An Economist's Case for a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Location: Croft Chapter House The public is welcome, but you... (0 ...

February 8, 2016, 1:33 am, 1606230

February 8, 2016, 12:04 am, 1606219
(February 8, 2016 12:04 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Barely two years ago, Tyler Cowen and I agreed to the following bet:...U.S. unemployment will never fall below 5% during the next twenty years. If the rate falls below 5% before September 1, 2033, he immediately owes me $10. Otherwise,... (0 ...

February 7, 2016, 11:03 pm, 1606213
Schedule for Week of February 7, 2016

Update: "Scariest jobs chart ever"

• At 10:00 AM ET, the Fed will release the monthly Labor Market Conditions Index (LMCI).

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: currently S&P futures are ...

February 7, 2016, 10:44 pm, 1606212
Expectations play a key role in assessing how oil price fluctuations affect the economy. This column explores how consumers, policymakers, financial market participants, and economists form expectations about the price of crude oil, the differences in these expectations, and why future realisations of the price of oil so often differ ...

February 7, 2016, 10:44 pm, 1606211
Digital technologies are having dramatic impacts on consumers, businesses, and markets. These developments have reignited the debate over the definition and measurement of common economic statistics such as GDP. This column examines the measurement challenges posed by digital innovation on the economic landscape. It shows how existing approaches are unable ...

February 7, 2016, 10:34 pm, 1606210

Private ...

February 7, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1606209

Language barriers while traveling the world may become a problem of the past with the advent of new technology. The latest craze in the tech world was recently unveiled at the 2016 Electronics Show: a wearable translator. The Japanese startup Logbar plans on releasing the portable translator called the ...

February 7, 2016, 8:44 pm, 1606207

February 7, 2016, 7:34 pm, 1606205

As university employees, professors have a fiduciary obligation to act in their employer's best interests.The number one interest of a university is financial survival, and the key to survival is reputation, because reputation attracts students, faculty, and donors.

A university's reputation, to the extent that it is at all malleable, can ...

February 7, 2016, 7:33 pm, 1606204
I recently had the opportunity to see a couple of great plays in New York.One isOur Mother's Brief Affair by Richard Greenberg. Rich was my roommate at Princeton many years agoand has gone on to become ahighlysuccessful playwright.You can read a review of his newplay here.

Theother play ...

February 7, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1606198
(February 7, 2016 05:55 PM, by David Henderson) I gave a talk yesterday at a Fraser Institute event in Toronto. The luncheon speaker, neuro-economist Paul Zak, did a great job talking about oxytocin and its role in our systems. He started out beautifully, contrasting Thomas Hobbes's view of... (2 ...

February 7, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1606195

There was a lot of news last week (see reports here, here and here) when the market capitalization of technology giant Google’s stock (at $547.1 billion) temporarily surpassed Apple’s market cap of $529.3 billion on Tuesday to become the world’smost ...

February 7, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1606189
I don’t think Chris Christie makes it out of New Hampshire. But he may have put ‘paid’ to Rubio and indirectly punched tickets for his rivals Bush and Kasich. Because Lord knows that Trump didn’t do himself any favors on eminent domain in the Live Free or Die State nor ...

February 7, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1606188

There was a lot of news last week (see reports here, here and here) when the market capitalization of technology giant Google’s stock (at $547.1 billion) temporarily surpassed Apple’s market cap of $529.3 billion on Tuesday to become the world’smost ...

February 7, 2016, 3:33 pm, 1606186
The World Bank has released a 227 page report that you can download here. The report focuses on poverty and climate change. Here is the report's abstract

"Ending poverty and stabilizing climate change will be two unprecedented global achievements and two major steps toward sustainable development. But the ...

February 7, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1606179

For an economy with underutilized resources or too low a rate of inflation the traditional prescription for monetary policy is to lower the interest rate. Central banks around the world tried to do that in response to stubbornly weak economies, bringing the overnight interest rate in many countries ...

February 7, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1606178

February 7, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1606177
(February 7, 2016 01:05 PM, by Scott Sumner) People like to think in terms of stories: It's a movie classic. The lovers are out for a walk when a villain dashes out of his house and starts fighting the man. The woman takes refuge in the house; having... (1 ...

February 7, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1606176
(Don Boudreaux)

On this post, Bob Guzzardi offers this comment:

Free Trade has winners and losers at ...

February 7, 2016, 1:34 pm, 1606174

Real GDP growth in Canada slowed down during 2015 with the drop in the price of oil and the crash in the resource sector. The economic contribution of the main resource producing provinces to Canada’s economic performance is particularly important when it comes to recent capital formation as an economic ...

February 7, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1606160
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Video: Opportunities of all kinds open up in this Super Bowl 50 ad ...

February 7, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1606159

Gavyn Davies:

Global growth now fraying at the edges: The growth rate in global activity remains broadly unchanged at around 2.8 per cent, little different from the rates recorded since mid 2015. However, there has been a further slowdown in economic activity in the advanced economies (AEs), which are ...

February 7, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1606158
During and following the 2007 recession, every month I posted a graph showing the percent jobs lost during the recession compared to previous post-WWII recessions.

Some people started calling this the "scariest jobs chart ever".

I retired the graph in May 2014 when employment finally exceeded the pre-recession ...

February 7, 2016, 10:04 am, 1606138
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 53 of the 3rd (2008) edition of Vincent Ostrom‘s 1973 volume, The Intellectual Crisis ...

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 ...