Economics Roundtable

NOTICE 4/30/18

The Economics Roundtable is back. The technical problem that has limited the set of blogs has been resolved. The RSS feed is, however, still not working.

Flushing caches will likely cause some old posts to show up for a day or two.

Employment as a Percentage of Population

The graph below shows employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

March 2017 Payroll Employment

Payroll employment has not grown impressively since 2000. Some baby-boomers retired, but that does not totally account for this graph.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

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.

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.

RSS Feed

- Recent Entries

December 16, 2018, 1:09 pm, 1929758

December 16, 2018, 9:12 am, 1929735

It’s the worst alternative, except when compared to everything else, which is why Britain should take the get-out-of-Brexit-free card offered the European Court of Justice (EOJ). Last week, ECJ judges ruled that Britain can unilaterally cancel Brexit. Wouldn’t that run afoul of the 2016 referendum that delivered a 52%-to-48% win ...

December 16, 2018, 9:03 am, 1929731
A note on initial jobless claims Initial jobless claims for last week were reported at 206,000 this morning. That is one of the lowest weekly readings during this expansion.More significantly, the 4 week moving average is back below 10% off its low, within the range of typical noise: And it ...

December 16, 2018, 8:35 am, 1929724
From November 2018 Statistics – Sacramento Housing Market – Single Family Homes, Median sales price increases, sales volume drops

November closed with 1,304 sales, a 9.3% decrease from the 1,413 sales of September. Compared to the same month last year (1,396), the current figure is down 6.6%. Of ...

December 16, 2018, 8:35 am, 1929723
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 51 of the late Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom‘s pioneering 1990 ...

December 16, 2018, 8:34 am, 1929722
Via “NPR on the Arctic: The Arctic has experienced the “most unprecedented transition in history” in terms of warming temperatures and melting ice, and those changes may be the cause of extreme weather around the globe, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2018 Arctic Report Card. The annual report released ...

December 16, 2018, 8:10 am, 1929719

Tim May, physicist, libertarian-Randian, cypherpunk revolutionary, has died. Here is his Crypto-Anarchist Manifesto first published in 1992.

A specter is haunting the modern world, the specter of crypto anarchy.

Computer technology is on the verge of providing the ability for individuals and groups to communicate and interact ...

December 16, 2018, 6:11 am, 1929707

One of Leo's two free kick goals against Espanyol this past weekend.


December 16, 2018, 5:30 am, 1929702

That's one heck of a lot of bugs.


December 16, 2018, 4:37 am, 1929700
My regular column is available to subscribers on This is an excerpt. It would be easy at this moment to despair. Political stability is something we usually take for granted in this country; governments acting in the national...

December 16, 2018, 1:09 am, 1929694

As I continue to do Conversations with Tyler, more people ask me about “the Tyler Cowen production function.”  Well, here is one piece of it I don’t think I’ve written about or talked about before.  I’m going to bring you there in slightly long-winded fashion, long-winded for a blog ...

December 16, 2018, 12:37 am, 1929693

Around the world, some 10 year-3 month government bond yield spreads are shrinking.

Figure 1 shows ten spreads as of 4/18/2018 and 12/14/2018.

Figure 1: Ten year – three month government bond spreads as ...

December 15, 2018, 5:05 pm, 1929683

For those of you, who like me have been following the Puerto Rican debt drama, this wonderful new book by Sam Erman of USC might be of interest.  There are many wonderful and insightful stories in this book that I was altogether unaware of, despite having spent a ...

December 15, 2018, 4:10 pm, 1929675

A peckish parrot has been caught ordering strawberries, a watermelon and even a water boiler through his foster owner’s electronic personal assistant.

Rocco, an African Grey, requested the items through an Alexa device while his minder was out of the home. Luckily, due to a parental lock, none of his ...

December 15, 2018, 3:29 pm, 1929672

The French Liberal School had been dominant through four generations because they were privately funded, but when the government intervened in the French universities the Liberal School lost its hold. Richard Cantillon, Etienne Bonnot de Condillac, A.R.J. Turgot, Jean-Baptiste Say, Frederic Bastiat, and Michel Chevalier were responsible for economic concepts ...

December 15, 2018, 3:29 pm, 1929671

The French Liberal School had been dominant through four generations because they were privately funded, but when the government intervened in the French universities the Liberal School lost its hold. Richard Cantillon, Etienne Bonnot de Condillac, A.R.J. Turgot, Jean-Baptiste Say, Frederic Bastiat, and Michel Chevalier were responsible for economic concepts ...

December 15, 2018, 3:03 pm, 1929667
Dorothy was in a strange land and had no idea what would happen next. The good witch of the North said she should follow the scientific method to a sound forecast. Unfortunately, neither she (nor anyone else) explained what exactly the scientific method is. As she wandered down the yellow ...

December 15, 2018, 2:40 pm, 1929662

From my email, he said this was the entirety of his review:

A reflection on how to best worship humans or some form of enduring human community as a god or gods. From a religious perspective, such an approach may at first seem illusory, but an attentive reader will be ...

December 15, 2018, 2:04 pm, 1929658
CNN, Thursday: The Department of Education will implement a rule known as the Borrower Defense to Repayment created during President Obama’s Administration and blocked by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in 2016. The rule or regulation grants federal loan forgiveness automatically for students who could not complete their education due ...

December 15, 2018, 12:39 pm, 1929640

The tweeter & tariffer-in-chief Donald Trump had a bad week post election with presidential historian Douglas Brinkley telling the Washington Post , “Trump needs adulation, so heading into the midterms, holding these rallies, he was cheered and it became narcissistic fuel to his engine,” Brinkley said. “After ...

December 15, 2018, 11:23 am, 1929636

They say nothing is certain in life except for death and taxes. At this point, we might add Obamacare lawsuits to that list.

In the latest stage of ongoing legal challenges, Judge Reed O’Connor of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled that actions by Congress last ...

December 15, 2018, 11:09 am, 1929632

I haven’t been for about twenty-five years, so I very much welcome your recommendations on what to do, see, and eat there.  And what should one do with a spare day in Guayaquil?

I thank you all in advance for your extreme wisdom and counsel.

The post Quito, Ecuador ...

December 15, 2018, 11:03 am, 1929630

Kevin Williamson: The price of labor is an economic reality and you can’t legislate it away

An excerpt from Kevin Williamson’s National Review article “On Minimum Wage, a Flight from Reality“:

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is a way to try ...

December 15, 2018, 8:36 am, 1929611
The key economic reports this week are November Housing Starts, Existing Home Sales, the 3rd estimate of Q3 GDP, and November Personal income and outlays.

For manufacturing, the December New York, Philly and Kansas City Fed surveys, will be released this week.

Also, the FOMC meets this week ...

December 15, 2018, 8:36 am, 1929610

December 15, 2018, 8:13 am, 1929609

December 15, 2018, 7:49 am, 1929605

Richard Cantillon is the most important economist you’ve never heard of.

Born in Ireland sometime in the mid- to late-1600s, Richard Cantillon’s contributions to economics are found in his major work,Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General ( Essay on the Nature of Commerce in General).

In 1734, Cantillon was mysteriously ...

December 15, 2018, 7:05 am, 1929600
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from chapter 1 of William Graham Sumner’s 1885 book, Protectionism: the -ism Which ...

December 15, 2018, 5:10 am, 1929593

Most recent evidence here.

    Related Stories

December 15, 2018, 5:10 am, 1929592

OK, maybe this will save me a little time when I buy my next (used) car.


December 15, 2018, 5:09 am, 1929591

December 15, 2018, 1:09 am, 1929579

Researchers in China who commit scientific misconduct could soon be prevented from getting a bank loan, running a company or applying for a public-service job. The government has announced an extensive punishment system that could have significant consequences for offenders — far beyond their academic careers.

Under the new policy, ...