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


May 27, 2018, 3:05 pm, 1861984
This revision webinar for A-level Economics looks at the contextual evidence on Vietnam and compares and contrasts their current growth with China. It analyses some of the key growth drivers and evaluates barriers to growth including environmental challenges and vulnerability to external economic shocks. 


May 27, 2018, 2:07 pm, 1861974

Chinese travelers are the world’s top tourism spenders, shelling out almost $260 billion in 2017 alone. A growing part of that spend is now happening in Africa, encouraged by relaxed visa rules, increased interested in the continent’s cultural and historical sites, and a initiatives that seek to appeal to ...


May 27, 2018, 1:24 pm, 1861972

Chris Dillow:

Does economics matter?: Does economics matter? I ask because I suspect I would understand political debate better if I realized that it doesn’t.

Everybody tends to over-rate the importance of their profession: it’s part of deformation professionelle. Lawyers over-rate the importance of the law, artists of the arts ...


May 27, 2018, 1:24 pm, 1861971

Chris Dillow:

Does economics matter?: Does economics matter? I ask because I suspect I would understand political debate better if I realized that it doesn’t.

Everybody tends to over-rate the importance of their profession: it’s part of deformation professionelle. Lawyers over-rate the importance of the law, artists of the arts ...


May 27, 2018, 12:37 pm, 1861966

May 27, 2018, 11:43 am, 1861956

AEI
You might be a protectionist….

…. if you support government policies that obstruct the ability of Americans to buy imports to protect certain politically-favored domestic industries, even though other domestic industries are thereby denied access to the resources they need to flourish and expand, which guarantees ...


May 27, 2018, 11:03 am, 1861940

May 27, 2018, 9:07 am, 1861925

 "A lowlight reel and a highlight reel, all in one post!"

With the unBalevable goal.

   


May 27, 2018, 8:35 am, 1861921
Note: Surferdude808 compiles an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.

Here is the unofficial problem bank list for May 2018.

Here are the monthly changes and a few comments from surferdude808:

Update on the Unofficial Problem Bank List for May 2018. ...


May 27, 2018, 8:35 am, 1861920
(Don Boudreaux)

The letter below is to someone who tells me by e-mail that he was once “fooled by free trade ...


May 27, 2018, 8:05 am, 1861917
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 49 of Steven Pinker’s 2018 book, Enlightenment Now:


May 27, 2018, 7:44 am, 1861913
The exchange rate measures the external value of sterling against another currency


May 27, 2018, 7:09 am, 1861908

Does economics matter? I ask because I suspect I would understand political debate better if I realized that it doesn’t.

Everybody tends to over-rate the importance of their profession: it’s part of deformation professionelle. Lawyers over-rate the importance of the law, artists of the arts and so ...


May 27, 2018, 7:04 am, 1861905
The yield on a government bond is the interest rate paid to holders of the bond (creditors) by the borrower (debtor). It can vary greatly across countries depending on the macroeconomic circumstances.


May 27, 2018, 6:08 am, 1861897

With videos. Some  good ones here.

    


May 27, 2018, 5:27 am, 1861894

Yeah, but give the dynasties a couple more years and people will demand parity again. I've seen this movie before.

   


May 27, 2018, 5:04 am, 1861893
The Guardian runs an article today focusing on growing shortages of labour in the UK fruit-picking industry. Will robotics help resolve the paucity of people willing to collect fruit? Or is the up-front cost too much to make investment in robotics commercially viable given the vagaries of the weather?


May 27, 2018, 4:05 am, 1861889

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. An earlier version appeared in Project Syndicate.

Democrats are gearing up for the November mid-term ...


May 27, 2018, 3:24 am, 1861884
My regular column is available to subscribers on www.thesundaytimes.co.uk This is an excerpt. It is comforting when normal service is resumed, by which I mean that Italy has taken its rightful place as the number one worry for the...


May 27, 2018, 1:06 am, 1861874

Here is her take, here is one excerpt:

Instead of gauging progress by asking what “we” philosophers agree about, one should ask whether someone who wants to do philosophy is in a better position to do so today than she would’ve been 10 or 100 or 1000 ...


May 27, 2018, 12:37 am, 1861870

The movie was more or less watchable, in the modest sense of that term.

The subtitles were in Arabic, and the very nice theater was about 1/5 full.  And yes it was in 3-D.  No one seemed to react to the film at all.

The cinematic references were to Kubrick’s Paths ...


May 26, 2018, 9:04 pm, 1861868
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 60 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague James Buchanan’s May ...


May 26, 2018, 5:26 pm, 1861865

NPR May 26, 2018: Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the moon who later chronicled the experience as an artist, died Saturday in Houston after a short illness. He was 86.

In 2012, I wrote the following when there were 8 moon walkers yet living. ...


May 26, 2018, 1:10 pm, 1861850
Or, "the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?" Or, "from demand to supply?"

An Op-Ed for The Hill with some extras:


The economic expansion and stock market runup have been going on for a decade, and a case of the jitters ...


May 26, 2018, 1:04 pm, 1861848

(Once again, apologies to Seinfeld?). PBS presents a documentary on “The Chinese Exclusion Act”,” the 1882 law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here ever to become U.S. citizens. The first in a long line of acts targeting ...


May 26, 2018, 1:03 pm, 1861847
Charles Gaba reviews the three leg stool necessary to support Healthcare and why each of those legs are necessaryfor healthcare to be important today. Charles reviews Enrollee Responsibility, Career Responsibility, and Government Responsibly (the three legs) necessary to support Healthcare in the US, explains how each Republican bill has or ...


May 26, 2018, 12:07 pm, 1861842

May 26, 2018, 12:07 pm, 1861841

For a country of about 102 million people, this distribution of city sizes is remarkable, noting that the true population of Addis is likely larger yet:

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2,757,729 Dire Dawa, Ethiopia 252,279 Mekele, Ethiopia 215,546 Nazrēt, Ethiopia 213,995 Bahir Dar, Ethiopia 168,899

It is striking that the population is still about ...


May 26, 2018, 12:05 pm, 1861840

Barbara Biasi and Petra Moser at VoxEU:

Effects of copyrights on science: Summary Copyrights grant publishers exclusive rights to content for almost a century. In science, this can involve substantial social costs by limiting who can access existing research. This column uses a unique WWII-era programme in the US, which allowed ...


May 26, 2018, 12:05 pm, 1861839

David Glasner at Uneasy Money:

Neo- and Other Liberalisms: Everybody seems to be worked up about “neoliberalism” these days. A review of Quinn Slobodian’s new book on the Austrian (or perhaps the Austro-Hungarian) roots of neoliberalism in the New Republic by Patrick Iber reminded me that the ...


May 26, 2018, 11:25 am, 1861827
Adjusted net saving is a relatively new measure of economic sustainability. It monitors whether savings and investment in a country compensate for the depreciation and depletion of physical and natural capital and for pollution damages.


May 26, 2018, 11:25 am, 1861826
(May 26, 2018 01:05 PM, by David Henderson) Bob Poole of the Reason Foundation has written an outstanding article on airline deregulation. He gives a nice history of the issue, filled with lots of facts about the effects of deregulation and about where we need to go next:... (0 COMMENTS)


May 26, 2018, 11:25 am, 1861825
(May 26, 2018 01:05 PM, by David Henderson) Bob Poole of the Reason Foundation has written an outstanding article on airline deregulation. He gives a nice history of the issue, filled with lots of facts about the effects of deregulation and about where we need to go next:... (0 COMMENTS)


May 26, 2018, 10:34 am, 1861818

AEI
Quotations of the day on equality of outcomes….

…. are from Thomas Sowell:

1. If you cannot achieve equality of performance among people born to the same parents and raised under the same roof, how realistic is it to expect to achieve it across broader and deeper ...


May 26, 2018, 9:04 am, 1861811
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 322 of Daniel Boorstin’s magnificent 1973 volume, The ...


May 26, 2018, 9:04 am, 1861810
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

You rightly denounce what you call “


May 26, 2018, 9:03 am, 1861809
Gorz: “The Right to an Income and the Right to Work,” part one From “Orientations and Proposals — The Reduction of Working Time: Issues and Policies” of Andre Gorz’s Critique of Economic Reason (1989) translated by Gillian Handyside and Chris Turner. I am posting the section on “The Right to an Income ...


May 26, 2018, 9:03 am, 1861808
$3 a gallon gas has returned! According to GasBuddy, as of this morning the average price of gas in the US is $3 a gallon: This is the highest in 3 1/2 years.  YoY gas prices are up a little over 25%. I suspect that this is a significant psychological threshold. ...


May 26, 2018, 8:35 am, 1861805
The key reports this week are the May employment report on Friday, and the second estimate of Q1 GDP on Wednesday.

Other key indicators include Personal Income and Outlays for April, the May ISM manufacturing index, and May auto sales.

----- Monday, May 28th -----
All US markets ...


May 26, 2018, 7:47 am, 1861797

American companies are struggling to comply with the EU’s new privacy regulation, with many outlets choosing to simply block access abroad.

NYT (“U.S. News Outlets Block European Readers Over New Privacy Rules“):

American news outlets including The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times ...


May 26, 2018, 7:46 am, 1861796

I thought this breakdown of overconfidence into overestimation, overplacement and overprecision was useful.

Overconfidence has been studied in 3 distinct ways. Overestimation is thinking that you are better than you are. Overplacement is the exaggerated belief that you are better than others. Overprecision is the excessive faith that you ...


May 26, 2018, 7:44 am, 1861795
A


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861793
It's official: President Obama has proposed cutting Social Security by replacing the program's current inflation adjustment with the stingier "chained" Consumer Price Index. As I've discussed before, this risks undoing all the progress made against senior poverty since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. 25% of ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861786

Simon Wren-Lewiswrote



May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861785

Mark Thoma once claimed to be pleased that I was shrilly criticizing him. I sure hope he meant it, because here I go again. He
Update: I have trouble with reading comprehension. A one syllable name was too hard. I am commenting on Tim Duy who posted at Mark ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861783

A while back Nick Rowe challenged amateur internet econocranks (my word, not Nick’s) like me to actually go read an intro econ textbook. (He was specifically targeting the author of Unlearning Economics — who I, at least, don’t consider to be an econocrank, he’s far better-versed ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861782
by Linda Beale

Senator Warren prods bank regulators

Somehow, more Senators need to start doing what Senator Warren does. Review the facts. Ask questions that force regulators to admit to what they are doing. Point out the lopsided nature of the regulators' activities that demonstrate that they are ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861784

I’m just sayin’. (Emphasis mine, words Solow’s):

[Bernanke's] preferred answer is better and more system-oriented regulation. One has to ask then why regulation failed to see the crisis of 2007–2008 coming and take action to head it off. Bernanke suggests that regulators were lulled into inattention by the so-called ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861792
SandwichmanatEconospeakoffers a look at a piece of history:

"Of Property" and the Mercantilist Fallacy

"Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861781
Lifted from comments comes a beginning thought on the term 'sustainability' for programs...Sustainability

Rusty asks:

Is there an accepted definition for "sustainability?"
I tend to think of it in an environmental context, but apparently it is used more broadly.
Your thoughts?

Bruce Webb's quick ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861791
Live link is here.

Blog posts to follow on my usual schedule.


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861790


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861788
David Zetland at Aguanomics reminds us that we always need to get people on board and invested with results of policies, and perhaps a way to keep track relevant to daily lives as well. Water delivery is pretty local so far in the US, but taken for granted ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861787

With constant delays due to significant engineering issues and design flaws, the cost of the F-35 has risen to $395.7 billion. But that's just to build the planes. When you add in the cost of testing, operations and support, it will cost an additional $1.1 trillion — bringing the ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861789

Review of Behavioral Economics (ROBE) Website Goes Live

Amazingly enough, today on my 65th birthday, the website of the new journal that I am Editor-in-Chief of, the Review of Behavioral Economics (ROBE), has gone live. So, we are open for business athttp://www.nowpublishers.com/.... Prof. J. Barkley Rosser

.


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861772
by Linda Beale

Doggett fighting for fairness on Tax Day!

On Monday, Congressman Lloyd Doggett, a long-time member of the House Ways and Means Committee, releases a GAO report showing the continued advance of corporate tax expenditures that allow corporations to pay little or no taxes year after ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861773
My son has been called in where he works in Boston for triage of injuries . My thoughts and prayers go to the injured. I and family were there just yesterday.


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861770
Lynne Kiesling writes Farm subsidies and entrenched wealth at Knowledge Problem:

Veronique de Rugy has a great argument for ending farm subsidies in the April issue of Reason (and yes, do read the whole thing, well worth your time). Farm subsidies are the canonical example of ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861769
I posted all I can say publicly atSkippy. And even that wouldn't work at a family blog like this one.

The rest are jokes that I am told--undoubtedly correctly, but lapsed traders are difficult to retrain*--are "too soon."

The Phantom Scribbler came out of ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861780
by Mike Kimel

Reagan and Rios Montt: The Company You Keep

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt is on trial for genocide.

I was born in the US, but my formative years were spent in South America in the 1980s. That the right wing ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861774

I really like Hellestal’s comment and linguistic take on this whole business:

I’m comfortable changing my language in order to communicate. I have very little patience for people who aren’t similarly capable of changing their definitions.

This discussion is really about the words we use to describe different accounting constructs. ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861771
After taking care of some technical stuff, MEV thought it best to migrate during slower traffic time than this afternoon's faster pace.


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861778
MEV will be moving us over to our Wordpress platform and new look Tuesday early morning. They have assured us the glitches have been corrected...rss feeds should continue, and links to old posts will be maintained. Please let me know right ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861777

With all the chaff that’s been flying around (recently, and for years now) about saving and investment, dissaving, and lending/borrowing, I felt the need to go back to the numbers and see how they’ve played out over the decades in what we tend to call the “real” economy — domestic ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861779
Lifted from Robert Waldmann's Stochastic Thoughts:

In the post below, I vigorously criticize IMF staff and Ryan Avent for claiming that central banks adopted low inflation targets in the early 80s without noting that the Fed did not adopt an inflation target until January 25 2012. I have now ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861776
by Sandwichman (re-posted with author's permission):

In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke affirmed, "I do not question but that human knowledge, under the present circumstances of our beings and constitutions, may be carried much farther than it hitherto has been, if men would sincerely, and with freedom ...


May 26, 2018, 7:23 am, 1861775

Am I misunderstanding (certainly a possibility), or do the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan write an entire article based on


May 26, 2018, 6:38 am, 1861763

Lengthy look at the Steelers coach. (Nothing drives journalists as crazy as someone who doesn't want to talk to them.)

   


May 26, 2018, 6:35 am, 1861762

May 26, 2018, 5:27 am, 1861756

Game 4 against Tampa was bad. How bad? This bad:

When the Washington Capitals lost Game 4 to Tampa Bay on Thursday night, nobody in the crowd booed. Not a one that I could hear, devastating as that loss was. As they poured up aisles to the ...


May 26, 2018, 1:26 am, 1861745

Middle name initials often appear in formal contexts, especially when people refer to intellectual achievements. On the basis of this common link, the display of middle initials increases positive evaluations of people’s intellectual capacities and achievements. We document this effect in seven studies: Middle initials in authors’ names increased ...


May 26, 2018, 1:26 am, 1861744

Middle name initials often appear in formal contexts, especially when people refer to intellectual achievements. On the basis of this common link, the display of middle initials increases positive evaluations of people’s intellectual capacities and achievements. We document this effect in seven studies: Middle initials in authors’ names increased ...


May 26, 2018, 1:06 am, 1861743

Here is my email from Jeremy Davis:

There was an idiotic movie in the 80’s (“Brewster’s Millions”) where Richard Pryor had to burn through $30 million in 30 days in order to inherit $300 million.  There were some conditions:  “. . . after 30 days, he may not own any ...