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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August 28, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1668254
by Mike Kimel Top Marginal Tax Rates and Real Economic Growth, Part 2 A few weeks I wrote a post looking at the correlation between the top marginal tax rate in a given year and the growth in real GDP per capita over subsequent years. This post is the first ...

August 28, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1668249

Towards the end The Euro and the Battle of Ideas (Princeton, 2016), by Markus Brunnermeier, Harold James and Jean-Pierre Landau, the authors observe that most of the debate about the economic crisis of the European Union takes place in the English-language press: the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, ...

August 28, 2016, 4:05 pm, 1668246

What an excellent title, the subtitle is The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst, and the author is Jeffrey Toobin.  Our age is actually not that crazy by historical standards.  Yet here are the last four sentences:

In the end, notwithstanding a surreal ...

August 28, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1668245
(Don Boudreaux)

Several years ago Uncle Sam declared Jones, a man in his mid-40s, to be uniquely entitled to retire immediately at ...

August 28, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1668244

Is the political map, so familiar that even non-pundits offhandedly refer to red, blue and even purple states, changing before our eyes? Yes, at least to a limited extent — and it’s probably about time.

For the political map has been pretty static for almost two decades, the longest since the ...

August 28, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1668243

Hillary Clinton plans to give a speech denouncing the “alt right,” which is news that must have a lot of you asking, “What’s the alt-right?” The answer is less important than either Clinton or the members of this group would have you believe.

They call themselves “alt” to distinguish themselves from ...

August 28, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1668242

“Borders are the worst invention ever made by politicians.” Those were the words of Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Union’s European Commission, at the Alspach Media Academy in Austria last Monday.

Nonsense, most readers will surely think. But it’s worth thinking a bit more about where Juncker is ...

August 28, 2016, 2:05 pm, 1668237

1. The culture that is Bethesda, Maryland.

2. Chile’s pension scheme under fire.

3. Child abuse in China: a neglected issue.  The statute of limitations should be longer than two years.  That’s two from The Economist, the current issue is their best of the year ...

August 28, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1668234
When it was announced that Gary Becker won the Nobel Prize in Economics, there was a press conference at the University of Chicago. At that October 1992 conference, he stated at the start of the event that he would not answer questions related to issues far from his research (such ...

August 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1668221
(August 28, 2016 10:43 AM, by Scott Sumner) I seem to vaguely recall a horror story where the protagonist searches everywhere for the monster, and at the end sees himself in the mirror, realizing that he is the monster. If there is no such story, there should be.... (0 COMMENTS)

August 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1668220
(August 28, 2016 12:26 PM, by David Henderson) On Gary's goofs, smugglers solve alleged public good problem, FDA-caused massive deaths, and reparations from descendants of slave owners. These are some of the most interesting things I found on the web this morning. 1. Robert Murphy on Gary Johnson's... (2 COMMENTS)

August 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1668219
(Don Boudreaux)

I did this video for Freedomworks in 2014 and didn’t know until just this morning that it was put on ...

August 28, 2016, 11:03 am, 1668197

Kevin O’Rourke at VoxEU:

Brexit: This backlash has been a long time coming: Editors' note: This column first appeared as a chapter in the VoxEU ebook,Brexit Beckons: Thinking ahead by leading economists, available to download free of chargehere.

It has recently become commonplace to argue that globalisation can ...

August 28, 2016, 11:03 am, 1668196
Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate was unchanged in July at 1.08%, the same as in June. Freddie's rate is down from 1.48% in July 2015.

This ties the lowest rate since July 2008.

Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%. ...

August 28, 2016, 10:04 am, 1668192

August 28, 2016, 9:24 am, 1668191

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk ||


This post may be a little more complex than most. It will also be more theoretical. For those disinclined to wade through the whole thing, skip ...

August 28, 2016, 8:05 am, 1668183

“Rest of the story” stories have a punch line that twists everything that came before into an entirely new and deeper perspective. My favorite such story is about John Nestor.

Nestor became a minor if hated celebrity in the mid-1980s in Washington, DC for his policy of driving on ...

August 28, 2016, 7:34 am, 1668182

I don't know what the dogs will think about it, but it seems clever.

August 28, 2016, 5:34 am, 1668170

"Way tougher." You bet. Another clever Nike ad.

August 28, 2016, 4:04 am, 1668148
My regular column is available to subscribers on This is an excerpt. It is back to work, in my case after escaping to the Outer Hebrides, where the people were a lot friendlier than the weather and where...

August 28, 2016, 2:05 am, 1668143

From the Richmond Fed, it is excellent and interesting throughout, here is one good bit of many:

EF: Given the wage premium associated with a four-year degree and the availability of education financing, it seems like a real puzzle why more people are not obtaining degrees.

Hurst: I ...

August 28, 2016, 12:04 am, 1668134
On the blogosphere, there is an interesting debate about whether, when the next recession arrives, interests rates will be high enough that the normal approach of cutting the target federal funds rate will be sufficient. In chronological order David Reifschneider, Jared Bernstein, Paul Krugman and Dean Baker contribute their thoughts ...

August 27, 2016, 4:05 pm, 1668117

Your assistance is humbly requested, noting that the shortness of the trip will prevent any significant excursions outside of the city.  Do note I have been there twice, though not in the last nineteen years or so.

I thank you all in advance for your suggestions.

The post Lima, ...

August 27, 2016, 3:33 pm, 1668114

Some good commentary on the Clinton Foundation this week…

1. Charles Krauthammer’s writign in the Washington Post “The Bribery Standard” (emphasis added):

The real question was: Why did she have a private server in the first place? She obviously lied about the purpose. It wasn’t convenience. It was concealment. What ...

August 27, 2016, 2:05 pm, 1668095

August 27, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1668092
The NY Times is creating a "green job"as it will hire a new climate change editor. Given that Dora and I have written a recent paper on how the NY Times covered the urban mortality transition from 1890 to 1930, I will offer this important newspaper some unsolicited ...

August 27, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1668083
In the American Journal of Public Health this month, Jennifer Falbe and colleagues found that the penny-per-ounce Berkeley soda tax succeeded in reducing sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption.

The study asked respondents about soda intake, in Berkeley and in comparison cities of northern California (Oakland and San Francisco, which ...

August 27, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1668075
(August 27, 2016 10:25 AM, by Scott Sumner) In recent months the rest of the world has finally begun to accept the market monetarist view that interest rates are likely to stay low indefinitely. But there's still a lot of confusion as to the reasons why. The Financial... (1 COMMENTS)

August 27, 2016, 11:33 am, 1668074
Paul Krugman is correct and Mr. Trump is wrong. Quality of life has never been better in American center cities. Of course, Mr. Trump knows that his section of Manhattan is doing great. His real estate there is worth more than ever. From simple supply and demand, given the ...

August 27, 2016, 10:34 am, 1668065

Earlier this week, the Commerce Department reported that the economy had grown at a rather anemic pace in the Second Quarter according to its latest Gross Domestic Product growth estimate:

The economic recovery may be durable, but ...

August 27, 2016, 10:04 am, 1668063
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 258 – which is in the chapter entitled “Consumers’ Sovereignty” – of the 1990 Transaction Publishers ...

August 27, 2016, 10:04 am, 1668062
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to The Economist:

Sir or Madam:

With “Two out of three ain’t bad” (August 27) you complete ...

August 27, 2016, 9:03 am, 1668054
The key report this week is the August employment report on Friday.

Other key indicators include Personal Income and Outlays for July, the Case-Shiller House Price Index for June, the August ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing indexes, August auto sales, and the July trade deficit.

----- Monday, Aug 29th ...

August 27, 2016, 8:35 am, 1668053

Missed Information: Better Information for Building a Wealthier, More Sustainable Future
By David Sarokin and Jay Schulkin
Summary via publisher (MIT Press)
Information is power. It drives commerce, protects nations, and forms the backbone of ...

August 27, 2016, 8:05 am, 1668052

At the prices they are offering, a lot of bugs in their software are going undetected.  Yet the company has the funds to pay more, and you might think for Coasean reasons the value to Apple of maintaining the franchise is pretty high.  So why don’t they pay more?  ...

August 27, 2016, 8:05 am, 1668051

Excellent piece by Tim Carney:

Five years ago, a new quirky-sounding consumer-rights group set up shop in a sleepy corner of Capitol Hill. “Consumers for Paper Options is a group of individuals and organizations who believe paper-based communications are critically important for millions of Americans,” the group explained in ...

August 27, 2016, 8:04 am, 1668050

August 27, 2016, 7:34 am, 1668048

Yes. Next question.

August 27, 2016, 7:34 am, 1668047

August 27, 2016, 5:03 am, 1668038

August 27, 2016, 4:34 am, 1668037
A A Tags Home | Feed | Blog.rssLegal SystemThe Police StatePolitical TheoryAudio: Tom Woods and Ryan McMaken on Policing and Abolishing the FBI

August 27, 2016, 2:34 am, 1668033
A A Tags Home | Feed | Blog.rssEducationHealthPolitical TheoryWhy Do Americans Have Such High Incomes and So Little Savings? ...

August 27, 2016, 2:05 am, 1668032

Think tank X decides to expand its policy output on urban economics, so it hires some new scholars in the area.  That means fewer people teaching urban economics in academia, or maybe fewer people driving Uber.

It also means more computers in the think tank sector and fewer computers elsewhere.

Or ...

August 27, 2016, 1:33 am, 1668031
I have always greatly admired the work of Davis and Haltiwanger on gross employment flows. Dora Costa and I have some new work up and going on Federal and local government employment dynamics. Take a look at our new figure below. This figure is my homage to Davis ...

August 27, 2016, 12:34 am, 1668029
Tags A A Big GovernmentHealthHome | Feed | Blog.rssThe Week in Review: August 27, 2016Interventionism 0 Views