Economics Roundtable

Database Maintenance 7/4/15

Routine database maintenance will induce some duplicated items for the next day or two.

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.

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August 2, 2015, 10:34 am, 1520469

Dan Price announced that he’d pay a middle class salary to all his employees. His clients, customers, and even the employees themselves are unhappy.

NYT (“A Company Copes With ...

August 2, 2015, 10:04 am, 1520464
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 140-141 of 1963 Norton Library edition of the superb posthumous 1951 collection of some of

August 2, 2015, 10:04 am, 1520463
(Don Boudreaux)

Tim Worstall elaborates on my recent post on how Uber and other sharing-economy innovations is helping both to increase the ...

August 2, 2015, 9:33 am, 1520462

It feels like Christmas Eve (but without baby Jesus):

Obama administration will unveil the finalized version of its unprecedented regulations clamping down on carbon dioxide emissions on Monday. The plans will require every state to reduce emissions from existing coal-burning power plants.

Regulations will require power plants to cut emissions by 32%by ...

August 2, 2015, 8:34 am, 1520403
The ISM Manufacturing Index is expected to post a modest increase to 54.3 in tomorrow’s update for July vs. the previous month, based on The Capital Spectator’s average point forecast for several econometric estimates. The prediction is well above the neutral 50.0 mark and so the current outlook still calls ...

August 2, 2015, 7:33 am, 1520401

August 2, 2015, 5:33 am, 1520359

For all--or at least some--of your classic rock needs.

August 2, 2015, 4:04 am, 1520334
My regular column is available to subscribers on This is an excerpt. An economic recovery is all about barriers and milestones. It is a story of getting over the barriers and counting off the milestones as you pass...

August 2, 2015, 3:23 am, 1520332

Photo Credit: Jon Gos

Too often in debates regarding the recent financial crisis, the event was regarded as a surprise that no one could have anticipated, conveniently forgetting those who pointed out sloppy banking, lending and borrowing ...

August 2, 2015, 3:03 am, 1520271

August 2, 2015, 2:04 am, 1520270

That is the new and excellent book by Sebastian Strangio, which you can think of as a post-Sihanouk look at the country from a political economy point of view.  Here are just a few bits:

The cruelty and callousness that allowed jilted wives to order and commit such brutal ...

August 2, 2015, 12:44 am, 1520252

The ‘zero lower bound’ on interest rates has been broken is a few nations, but only marginally. Going to seriously negative interest rates would require reform. This column, which reports the views of the leading UK-based macroeconomists, suggests that there is no strong support for reforming the monetary system to ...

August 1, 2015, 9:33 pm, 1520231
Progression of the Police State U.S. Style

More national spotlights are on unwarranted police brutality this week. Let's start with a statement made by a Cincinnati prosecutor who charged a police officer with murder.

Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters became a national hero by stating 'When ...

August 1, 2015, 9:33 pm, 1520230
Cornell's Robert Frank has written many times about the "arms race" for status goods. Such goods, such as slots at Harvard, are inelastically supplied and thus a doubling of everyone's effort (through studying and SAT prep courses) simply cancels out because relative performance is what supposedly matters.

I ...

August 1, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1520211
About a month ago, I participated in a conference at Hoover, inspired by the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. There were lots of interesting papers.

I participated in a ...

August 1, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1520189

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Friday, July 31, 2015:

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Hilsenrath’s Take: GDP Data Support a Soon-and-Slow Rate Hike Strategy Modest Growth in U.S. Economy

August 1, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1520188

MOSCOW–The Bank of Russia cut interest rates Friday for the fifth time this year citing economic risks, but declined to commit on whether there would be further monetary easing.

The central bank slashed the key rate by 50 basis points to 11%, in line with the market consensus, taking its total ...

August 1, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1520190
Brad Breitbach uses a surfboard to protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks on Hawaiis island of Maui. WILL MAULDIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Some of the bitterest foes ...

August 1, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1520185
The first week of August brings important data readings that are sure to catch the notice of Federal Reserve officials.

August 1, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1520186
Of the 10 busiest U.S. markets for home construction, those that grew the fastest in this year’s first half from the same period a year ago generated more than ...

August 1, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1520187
Not a single city with a population above 300,000, such as Philadelphia, reported that economic conditions had worsened over the last year and 23% said they had improved greatly.

August 1, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1520183
Ministry of Truth Gag Law

On July 1, Spain enacted a "gag" law that provides for showing "disrespect to police.

Among the many new repressive stipulations is a €30,000-€600,000 fine for "unauthorized protests," which can be combined for maximum effect with a €600-€300,000 fine for "disrupting public events."

August 1, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1520160

Brad DeLong:

Lehman Brothers Once Again…: Ah. The debate continues:

David Zaring: Did The Fed Fail To Save Lehman Brothers Because It Legally Couldn’t?: “The Fed’s lawyers said, after the fact, that no, they didn’t have the legal power to bail out Lehman…

…Peter says yes they did, Philip says ...

August 1, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1520159

Thursday’s GDP release incorporated an annual data revision extending back to 2012. In this recovery, output is 4% lower (in log terms) than the corresponding point in the previous recovery. In Ch.2009$, 2015Q2 output was 92.9 billion lower (at quarterly rates). The comparison (in log levels, normalized to troughs) ...

August 1, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1520156
Millennial Men are dudes ages 18 to 35. In surveys, they have stated that they would like to live a balanced lifestyle of working but also spending significant amounts of time at home rearing their children. The NY Times has a long piece todayarguing that this group has not ...

August 1, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1520115

Daniel Little:

Microfoundations 2.0?: The idea that hypotheses about social structures and forces require microfoundations has been around for at least 40 years. Maarten Janssen’s New Palgrave essay on microfoundations documents the history of the concept in economics; link. E. Roy Weintraub was among the first to emphasize ...

August 1, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1520114

Chris Dillow on the privatization of government services:

Creating markets: ... My point here is a simple one. Whether effective markets and private ownership can be created depends upon particular institutional and technical conditions.

This is, of course, a variant on Coase's famous point (pdf) - that ...

August 1, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1520113

August 1, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1520107

1. Princeton math oral exams.  This link is for only a few of you.

2. Personal injury lawyer birthday party for two-year olds.  This link is for a somewhat greater number of you.

3. Peter Brook returns to the Mahabarata.  See the remark at #1.

4. “…

August 1, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1520064
The key report this week is the July employment report on Friday.

Other key indicators include the July ISM manufacturing index and July vehicle sales, both on Monday, and the Trade Deficit on Wednesday.

----- Monday, August 3rd -----
8:30 AM ET: Personal Income and Outlays for June. ...

August 1, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1520063

August 1, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1520056
I want to stress the need to shop around when looking for healthcare insurance on the exchanges by citing one example of how it can make a difference. As mentioned earlier here and on Charles Gaba’s ACA Signups blog, Shopping Around does make a difference. If you did not do ...

August 1, 2015, 11:33 am, 1520055
A common meme is that workers aren't benefiting from productivity growth. Robert Lawrence says, not so fast. You can watcha video of him explaining this here.

August 1, 2015, 10:04 am, 1519989
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 107 of the 1991 Liberty Fund edition of Bruno Leoni’s pioneering 1961 volume, Freedom and ...

August 1, 2015, 10:04 am, 1519988
(Don Boudreaux)

Thomas Piketty famously argues that owners of capital grab ever-larger shares of wealth, and that the single best ‘solution’ to ...

August 1, 2015, 9:33 am, 1519985

Magnificent beyond the telling.

The great danger to the consumer is the monopoly - whether private or governmental. His most effective protection is free competition at home and free trade throughout the world. The consumer is protected from being exploited by one seller by the existence of ...

August 1, 2015, 9:03 am, 1519924
This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.

Here is the unofficial problem bank list for July 2015.

Changes and comments from surferdude808:

Update on the Unofficial Problem Bank List for July 2015. During the month, the list fell ...

August 1, 2015, 8:34 am, 1519923
● Unmade in China: The Hidden Truth about China’s Economic Miracle By Jeremy R. Haft Summary via publisher (Polity) If you look carefully at how things are actually made in China – from shirts to toys, apple juice to oil rigs – you see a reality that contradicts every widely-held ...

August 1, 2015, 8:04 am, 1519922

Prior to 1800 or so there were no large differences in per-capita GDP between nations, differences were perhaps on the order of 2-3 at most. As modern economic growth took hold in some nations and not in others, between-country inequality increased dramatically with differences in per-capita GDP between nations of up ...

August 1, 2015, 8:04 am, 1519921

What to do?  What to see and where to eat?  How to think about the place?  Thanks in advance for your assistance…and is Novi Sad worth a day trip?

August 1, 2015, 7:33 am, 1519919
No, says Marty Feldstein. I made similar points in this old post. According to the IGM Panel, most economists agree.

August 1, 2015, 6:04 am, 1519892


Isn’t it funny how so many people hold these two opinions in their heads at the same time:

1) Wall Street is just focused on the next quarter and they push corporations to have short term motives.

2) There was a stock market bubble 15 years ago built around bidding up ...

August 1, 2015, 5:33 am, 1519890

A big assortment of movie clips with various ways to sort and search.

August 1, 2015, 5:33 am, 1519889

Among other things, to be called "bourbon" it has to be made in the U.S. and a supposedly excellent substitute for the "near impossible to find" Pappy Van Winkle.

August 1, 2015, 5:33 am, 1519888

August 1, 2015, 5:33 am, 1519887

(p. A8) [In June 2015] . . . , the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a Pentagon research arm, . . . [held] the final competition in its Robotics Challenge in Pomona, Calif. With $2 million in prize money for the robot that performs best in a ...

August 1, 2015, 5:23 am, 1519886

Photo Credit: Gianni

A few days ago, I was trying to buy a little bit of a defense company that I own for myself and clients.  It was relatively inexpensive, and had fallen out of favor.  Now, it’s ...

August 1, 2015, 3:03 am, 1519858

August 1, 2015, 2:04 am, 1519857

Tsuyoshi Shimmura, Shosei Ohashi, and Takashi Yoshimura have a new paper:

The “cock-a-doodle-doo” crowing of roosters, which symbolizes the break of dawn in many cultures, is controlled by the circadian clock. When one rooster announces the break of dawn, others in the vicinity immediately follow. Chickens are highly social ...