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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November 28, 2015, 2:04 am, 1582932

Rosanna Smart, a job market candidate from UCLA, has a very interesting job market paper (pdf) on this question.  Here is the abstract:

Almost half of the US states have adopted \medical marijuana” laws (MMLs),and 58% of Americans now favor marijuana legalization. Despite public support, federal law ...

November 27, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1582926
The fallout from the Global Crisis and its aftermath has been deeply damaging for European output. This column uses a growth accounting framework to explore the pre-Crisis and post-Crisis growth dynamics of several European countries. The weakness of post-Crisis real GDP in the Eurozone manifested itself in a decline in ...

November 27, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1582924
Recent studies have established a causal link between trade and rising wage inequality. This column suggests there is also a pro-poor bias of trade. In moving from autarky to trade, the relative prices of goods consumed intensively by the poor, such as food, fall more. The gains from opening to ...

November 27, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1582925
Central bank independence was supposed to end politically driven monetary policy. This column discusses new evidence showing a sizeable spike in the growth rate of cash and overnight bank deposits centred on election days. The spike is present in countries with weak political institutions, but not in OECD countries. The ...

November 27, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1582919
This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.

Here is the unofficial problem bank list for November 2015.

Changes and comments from surferdude808:

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

November 27, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1582904
(November 27, 2015 04:21 PM, by Scott Sumner) In the past I've been critical of Paul Krugman's approach to austerity and business cycles. For instance, he argued that austerity in the UK led to slow growth in real GDP. I countered that RGDP is not the right variable... (0 COMMENTS)

November 27, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1582876
The Case-Shiller house price indexes for September were released on Tuesday. Zillow forecasts Case-Shillera month early, and I like to check the Zillow forecasts since they have been pretty close.

From Zillow: Case-Shiller Forecast Calls for Similar Annual, Monthly Gains in October

The September S&P Case-Shiller ...

November 27, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1582838
The highlights of the week's economic calendar: Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by Friday's highly anticipated November jobs report.

November 27, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1582837

The rise of the crazies is not unrelated:

What Is Holding Back the Economy?: ...for many if not most people, the standard of living that can be achieved by working has been permanently reduced — by long bouts of unemployment and underemployment, by unstable and insecure employment, by long-term ...

November 27, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1582836

On student loans:

Student Debt in America: Lend With a Smile, Collect With a Fist: ... Borrowing is risky, financial decisions are not always rational, and people often do a poor job of properly weighing the interests of their present and future selves.

The private enterprise system is built to ...

November 27, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1582835

Today we have a guest contribution written by Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at Harvard University, and former Member of the Council of Economic Advisers, 1997-99. This post is an extended version of a column that appeared in Project Syndicate.

Calls for International ...

November 27, 2015, 2:34 pm, 1582834

Late on Wednesday, the family of football legend Frank Gifford, who died in August at the age of 84, revealed that a postmortem examination of the late football star’s brain revealed he suffered ...

November 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1582831
(November 27, 2015 03:19 PM, by David Henderson) In my Executive MBA economics class a little over a week ago, I presented the following definition of a negative externality: A cost borne by someone who is not party to the decision that caused the cost. Then I asked... (1 COMMENTS)

November 27, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1582828
Retailers, especially big-box retailers will be blue if light shopping carries over for the rest of the season. The Wall Street Journal reports Thinner Crowds on Black Friday.

Millions of Americans left their Thanksgiving meals to hit stores across the country in an annual shopping ritual, ...

November 27, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1582787
The automakers will report November vehicle sales on Tuesday, December 1st. Sales in October were at 18.1 million on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR), and it possible sales in October will be over 18 million SAAR again.

Note: There were 23 selling days in November, down from ...

November 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1582781

November 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1582780

I thought this was the worst year for movies since I have been watching them.  In fact I think you could multiply this year’s good films by two and still have the worst year for movies in a long, long time.  Maybe by three.  But here are the ones I ...

November 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1582779

November 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1582778
by New Deal democrat (Bondadd blog) One long term indicator changes to Yellow One long leading indicator has turned from green (positive) to yellow (caution): mortgage rates. Since middle class wages peaked in the 1970s, the ability to refinance debt at lower interest rates has been an important coping ...

November 27, 2015, 11:33 am, 1582777
The Pacific Ocean and blue skies and 70 degree weather are good stuff.

November 27, 2015, 10:04 am, 1582723

November 27, 2015, 9:33 am, 1582721
Noah Smith takes the standard course to task. David Henderson says, not so fast.

November 27, 2015, 9:03 am, 1582700

Today is Black Friday, 2015 - the proverbial day that, if you believe U.S. retailers, enough Americans turn out to the ...

November 27, 2015, 8:04 am, 1582699
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 62 of my late Nobel laureate colleague Jim Buchanan’s pioneering February 1962 article in Economica, ...

November 27, 2015, 7:23 am, 1582697
‘Coming up with something new is for suckers; smart people sit back and rip off the idea later’

November 27, 2015, 7:03 am, 1582688

November 27, 2015, 7:03 am, 1582687

A less than perfect union:

Europe the Unready, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: Thanksgiving as we know it dates not to colonial days but to the middle of the Civil War, when Abraham Lincoln made it a federal holiday. It is, in other words, a celebration of national ...

November 27, 2015, 4:04 am, 1582669

Is it clever or stupid of us to be avoiding the problem of “overeducation” in our Army officer corps?

As shown previously, the higher an officer’s cognitive ability, the lower that officer’s chance at early promotion and battalion command selection. As a curious anecdote, the promotion rate to colonel for officers ...

November 27, 2015, 3:33 am, 1582666
In the wake of conflicting flight path information with Russian and Turkey differing on the flight path of the Russian aircraft that Turkey downed over Syria, comes the incredulous claim that Turkey did not recognize the aircraft as Russian when it shot the aircraft down.

This unbelievable statement comes ...

November 27, 2015, 2:04 am, 1582630

Following up on my earlier post on Syria, Alexander Burns sends me this very interesting email:

Dear Professor Cowen,

Thanks for your reply tweet regarding your Marginal Revolution post on modelling Syria / Islamic State. I enjoy your books and blog.

I’m writing a thesis at Australia’s Monash University that synthesises ...

November 27, 2015, 12:44 am, 1582620
Economists often disagree on China’s prospects. This column provides the results from a survey from the Centre for Macroeconomics. It turns out that three quarters of the experts believe that China’s annual growth rate will be less than 6% over the next ten years or so. But the panel is ...

November 27, 2015, 12:44 am, 1582619
Douglass North, economic historian and co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, passed away this week. This column pays tribute to one of the great social scientific pioneers of the modern era – focusing on one particular example of how North drew on historical, empirical and theoretical ...

November 27, 2015, 12:44 am, 1582618
Douglass C. North was among the most important and influential economic historians and economists of the late 20th century. This column highlights four of his major contributions: his pioneering work in quantitative economic history, or ‘cliometrics’; his similarly fundamental work using neoclassical economics to understand institutions; his critique of theory ...