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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July 29, 2016, 12:34 am, 1658439
A A Tags HealthMedia and CultureTaxes and SpendingHome | Feed | Blog.rssThe Pharma-Fed Doctor

July 29, 2016, 12:04 am, 1658438
(July 29, 2016 12:06 AM, by Bryan Caplan) I've started scanning the early writings of my favorite philosopher, Michael Huemer. I have quite a few in my possession. First on the menu: his prize-winning graduate student essay, "On Liberty and Philosophy," which addresses the philosophical side of what... (1 COMMENTS)

July 29, 2016, 12:04 am, 1658437
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a comment, in full, from one “Bob” on this Marginal Revolution ...

July 28, 2016, 11:33 pm, 1658436

1. Chart of the Day I (above). The US Homeownership Rate Fell to a Five-Decade Low of 63.1% in Q2 2016, the Lowest Rate since 1965, read more ...

July 28, 2016, 9:34 pm, 1658401
A new essay "Macro-Finance," based on a talk I gave at the University of Melbourne this Spring. I survey many current frameworks including habits, long run risks, idiosyncratic risks, heterogenous preferences, rare disasters, probability mistakes, and debt or institutional finance. I show how all these approaches produce quite similar ...

July 28, 2016, 9:03 pm, 1658370
Note: As part of the GDP release tomorrow, the BEA will also release the annual revision. From the BEA:

The annual revision of the national income and product accounts, covering the first quarter of 2013 through the first quarter of 2016, will be released along with the ...

July 28, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1658335

In 1969, when Hillary Rodham gave the commencement address to her classmates at Wellesley,  the majority of women didn’t work. They married at an average age of 21, and earned 59 cents on the male dollar. Nearly five decades later, as Hillary Rodham Clinton prepares to accept the Democratic presidential ...

July 28, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1658334
Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in June to 1.32%, down from 1.38% in May. The serious delinquency rate is down from 1.66% in June 2015.

These are mortgage loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure".

July 28, 2016, 6:05 pm, 1658327

That is the new Joel Mokyr book, due out in November, file under Arrived in My Pile.

Here is the book’s home page, here is a related talk.

The post *A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy* appeared first on ...

July 28, 2016, 6:05 pm, 1658326

Inside, two stocky men could be heard debating the merits of the different ambassadorships they hoped to earn under Mrs. Clinton. Even a low-ranking posting meant having “ambassador” on a child’s wedding invitation, the two agreed, and would be helpful in wrangling invitations to sit on corporate boards.

Here is ...

July 28, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1658321
Andrew Browne has written a fascinating piece in the WSJ sketching a new tragedy of the commons such that China is using its military muscle to harvest valuable resources in disputed waters in the South China Sea. Mr. Browne tells a story that the powerful Chinese Navy is providing ...

July 28, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1658290
The Case-Shiller house price indexes for May were released Tuesday. Zillow forecasts Case-Shillera month early, and I like to check the Zillow forecasts since they have been pretty close.

From Zillow: June Case-Shiller Forecast: Expect a Third Straight Monthly Decline in 10- and 20-City Indices

May ...

July 28, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1658289

Here are two views of China’s (goods) trade. Both use the exact same data.

The first presents China’s goods exports and imports as a share of the rest of the world’s GDP:

The second presents China’s goods exports and imports as a share of China’s ...

July 28, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1658288

Several times I have alluded to the suspicious rise in China’s tourism deficit. The tourism deficit more than explains the rise in China’s services deficit, and the rise in the services deficit explains why the increase in China’s current account surplus hasn’t tracked the increase in China’s goods surplus.

Why the ...

July 28, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1658284
(July 28, 2016 04:08 PM, by David Henderson) In my recent post "Incentives Matter for Politicians Too," I wrote: One of my biggest concerns is that Hillary Clinton as President would purposely or accidentally get the United States into a war with Putin. The New York Times editors,... (3 COMMENTS)

July 28, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1658283
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to someone (no relation, I’m sure, to Russ Roberts) who describes himself as “a proud ...

July 28, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1658282

Iran might seem like a natural ally for the US in the fight against ISIS, but the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily ...

July 28, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1658281

As America’s first African-American president finishes his second term, his historic presidency could be followed by another one — that of our first female president. There are regular references to Hillary Clinton’s gender on the campaign trail, but has the 2016 contest changed politics and the debates around gender?

July 28, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1658280

AEI Research Fellow Angela Rachidi joins the show to discuss her recent paper “America’s Work Problem: How Addressing the Reasons People Don’t Work Can Reduce Poverty.” The paper provides an analysis on the reasons America’s poor cite for not working and recommends policy to incentive work among nonworkers.  Prior to joining ...

July 28, 2016, 3:33 pm, 1658277

flat earther a person who does not accept or is out of touch with the realities/ beliefs of modern times;

one who blatantly dismisses/ disagrees with common knowledge or scientific findings. Joe doesn't even believe the planet is round, or that we landed on the ...

July 28, 2016, 2:44 pm, 1658245

July 28, 2016, 2:44 pm, 1658246

July 28, 2016, 2:05 pm, 1658242

Gautam Gowrisankaran, Stanley S. Reynolds, and Mario Samano have a new JPE paper on this very important question, here is their abstract:

A key problem with solar energy is intermittency: solar generators produce only when the sun is shining, adding to social costs and requiring ...

July 28, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1658241
(Don Boudreaux)

Heres a paragraph from Will Swaim’s recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times (emphasis added):

If there’s hope for party ...

July 28, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1658240

The U.S. corporate income tax is broken. Our tax rate is the highest in the developed world, yet we collect less corporate tax revenue as a share of gross domestic product than many of our trading partners. The tax both discourages firms from investing in the United States and enables ...

July 28, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1658207
The Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN) and the Nation have an in-depth article by Bridget Huber this week on national food policy in Brazil, led by Carlos Monteiro and colleagues. Dietary guidelines in Brazil bluntly criticize highly processed foods while simultaneously communicating a healthy enjoyment of food more ...

July 28, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1658206

Last week, the Tax Foundation released an analysis that showed prices would increase in Oregon if Initiative Petition 28 (IP28) is adopted by voters in November. The Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) predicts an increase of 0.9 percent, due to the proposed tax increase. Earlier this week, ...

July 28, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1658205

Today is July 28, Bill Bradley’s 73rd birthday. Bradley, a Hall of Fame basketball player, was U.S. Senator from New Jersey from 1979 to 1997. Senator Bradley was a lead champion of the 1986 federal tax reform. Happy birthday, Senator!

Here are some interesting links I came across:

Trump Says Tax ...

July 28, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1658203

The U.S. homeownership rate fell to the lowest level in more than 50 years in the second quarter of 2016, a reflection of the lingering effects of the housing bust, financial hurdles to buying and shifting demographics across the country.

But the bigger picture also suggests more Americans are gaining the confidence to ...

July 28, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1658204

A long-awaited report by the International Monetary Fund’s internal watchdog gives credence to some of the fund’s harshest critics of the IMF’s handling of the European sovereign-debt crisis.

Many of the findings made public Thursday in the 650-plus pages of IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office report have been to some extent

July 28, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1658202

Dean Baker:

The Case for a Financial Transactions Tax, The Century Foundation: There has been considerable interest in financial transactions taxes (FTTs) in the United States and other wealthy countries in the years since the financial crisis. An FTT can be a way to both raise a large amount ...

July 28, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1658201

James Ledbetter:

What Does 'Regulatory Capture' Mean to Business and the Economy?: In recent months, the idea of "regulatory capture" ... has been enjoying its star turn. ... Earlier this year, the Government Accountability Office revealed that it had (at the urging of two members of Congress) ...

July 28, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1658200
From the Kansas City Fed: Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Declined Modestly

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the July Manufacturing Survey today. According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that Tenth District manufacturing activity declined ...

July 28, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1658199

July 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1658198
(July 28, 2016 11:55 AM, by Scott Sumner) Rajan directed me to a post by Miles Kimball, entitled "Pro Gauti Eggertsson". He discusses Eggertsson's views on the role of inflation expectations in the recovery from the Great Depression. Like Miles, I'm a big fan of Eggertsson's work on... (0 COMMENTS)

July 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1658197
(Don Boudreaux)

I wonder: what percentage of people who believe that the wealth of modern first-world countries is the result of ...

July 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1658196
The Clinton campaign has been strangely remiss in not publicizing the Trump campaign’s aggressive screening of journalists at Trump’s events—especially its denial of press credentials to several news media organizations, including the Washington Post and Politico. But this report by Paul Farhi, the Washington Post’s media reporter, this morning, titled ...

July 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1658195

As regular readers know, I write mostly about the armed forces, but there are other tools of power and influence that America needs to protect its national security.  Alliances are one of those tools, and Donald Trump has made the subject timely because of his recent comments regarding ...

July 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1658192

There is a growing consensus among American intelligence agencies that it was in fact Russia that was behind the DNC hack. But it’s not just the DNC that’s in trouble – Russian hacking has for a long time been a serious problem for businesses, governments, and citizens in ...

July 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1658194

In another example of budget-driven strategic choices, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James this week dumped cold water on a reasonable plan bruited by senior Air Force officers to retire and replace the venerable A-10 Warthog.

The cash-strapped Air Force has tried several times to retire the ...

July 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1658193

Over at the CIA and the National Security Agency headquarters, they must be really enjoying watching Democrats in Philadelphia squirm over WikiLeaks’s exposure of tens of thousands of internal Democratic Party emails. There’s a word for what is happening in the intelligence community:


Throughout the entirety of the Obama administration, nothing ...

July 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1658190

Listen to Resident Scholar Norman Ornstein discuss reforming polling law on Freakonomics Radio’s “Ten Ideas to Make Politics Less Rotten”:

Click here to read the transcript.

July 28, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1658191

Journalists and pundits say that taxpayer subsidies at public universities are rigged to benefit the wealthy. Their beef is with elite flagship universities like the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or the University of Michigan that receive more money per student from state legislatures and spend more on ...

July 28, 2016, 11:03 am, 1658155
The Census Bureau released the Residential Vacancies and Homeownership report for Q2 2016.

This report is frequently mentioned by analysts and the media to track household formation, the homeownership rate, and the homeowner and rental vacancy rates. However, there are serious questions about the accuracy of this ...

July 28, 2016, 10:45 am, 1658154

July 28, 2016, 10:35 am, 1658153

To those of us who grew up in the 70s and 80s, there’s something odd about politics now. It’s that no main party is, or seems to want to be, the “party of business”.

What I mean is that back then, the Tories were emphatically on the ...

July 28, 2016, 10:05 am, 1658147

July 28, 2016, 10:04 am, 1658146
(Don Boudreaux)

In this short video, Johan Norberg eloquently explains that economic growth cleanses humans’ environment.

July 28, 2016, 9:03 am, 1658113
U.S. GDP is projected to have advanced at a 2.6% annualized pace this spring, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. Here’s what to watch in Friday’s report.

July 28, 2016, 9:03 am, 1658112
The DOL reported:

In the week ending July 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 266,000, an increase of 14,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 253,000 to 252,000. The 4-week moving average was 256,500, a ...

July 28, 2016, 8:44 am, 1658111

July 28, 2016, 8:35 am, 1658110

The question went viral this week after Paul Westra, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp., raised the possibility in a research note. Bloomberg on Tuesday published a news story about the implied forecast, noting that the “this doesn’t just bode ill for restaurants, but could point to trouble across the ...

July 28, 2016, 8:04 am, 1658109
(July 28, 2016 07:10 AM, by Alberto Mingardi) I've recently watched "Star Trek Beyond" and liked it a lot. Visually, I think it's one of the most astonishing science fiction movie ever. The USS Enterprise "parking" inside a space station is perhaps the single most impressive scene I've... (0 COMMENTS)

July 28, 2016, 8:04 am, 1658108
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 74 of the late William Niskanen’s August 1998 speech “Creating Good Jobs and Good Wages,” which ...

July 28, 2016, 8:04 am, 1658107
by Mike Kimel Google Trends and the Presidential Election I’m sure somebody has done this before, but I don’t remember seeing it. I used Google Trends to see how searches for the Democrat and Republican nominee for President stacked up in the first ten months of 2004, 2008, 2012, and ...

July 28, 2016, 8:04 am, 1658106
Via Dealbook: CONSUMER AGENCY PROPOSES NEW RULES FOR DEBT COLLECTORS There will be some respite for people being hounded for debt as federal regulators are preparing to significantly strengthen the rules that govern debt collection for the first time in nearly 40 years. Under proposed regulations, debt collection companies will ...

July 28, 2016, 7:34 am, 1658103

Government at work.

1. The Apollo's Saturn rockets were packed with enough fuel to throw 100-pound shrapnel three miles, and NASA couldn't rule out the possibility that they might explode on takeoff. NASA seated its VIP spectators three and a half miles from the launchpad.

July 28, 2016, 7:34 am, 1658102

Looks good. I'd like to see it.

July 28, 2016, 7:34 am, 1658101

Close to being hot off the press from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

July 28, 2016, 7:03 am, 1658070

In the future, the way your clothes get dry after they are washed may not involve exposing them to heat or prolonged exposure to air, but may instead involve ultrasonic amplifiers, which can make water molecules so excited that they virtually jump out of wet fabric. ...

July 28, 2016, 6:44 am, 1658069
Robert Litan: A comeback in high-growth entrepreneurship is especially welcome given the outsize importance such firms play to innovation.

July 28, 2016, 5:34 am, 1658066

Who knows, but I don't think this is satire.

July 28, 2016, 5:03 am, 1658034

July 28, 2016, 4:44 am, 1658033

July 28, 2016, 2:05 am, 1658000

This possibly gated but excellent nonetheless piece is from the FT, here is one excerpt:

A few weeks ago was typical. After some time off, my feed aggregator displayed 794 blog posts, 56 of them foolishly filed into the “must read” folder. Here lay a polemic blasting ...

July 28, 2016, 2:05 am, 1657999

That is a paper from Amihai Glazer, here is the abstract:

A person may vote for a candidate to please citizens who prefer the same candidate, and to anger citizens who dislike the candidate. Such behavior is consistent with high turnout (though any one vote is unlikely to ...

July 28, 2016, 2:04 am, 1657998
(July 28, 2016 12:04 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Robin recently tried an Ideological Turing Test for a subset of my critique of his Age of Em. He understands me better than before, but there's still room for improvement. "Correct" means Robin has described my view to a tee.... (0 COMMENTS)

July 28, 2016, 1:34 am, 1657997

You have an infinite horizon model of inflation. Your model tells you what happens to the time-path of the price level P(t) if the central bank changes monetary policy.

Please do something:

Convert your infinite horizon model into a finite horizon model. Suppose the price level at time T, when the world ...

July 28, 2016, 12:34 am, 1657968