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.

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June 30, 2016, 9:35 am, 1649802

Imagine you are at an international policy conference. Someone says "Central Banks need to coordinate their monetary policies better". You nod your head wisely in agreement, along with everyone else. Because you know that what one central bank does affects not just its own economy but the economies of other ...

June 30, 2016, 9:03 am, 1649770
The DOL reported:

In the week ending June 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 268,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 259,000 to 258,000. The 4-week moving average was 266,750, unchanged ...

June 30, 2016, 8:44 am, 1649769

June 30, 2016, 8:44 am, 1649768

June 30, 2016, 8:05 am, 1649767

Popular Science: A pilot A.I. developed by a doctoral graduate from the University of Cincinnati has shown that it can not only beat other A.I.s, but also a professional fighter pilot with decades of experience. In a series of flight combat simulations, the A.I. successfully evaded retired U.S. ...

June 30, 2016, 8:04 am, 1649766
(Don Boudreaux)

In this short video, Johan Norberg explains the environmental dangers of too many ...

June 30, 2016, 8:04 am, 1649765
(Dan here)  Quoted is a summary and link to New Deal democrat‘s post at  on the pound sterling and Brexit impacting the US economy via Marketwatch: The pound plunged early Friday as results from the U.K.’s referendum hit, but “since then the pound has gone sideways,” notes financial blogger ...

June 30, 2016, 7:34 am, 1649762

I don't know how they know what's "ideal," but in case you're interested.

June 30, 2016, 7:34 am, 1649761

"Our hot list of 20 influential NYC babies."

No, I'm not making "influential" up.

June 30, 2016, 7:34 am, 1649760

I'm not the world's biggest baseball fan, but I really enjoyed this documentary. Nicely explains, among other things, why a 100 mph fastball is so much harder to hit than a 92 mph one and why, despite the testimony of many hitters including Hank Aaron, a very fast fastball ...

June 30, 2016, 7:03 am, 1649736

Top economists are warning that the alarming uptick in mortality for middle-aged white Americans will force policymakers to rethink the U.S. social safety net.

A report released by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project is the latest paper to highlight how opioids, suicide and chronic liver disease are becoming a greater ...

June 30, 2016, 6:44 am, 1649735

June 30, 2016, 5:34 am, 1649732

This could come in handy.

June 30, 2016, 5:23 am, 1649730

After the UK’s decision to leave the EU, what economic problems will it face?

Summary of problems

Devaluation of Pound Sterling, increasing price of imported goods, such as food, oil, manufacturers and domestic inflation. Decline in capital flows as UK is seen as more risky place to invest and save. Decline in inward investment. ...

June 30, 2016, 5:23 am, 1649731

In this recent post we saw some of the economic and political challenges of allowing free movement of labour within an economic block, such as the EU28.

To what extent can the government / EU mitigate these negative impacts, whilst retaining free movement of labour?

1. Funding related to number of ...

June 30, 2016, 5:03 am, 1649708

Not long ago, we built a tool to estimate the economic impact of new jobs, where we focused on what the ...

June 30, 2016, 4:05 am, 1649707

The combination of mass joblessness, wage cuts, and higher taxes means disposable household incomes have fallen even further. To make up the difference, Greeks have been eating into their savings. In 2006-2009, the personal savings rate averaged about ...

June 30, 2016, 3:03 am, 1649692

June 30, 2016, 2:05 am, 1649688

Soon I will be recording a podcast-only, no live attendance, no live video Conversations with Tyler with Michael Orthofer.  Michael runs the site Literary Saloon and is perhaps the world’s most productive book reviewer and book review blogger, with a focus on foreign fiction translated into English.  ...

June 30, 2016, 1:03 am, 1649685

For decades, workers with a four-year degree have out-earned their less-educated peers. Now, they’re also the largest share of the labor market.

That’s the finding of a new report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. This year marked the first time college-educated workers, now 36% of the workforce, ...

June 30, 2016, 12:34 am, 1649684
A A Tags Home | Feed | Blog.rssThe FedGlobal EconomyMoney and BanksMoney and BankingIf the UK Economy Tanks, Don’t Blame Brexit

June 30, 2016, 12:04 am, 1649683


We describe the broad range of uncertainties faced by the developers of medical technologies. Empirically, we estimate the asset market incidence of two realizations of uncertainties we classify as ex post policy risks. The events we analyze concern the intellectual property of Myriad Genetics, Inc., an American molecular diagnostics firm. ...

June 30, 2016, 12:04 am, 1649681

The Kurdish movement for independence could have massive implications for the increasingly fragile Middle East. In a new monograph, “Kurdistan Rising: Considerations for the Kurds, Their Neighbors, and the Region,” Middle East expert Michael Rubin examines the unresolved questions that would follow an independent Kurdish state, including citizenship, political structures, ...

June 30, 2016, 12:04 am, 1649680

Drafts of a thoroughgoing reform of Dodd-Frank, prepared by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, are now circulating in Washington and drawing the predictable attacks from the anti-reform caucus-otherwise known as the Progressives.

The bill, called the Choice Act, is a massive piece of work-about 500 pages-to be expected ...

June 30, 2016, 12:04 am, 1649682

Holding page for Spotlight: Kurdistan Rising?

The Kurdish drive for independence has the potential to disrupt a Middle Eastern order that has lasted more than a century. And yet, the debate both in the United States and among Kurds continues to focus almost exclusively on questions of morality and justice, ...

June 30, 2016, 12:04 am, 1649676

The terrorist attack at Istanbul’s main airport has distracted attention from the decision by Turkey and Israel to settle their dispute that erupted after the botched Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara, a ship operated by a Turkish (and Al Qaeda-linked) charity seeking to show support for and supply ...

June 30, 2016, 12:04 am, 1649677

Britons who voted to leave the European Union did so for all sorts of reasons: immigration fears, English nationalism, economic and cultural nostalgia, post-recession funk, and so on. But many “Leave” voters are people who think life in Britain is getting worse year after year. They are highly skeptical of ...

June 30, 2016, 12:04 am, 1649678

The job of any national leader is first and foremost to provide security for the citizens of his or her country. Yesterday’s devastating terrorist attack on Istanbul’s main airport makes clear that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is not up to the task. After all, he has dominated his country for ...

June 30, 2016, 12:04 am, 1649679

When New York City launched its war on poverty in 2006, Mayor Michael Bloomberg began a city-wide campaign the likes of which no other city, state or the federal government had seen in decades. Through its flagship agency – the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) – the city launched ...

June 30, 2016, 12:04 am, 1649675

Cambridge professor Robert Tombs, much admired here at AEIdeas, specializes in British and French history, and the two nations’ own “special relationship.” (I highly recommend his “That Sweet Enemy: Britain and France: The History of a Love-Hate Relationship.” while Jim Pethokoukis might recommend The English and Their History.)

He ...

June 30, 2016, 12:04 am, 1649673

Americans today are economically anxious and frustrated. In an effort to address this problem, the Conservative Reform Network has developed “Room to Grow,” a series of policy proposals that aim to strengthen the American economy, expand the middle class, and create opportunity for all Americans.

Join AEI and the Conservative Reform ...

June 30, 2016, 12:04 am, 1649674

Tomorrow, June 30, marks the 215th anniversary of the birth of the great French classical liberal economist Frédéric Bastiat (born June 30, 1801) whom economist Joseph Schumpeter called the “most ...

June 29, 2016, 8:34 pm, 1649656
A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssThe US Should Have 10,000 Members of Congress

June 29, 2016, 6:44 pm, 1649634

June 29, 2016, 6:44 pm, 1649635

June 29, 2016, 6:34 pm, 1649633

June 29, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1649631
(June 29, 2016 05:15 PM, by Scott Sumner) Timothy Lee has an excellent new post: Brexit isn't the most serious threat to the EU -- the euro is One surprising thing about Britain's vote to leave the EU is that the British economy has been doing better than... (0 COMMENTS)

June 29, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1649630
Some of our wisest political observers informed us that Brexit would be great news for Donald Trump, because it shows (somehow) that there may be more support here than expected for his nationalist message of restoring American greatness through restrictionist immigration policies and turning the clock back on globalization. So ...

June 29, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1649627

Tomorrow, June 30, marks the 215th anniversary of the birth of the great French classical liberal economist Frédéric Bastiat (born June 30, 1801) whom economist Joseph Schumpeter called the “most ...

June 29, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1649596

Today, we are pleased to present a guest column 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.

I see a possible way out for the trap that Brits now find themselves in, a way ...

June 29, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1649595
The Case-Shiller house price indexes for April were released yesterday. Zillow forecasts Case-Shillera month early, and I like to check the Zillow forecasts since they have been pretty close.

From Zillow: May Case-Shiller Forecast: April's Modest Monthly Slowdown Should Continue

April Case-Shiller data showed seasonally adjusted ...

June 29, 2016, 4:44 pm, 1649594

June 29, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1649593
(June 29, 2016 01:14 PM, by Emily Skarbek) Mark Blaug (1927-2011) was an economist best known for his work in history of economic thought and the methodology of economics. He was a student of George Stigler at Chicago in the 1950s and went on to teach at Yale,... (0 COMMENTS)

June 29, 2016, 3:34 pm, 1649588

I dislike the fact that I can't let this go but in September of 2015 I said this in response to that title of a Mankiw column: "I don't really understand how one can say that the Republican Party is where efficient climate policy will happen." And still, ...

June 29, 2016, 3:34 pm, 1649587

From the Huffington Post (which I try to avoid unless they are writing something funny about Exxon*):

ExxonMobil has long maintained that it supports a carbon tax in the United States.

For instance, here’s Suzanne McCarron, ExxonMobil vice president of public and government affairs, in the Los Angeles Times on Mar. ...

June 29, 2016, 3:33 pm, 1649586

Some updates on the impressive advances in robotic technology.

1. Meet the SpotMini Robot above from Boston Dynamics — it weighs 55 pounds, is all-electric (no hydraulics), runs for about 90 minutes on a charge, and is one of the quietest robots ever built. They just ...

June 29, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1649555

Today is June 29, the date in 1767 when the British Parliament began passing the Townshend Acts, a series of import taxes on the American colonies to replace the reviled stamp act. Widespread resistance to the taxation without representation led to British troops being deployed, which led to the 

June 29, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1649554

With Puerto Rico threatening to default on the most senior bonds issued by the territory, the Senate advanced legislation approved by the House to allow the island to restructure its debts under the supervision of a newly created federal board.

How did Puerto Rico end up here? Puerto Rico’s ...

June 29, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1649553

Luigi Zingales at ProMarket:

The Real Lesson From Brexit: ...What we have observed in Britain and ... in the U.S. with Trump is a growing mistrust of voters toward experts. In the Brexit debate it was hard to find any economist justifying a departure from the European Union. In fact, ...

June 29, 2016, 2:44 pm, 1649552

June 29, 2016, 2:34 pm, 1649551
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssBig GovernmentGlobal EconomyThe EU Is About Control, Not Free Trade

June 29, 2016, 2:05 pm, 1649542

Speaking at the end of a summit in Brussels where EU leaders started trying to pick through the wreckage after David Cameron’s referendum defeat, Mr Hollande warned that it would be unacceptable for clearing — a crucial stage in ...

June 29, 2016, 1:34 pm, 1649538

June 29, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1649537

For a few years nowwe have heard about a helium shortage. Whilemost of us(just me?) think of helium as that fun gas that makes things float and gives us a Donald Duck voice, helium actually has some important uses. For example, MRI's rely on helium (I'm not sure how, but ...

June 29, 2016, 1:23 pm, 1649536

The Atlanta Fed's 2015 Annual Report focused on the graying of the U.S. economy. Part of the report and a follow-up webcast discussed how aging is driving the depletion of the U.S. Social Security and Medicare trust funds.

Based on current projections from the Congressional Budget ...

June 29, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1649505
Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate decreased in May to 1.11% from 1.15% in April. Freddie's rate is down from 1.58% in May 2015.

This is the lowest rate since August 2008.

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

June 29, 2016, 12:05 pm, 1649504

The answer seems to be twenty, seventeen for personal finance.  Here is a full report on that topic (pdf).  Most of those states are in the South, plus CA, NY, IN, and MI.  Virginia is often considered the national leader with regard to actual substance and quality.

Here ...

June 29, 2016, 11:34 am, 1649500

|Peter Boettke|

This is not news, but it is worthy to note. Buchanan bequeathed $2.5 million to Middle Tennessee State University. They have created an Honors College there. In addition to watching this video, check out From Nashborough to the Nobel Prize: The Buchanans of Tennessee(Twin Oakes Press*, ...

June 29, 2016, 11:03 am, 1649468
From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Skid in May

After steadily increasing for three straight months, pending home sales letup in May and declined year-over-year for the first time in almost two years, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All four major regions experienced a cutback in contract ...

June 29, 2016, 10:44 am, 1649467

June 29, 2016, 10:34 am, 1649466
A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssMy Contributions to Entrepreneurship Theory 0 Views

June 29, 2016, 10:04 am, 1649465
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 205 of William Easterly’s 2013 book, The Tyranny of Experts (original emphasis):

The nationalist obsession ...

June 29, 2016, 9:03 am, 1649430

It’s not just your imagination. It is a lot harder to afford an apartment today than it was for your parents’ generation.

Sharp  increases in rents along with stagnant incomes over the past five years have helped create a dire situation for many of the country’s renters. A new report shows how ...

June 29, 2016, 9:03 am, 1649429

Standard & Poor’s decision to strip the United Kingdom of its AAA credit rating in the wake of the country’s vote to leave the European Union has highlighted once again the limited value of sovereign credit ratings.

Countries that have defaulted since 1975 had non-investment credit rating grades (below BBB) ...

June 29, 2016, 9:03 am, 1649428
The BEA released the Personal Income and Outlays report for May:

Personal income increased $37.1 billion, or 0.2 percent ... according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $53.5 billion, or 0.4 percent.
Real PCE -- PCE adjusted to remove price changes ...

June 29, 2016, 8:44 am, 1649427

June 29, 2016, 8:04 am, 1649426
(Don Boudreaux)

My student Mark Lutter has a new blog – Free Cities Initiative – that will be excellent reading.  (Reason’s Brian ...

June 29, 2016, 7:34 am, 1649422

"Half of People Who Have Heart Attacks Don't Even Know It".

"Half of heart attack victims wait an hour before seeking help: Doctors warn that not enough people know the signs despite delays reducing the chance of survival".

"Could this widely used calculator be needlessly driving people to take

June 29, 2016, 7:34 am, 1649421

Maybe this happens at Jiffy Lubeonly once in a several hundred million times, but . . . it's not good.

June 29, 2016, 7:34 am, 1649420

One surprise for me: Lexus was 28th lowest out of 30.

June 29, 2016, 7:34 am, 1649419
Alexander Kroeger and Asani Sarkar

The Federal Open Market Committee implements monetary policy by ...

June 29, 2016, 7:23 am, 1649418

In a recent post, we looked at the advantages of free movement of labour. But, what about the problems which might arise from free movement of labour?

Firstly, free movement of labour depends on the area in question. To make an easy contrast, initially, the EU was free movement of ...

June 29, 2016, 7:23 am, 1649417

To what extent was Labour’s remain campaign insufficient?

It’s hard to say. Labour voters did vote 63% to remain, which compares to SNP (64%), Greens (75%) and Lib Dems (70%) and 42% Conservative. 4% for UKIP. How UK voted

Pros of campaign It started well with message that social and economic problems ...

June 29, 2016, 7:03 am, 1649399

When European Union negotiators sit down to talk trade deals, they have long been able to claim to represent the largest economy in the world. With all its member countries, the economy of the EU is larger than the United States and larger than China, by most measures.

Brexit is set to

June 29, 2016, 7:03 am, 1649398
From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 2.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending June 24, 2016.
The Refinance Index decreased 2 percent from ...

June 29, 2016, 6:35 am, 1649397

The search for a new England manager, new Tory leader and perhaps new Labour leader too brings an under-appreciated question into focus: what exactly can leadership achieve?

In the Times today, Matthew Syed decries the “ludicrous idea that everything would be well if only we could find ...

June 29, 2016, 5:34 am, 1649396

"If you've ever been told that cooking 'burns off' any alcohol in the food you're eating, be forewarned: That's entirely untrue."

June 29, 2016, 5:03 am, 1649379

Although the data for recent months is still preliminary, it appears that the rapid inflation phase of the second bubble for new home prices in the U.S. ended in September 2015.

The second bubble for new home prices in the U.S. had gone through two primary ...

June 29, 2016, 4:05 am, 1649378

Offhand I can think of at least four.  I would suggest these as options to consider, rather than verified:

1. The comparative advantage of the largest nations is greater than before.  The UK stands relatively powerless vis-a-vis the EU, and the EU itself may be dissolving or at least weakening.  ...

June 29, 2016, 3:03 am, 1649362

June 29, 2016, 3:03 am, 1649361

Tim Duy:

Powell First Out Of The Gate, by Tim Duy: The first Fed speaker of the post-Brexit era delivered a decidedly dovish message. Confirming the expectations of market participants, Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell made clear that the Fed was in a holding pattern until the ...

June 29, 2016, 2:05 am, 1649358

Jacob Levy has a very good post on this topic, here is one bit from it:

There’s a level of popular belief that the EU enforces illiberal and market-unfriendly policies on Britain. On the fiscal side, here’s a comparison of British public spending as a share of GDP ...

June 29, 2016, 1:33 am, 1649357

….. is from Ludwig von Mises writing in his 1947 book “Planned Chaos” (emphasis mine):

In the market economy the consumers are supreme. Their buying and their abstention from ...

June 29, 2016, 12:34 am, 1649345

In Pennsylvania today Donald Trump said, “When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing.”

This is false. President Bush imposed tariffs on imported steel in 2002. A month ago the Obama Administration imposed duties on Chinese steel of more than 200 percent and ...

June 29, 2016, 12:04 am, 1649344
(June 29, 2016 02:15 AM, by David Henderson) Last Friday, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman gave a talk at the Naval Postgraduate School, where I teach, and I had a front-row seat. Here are some impressions and responses to his talk. First, I arrived with a bias... (0 COMMENTS)

June 29, 2016, 12:04 am, 1649343
It is pretty clear who voted to stay and who voted to leave the EU in England. Hat Tip to Sam Wang Princeton Election Consortium Brexit survey of the day. “The UK voters who dominated the vote to Leave are also the ones who have to live with the outcome ...