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.


Jobs

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.


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- Recent Entries


November 20, 2014, 8:44 pm, 1375352
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November 20, 2014, 7:23 pm, 1375350
Apologies, but I can't resist the prospect of using this story about a new solution to the market failure of pollution: an eco-friendly bus which has just gone into service to transport people between Bath and Bristol Airport. ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1375293
James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, at the Jackson Hole economic symposium on Aug. 21. Bloomberg News

 

ST. LOUIS–Broad expectations the Federal Reserve will start raising short-term ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1375292

A raft of settlements and criminal charges against big Wall Street firms reinforces a loss of public faith in the banking system that poses a threat to the country’s financial stability, said William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

“This loss of trust is so severe that ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1375291
In addition to housing starts for October, the Census Bureau also released the Q3 "Started and Completed by Purpose of Construction" report yesterday.

It is important to remember that we can't directly compare single family housing starts to new home sales. For starts of single family structures, ...


November 20, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1375290

Pardon me for being confused. Two weeks ago, voters turned the Senate and several state houses over to Republicans and increased the GOP majority in the House. Now, in a new Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll, (firewall) Americans have firmly embraced—a Democratic agenda.

They want more government spending on roads ...


November 20, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1375286
(November 20, 2014 06:34 PM, by David Henderson) I rarely disagree with Don Boudreaux about any economic, political, or moral issue and so in those rare cases where I do disagree, it's probably worth noting. Here's one. In a post in September, I talked about which U.S. presidents... (1 COMMENTS)


November 20, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1375221

There are five basic legal forms of business structures found in the United States: C corporations, S corporations, sole proprietorships, partnerships, and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs). In order to understand business income taxes, we can start with how the business forms are different.  We can divide the five ...


November 20, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1375220
The consumer price index’s measure for sugar and artificial sweeteners tumbled 2.2% in October and is down 3.8% from a year earlier. Getty Images

Bakers, start your ...


November 20, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1375219
In the past, the Fed adjusted rates by moving its benchmark federal funds rate, an overnight rate on interbank lending, by adding or withdrawing reserves out of the banking ...


November 20, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1375218
...but a little bit helps.



If your browser does not display the graphic the full article is here.


November 20, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1375217
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November 20, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1375216
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November 20, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1375215

IN THE mid-2000s the Federal Reserve found itself facing something of a problem. Beginning in 2004 the Fed has started raising the federal funds rate in response to strengthening economic conditions. Yet rising short-term rates did not lead to the expected increases in long-term rates. That was a problem, because ...


November 20, 2014, 4:34 pm, 1375214

The Cato Institute has organized an online forum to debate pro-growth economic policy reforms. Tax Policy Center scholars Bill Gale, Donald Marron, and Eric Toder have each contributed to the discussion.

As policy makers search for ways to raise economic growth and improve the living standards of future generations, a ...


November 20, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1375209
Let's take a look at weaker than expected reports from the Eurozone in aggregate, and France and Germany in particular.

France

The Markit Flash France PMI shows French private sector output falls for seventh successive month.

Key points:

Flash France Composite Output ...


November 20, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1375208
Suppose that upstate New York has a snow blizzard. What types of workers produce the
same level of output on such a day? I recognize that guys who operate snow plows are more productive on those days! But, there more and more indoor workers who are just ...


November 20, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1375146

After winning reelection this month, Maine’s Governor, Paul LePage, announced that he wants to completely eliminate the state’s individual income tax. He would replace the lost revenue by broadening the sales tax base.

This sort of swap is generally good tax policy. Individual income taxes have a few problems. ...


November 20, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1375145

This week Switzerland became the 52nd country to sign an OECD initiative which will enable automatic exchange of financial account information among the tax authorities of each country. That is, no more bank secrecy in Switzerland, an institution that began in 1934 partly as a way to ...


November 20, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1375144

One important common-sense taxpayer protection in the federal income tax code is inflation-indexing. Inflation indexing means that tax brackets (and other important dollar-amount features of the individual income tax, like standard deductions or personal exemptions) are revised annually to reflect ...


November 20, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1375142

ISTANBUL–Turkey’s central bank on Thursday held interest rates steady for a third consecutive month, signaling policymakers will stick with a tight stance due to the country’s stubbornly high inflation.
The Monetary Policy Committee kept the benchmark one-week repo rate unchanged at 8.25%, the central bank said in a statement on ...


November 20, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1375143

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, November 20, 2014:
Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup.

Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Fed Staff Whispering Caution in Officials’ Ears With Wary Eye on ...


November 20, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1375141

Renovation nation’s rising again.

Wednesday’s report on housing starts suggests a steady trend for construction. But new houses aren’t the only support to economic growth. Updating a bathroom or adding a deck also ...


November 20, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1375140

New figures offer the latest reminder of an apartment boom.

Housing starts fell in October because of a 15.5% drop in the multifamily sector, which is notoriously volatile. But ...


November 20, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1375139
The share of first-time home buyers has represented less than 30% of all buyers in 18 of the last 19 months, according to the National Association of Realtors.


November 20, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1375138
European Central Bank board member Yves Mersch. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

DORTMUND, Germany—The negative interest rates that some banks have started to slap on to large deposits shouldn’t ...


November 20, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1375137
The consumer price index’s measure for sugar and artificial sweeteners tumbled 2.2% in October and is down 3.8% from a year earlier. Getty Images

Bakers, start your ...


November 20, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1375136

Tim Taylor:

Encouraging Work: Tax Incentives or Social Support?: Consider two approaches to encouraging those with low skills to be fully engaged in the workplace. The American approach focuses on keeping tax rates low and thus providing a greater financial incentive for people to take jobs. The Scandinavian approach ...


November 20, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1375135
• Once again housing economist Tom Lawler's forecast of 5.31 million SAAR was closer than the consensus (5.15 million) to the NAR reported sales (5.26 million).

•The most important number in the NAR report each month is inventory. This morning the NAR reported that inventory was up 5.2% ...


November 20, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1375134
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November 20, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1375133
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November 20, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1375132
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November 20, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1375131

Readers who have not otherwise received notice in the twittersphere may be interested in this commentary at The Conversation.


November 20, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1375129

Jonathan Chapman, a job market candidate at CalTech, has a new paper (pdf) which suggests that was the case:

Many theories of democratization suggest that extending the right to vote will lead to increased government expenditure (e.g. Meltzer and Richard, 1981; Lizzeri and Persico, 2004; Acemoglu and ...


November 20, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1375128
Via Naked Capitalism: Elizabeth Warren tore into FHFA director Mel Watt over his failure to develop a program for Fannie and Freddie to provide principal modifications to underwater borrowers at risk of foreclosure. She also got in a dig for his failure to stop the agencies from pursuing deficiency judgments. ...


November 20, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1375123
Following is an email from reader David, an unemployed accountant who lives in Spain. He writes about the alleged recovery in "main street", Catalan separatism, and the rise of a far-left political party named Podemos.

David writes...

Hi Mish

I'm a long time reader of your ...


November 20, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1375064

In number of firms, pass-throughs are the dominant business type, with over 30 million tax returns in 2011. Pass-throughs are unique in that all pass-through business income is taxed at individual tax rates.

Over the last 30 years, the number of pass-throughs has increased substantially. Much of this growth ...


November 20, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1375063
European Central Bank board member Yves Mersch. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

DORTMUND, Germany—The negative interest rates that some banks have started to slap on to large deposits shouldn’t ...


November 20, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1375062

Ellie Terry and John Robertson of the Atlanta Fed:

For Middle-Skill Occupations, Where Have All the Workers Gone?: Considerable discussion in recent years has concerned the “hollowing out of the middle class.” Part of that story revolves around the loss of the types of jobs that traditionally have been ...


November 20, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1375061
The Cleveland Fed released the median CPI and the trimmed-mean CPI this morning:

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% (2.6% annualized rate) in October. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% (1.8% annualized rate) during the month. The median ...


November 20, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1375059
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November 20, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1375058
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November 20, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1375060
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November 20, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1375055
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November 20, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1375057
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November 20, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1375056
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November 20, 2014, 12:34 pm, 1375054
The first hint that the global economy’s recent weakness is creeping into the US arrived in today’s preliminary November update of the Markit US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI). This survey of business conditions in the manufacturing sector reflected slower growth for this month’s flash estimate. Dipping to 54.7, the ...


November 20, 2014, 12:05 pm, 1375051

November 20, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1375050
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

David Ignatius proposes that climate change be treated “as a moral issue – a matter like civil rights” (“The moral issue of climate change,” Nov. 19).

This comparison fails.  The core concern that sparked the civil-rights movement was simple: government-mandated racial segregation and ...


November 20, 2014, 11:33 am, 1375049
Basit Zafar and Wilbert van der Klaauw

Today, we are releasing new data on consumers’ experiences and expectations regarding credit demand. We’ve been collecting these data every four months since mid-2013, as part of our Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE). Other data sources ...


November 20, 2014, 11:23 am, 1375047
The long-term unemployed matter. That might be the conclusion from a trio of blog posts by New York Fed researchers, over at Liberty Street Economics. (The authors areRob Dent, Samuel Kapon, Fatih Karahan, Benjamin W. Pugsley, and Ayşegül Sahin.)

In the


November 20, 2014, 11:03 am, 1374984

Renovation nation’s rising again.

Wednesday’s report on housing starts suggests a steady trend for construction. But new houses aren’t the only support to economic growth. Updating a bathroom or adding a deck also ...


November 20, 2014, 11:03 am, 1374982

First-time home buyers only made up 29% of sales of previously owned homes in October, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.

The share of those buyers has represented less than 30% of all buyers in 18 of the last 19 months, the trade group said.

But chief economist Lawrence ...


November 20, 2014, 11:03 am, 1374983

New figures offer the latest reminder of an apartment boom.

Housing starts fell in October because of a 15.5% drop in the multifamily sector, which is notoriously volatile. But ...


November 20, 2014, 11:03 am, 1374981
The NAR reports: Existing-Home Sales Rise in October, First Year-Over-Year Increase since October 2013

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.26 million in October from an upwardly-revised 5.18 million in ...


November 20, 2014, 10:44 am, 1374978
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November 20, 2014, 10:44 am, 1374980
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November 20, 2014, 10:44 am, 1374979
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November 20, 2014, 10:44 am, 1374975
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November 20, 2014, 10:44 am, 1374976
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November 20, 2014, 10:44 am, 1374977
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November 20, 2014, 10:44 am, 1374974

SINCE OUR print-edition piece last week, Ukraine’s economy seems to have stabilised a little. The currency fell by about 2% this week against the dollar, much better than what happened the week before (when there was a 14% drop). Ukraine's central bank issued an optimistic press release, suggesting ...


November 20, 2014, 10:34 am, 1374973
New filings for unemployment benefits fell 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 291,000 for the week through November 15, the Labor Department reports. It’s a relatively minor change, but today’s update provides more evidence that the broad slide in jobless claims rolls on. The latest reading remains close to the 14-year ...


November 20, 2014, 10:34 am, 1374972

Julie Bindel reminds me of one of my pet theories - that nobody is much interested in politics. By nobody I don't just mean ordinary Joes and Joannas but also people who think of themselves as political, and even professional politicians.

Let's start by defining ...


November 20, 2014, 10:34 am, 1374971
Teaser:

Additional ...


November 20, 2014, 10:34 am, 1374970
Teaser:

Procedure, ...


November 20, 2014, 10:04 am, 1374966
(November 20, 2014 09:36 AM, by Art Carden) If you judge a book's quality by how frequently you come back to it or think about it, Daniel Klein's Knowledge and Coordination: A Liberal Interpretation is a very good book. I keep pulling it off the shelf for different... (0 COMMENTS)


November 20, 2014, 9:23 am, 1374963
.citation { font-style: italic; } .byline { font-style: italic; } .centeredImage { display: block !important; margin-left: auto !important; margin-right: auto !important; }

Considerable discussion in recent years has concerned the “hollowing out of the middle class.” Part ...


November 20, 2014, 9:03 am, 1374902

Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s October policy meeting said officials collectively agree that failing to hit their 2% inflation target from either above or below is equally unwelcome.

So what to make of the divergent comments on the topic by several Fed officials in recent weeks? With


November 20, 2014, 9:03 am, 1374901

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, November 20, 2014:
Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup.

Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Fed Staff Whispering Caution in Officials’ Ears With Wary Eye on ...


November 20, 2014, 9:03 am, 1374900

ISTANBUL–Turkey’s central bank on Thursday held interest rates steady for a third consecutive month, signaling policymakers will stick with a tight stance due to the country’s stubbornly high inflation.
The Monetary Policy Committee kept the benchmark one-week repo rate unchanged at 8.25%, the central bank said in a statement on ...


November 20, 2014, 9:03 am, 1374899
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): Consumer Price Index - October 2014

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items ...


November 20, 2014, 8:44 am, 1374898
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November 20, 2014, 8:34 am, 1374897
The outlook for the global economy is suffering these days, but there’s still no clear sign that the deceleration in macro activity has infected the US. Based on the latest numbers for October, the broad trend for the US remains distinctly positive. A diversified mix of economic and financial indicators ...


November 20, 2014, 8:34 am, 1374896

As expected: Paul Ryan will succeed Dave Camp as House Ways & Means Chair. Representative Kevin Brady removed himself from consideration earlier this week, though he had more committee seniority. The full House GOP conference approved its  Steering Committee’s chairmanship recommendations, including Jason Chaffetz  to replace Darrell Issa on the ...


November 20, 2014, 8:05 am, 1374895

The story is here, his book is Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China.  Previous MR coverage is here, it was one of my favorite non-fiction books of the year.


November 20, 2014, 8:04 am, 1374894
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 428 of H.L. Mencken’s indispensable 1949 collection, A Mencken Chrestomathy; specifically, it’s the final paragraph of Mencken’s spectacularly good May 27, 1935, essay in the Baltimore Evening Sun entitled “The New Deal”:

Of such sort are the young wizards who now sweat to save the plain ...


November 20, 2014, 7:33 am, 1374890

From the CDC.

Unsurprising but good to have confirmed: romaine is better for you than iceberg lettuce.

But watercress . . . watercress is a power food.


November 20, 2014, 7:33 am, 1374888

Ah, Baghdad by the Bay: I'm so glad I turned down a chance to work there.


November 20, 2014, 7:33 am, 1374889

Raleigh NC rankssecond. (Second only to the People's Republic of Ann Arbor.)


November 20, 2014, 7:33 am, 1374887

They sound like six fine nominees. (Though I saw an article recently about the Trans-Labrador Highway. It deserves at least an Honorable Mention.)


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374852

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Tuesday, November 18, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup             

Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take:Yellen is Getting the Fiscal Policy Bernanke ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374851
The National Association of Home Builders said Tuesday that its index of builder confidence in the U.S. market for new single-family homes rose by four points to a seasonally ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374850

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota worried on Tuesday that the U.S. central bank may be getting ready to end its ultra-easy money-policy stance too soon.

Speaking with reporters after an address in St. Paul, Minn., the policymaker said the same worries that caused him to dissent at the ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374849
U.S. mayors of 36 cities, including New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, shown, recently pledged to address income inequality, the report’s authors say. Getty Images

Poverty and income ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374848

A slump in bank lending across borders could give central banks’ interest-rate policies more oomph, according to a former economic adviser to President George W. Bush who now sits on the Bank of England’s rate-setting panel.

Kristin Forbes, a U.S. academic who joined the BOE’s Monetary Policy Committee in July, ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374843

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, November 19, 2014:

Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup.

Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Fed Coming Under Pressure From Both Left and Right BOJ Governor Says ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374842
Median new-home sizes had been on a general upward swing since 2012 as builders focused on building increasingly larger, more expensive homes. Getty Images (2013)

Newly built, ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374844
The Federal Reserve's October minutes could illuminate a path forward on the rate debate.


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374846
The producer-price index for final demand, which measures changes in the prices firms receive for their goods and services, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in October from a month ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374847
The jobless rate for Americans aged 20 to 24 was 10.1% in October, while the rate for workers between the ages of 25 and 34 was 6.1%, both higher ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374841
New Fed research finds there is little evidence that workers who are out of a job for a prolonged period contribute any less to inflation trends than those who ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374845
Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, gestures as he speaks during a news conference in Tokyo on Nov. 18. Bloomberg News

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374835
A woman passes an advertisement outside a fast food outlet last year in Bristol, England, when the government debuted a TV ad to promote healthy eating in England.


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374834
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

An almost 10% year-on-year increase in Japanese exports in October, to their highest level since 2008, has raised hopes that Japan’s cheap-yen policy may finally be ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374833

Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s October policy meeting said officials collectively agree that failing to hit their 2% inflation target from either above or below is equally unwelcome.

So what to make of the divergent comments on the topic by several Fed officials in recent weeks? With


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374840

The gap between what British men and women earn has narrowed to record-low levels, the Office for National Statistics said Wednesday, but the news might not be as rosy as it appears at first glance.

Median hourly ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374836
A woman walks by a sign advertising sugary drinks in a Brooklyn neighborhood with a high rate of obesity and diabetes in 2013. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration tried to ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374839

The Federal Reserve released minutes for its Oct. 28-29 meeting today. A few takeaways beyond the main headlines:

EBOLA: Fed staffers took a wide view in assessing the sources of volatility in financial markets during October: “Concerns about the global economic outlook apparently helped to prompt a sharp pullback ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374837
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen arrives for a meeting in Cairns, Australia, on Sept. 20, 2014. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen had a busy ...


November 20, 2014, 7:03 am, 1374838
President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping surprised the green community and fossil-fuel industry by unveiling their targets together at a Beijing summit last week.


November 20, 2014, 6:44 am, 1374832
A majority of all Americans—regardless of race, political persuasion or walk of life—now agree on one big thing: That the country's political and economic systems are stacked against people like them.


November 20, 2014, 6:34 am, 1374831
● Flash Germany PMI: growth drops to 16-month low in Nov | Markit ● November flash PMI signals weakest eurozone growth for 16 months | Markit ● Flash China Manufacturing PMI Flat In Nov At 6-month low | Markit ● Japan Flash Manufacturing PMI shows moderate growth in November | ...


November 20, 2014, 5:23 am, 1374826
A fantastic opportunity for a current or aspiring Head of Department:Head of Economics, Oundle SchoolA dynamic leader, manager and teacher is required for September 2015 to run a lively and highly successful department -Economics is flourishing at the School, with over 100 pupils studying the subject in the Sixth Form. ...


November 20, 2014, 5:03 am, 1374782
New Fed research finds there is little evidence that workers who are out of a job for a prolonged period contribute any less to inflation trends than those who ...


November 20, 2014, 5:03 am, 1374781

The gap between what British men and women earn has narrowed to record-low levels, the Office for National Statistics said Wednesday, but the news might not be as rosy as it appears at first glance.

Median hourly ...


November 20, 2014, 5:03 am, 1374783
Median new-home sizes had been on a general upward swing since 2012 as builders focused on building increasingly larger, more expensive homes. Getty Images (2013)

Newly built, ...


November 20, 2014, 5:03 am, 1374778
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen arrives for a meeting in Cairns, Australia, on Sept. 20, 2014. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen had a busy ...


November 20, 2014, 5:03 am, 1374780

The Federal Reserve released minutes for its Oct. 28-29 meeting today. A few takeaways beyond the main headlines:

EBOLA: Fed staffers took a wide view in assessing the sources of volatility in financial markets during October: “Concerns about the global economic outlook apparently helped to prompt a sharp pullback ...


November 20, 2014, 5:03 am, 1374777
A woman walks by a sign advertising sugary drinks in a Brooklyn neighborhood with a high rate of obesity and diabetes in 2013. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration tried to ...


November 20, 2014, 5:03 am, 1374779
President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping surprised the green community and fossil-fuel industry by unveiling their targets together at a Beijing summit last week.


November 20, 2014, 5:03 am, 1374776
A woman passes an advertisement outside a fast food outlet last year in Bristol, England, when the government debuted a TV ad to promote healthy eating in England.


November 20, 2014, 5:03 am, 1374775
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

An almost 10% year-on-year increase in Japanese exports in October, to their highest level since 2008, has raised hopes that Japan’s cheap-yen policy may finally be ...


November 20, 2014, 5:03 am, 1374774

Needless to say, the secret to superior paper aerodynamics requires precise fabrication! (HT: Kottke)

The paper folding tool shown in the video is surprisingly affordable, as is the bag clip!


November 20, 2014, 5:03 am, 1374773

November 20, 2014, 4:44 am, 1374772
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November 20, 2014, 3:33 am, 1374768
The Wall Street Journal published a little oped on inequality. It's a much edited version of my evolving "Why and How we Care About Inequality" essay. Any writers will appreciate the pain that cutting so much caused.

As usual I can't post the whole thing ...


November 20, 2014, 3:33 am, 1374767
Chinese manufacturing has been wavering in and out of contraction since about mid-2011.

PMI, Production, New Orders



Following a 5-month stint in positive territory, the HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI shows Output contracts for the first time in ...


November 20, 2014, 3:23 am, 1374766
Details below of a terrific HOD Business & Economics opportunity at The Hollyfield School in Surbiton. If you apply, please mention you saw it here on tutor2u!


November 20, 2014, 3:23 am, 1374764
Yet another terrific HOD opportunity here, this time with our good friends at Bedford School. All the details you need below:


November 20, 2014, 3:23 am, 1374765
A new report from the OECDfocuses on the supply-side (structural) reforms that economists from the OECD believe to be necessary to sustain economic growth and development in India. the report summary can be found here and will be useful students focusing on India as part of their contextual studies on ...


November 20, 2014, 2:05 am, 1374725

I found this to be a diffuse year in movies, one where old-style mainline releases lost their grip on a lot of multiplexes and opened up the market for more quality and diversity than we have seen for a long time.  My cinematic self came away from the year quite ...


November 20, 2014, 2:04 am, 1374724
(November 20, 2014 12:18 AM, by Bryan Caplan) "I want to ask a question. What is a loophole? If the law does not punish a definite action or does not tax a definite thing, this is not a loophole. It is simply the law. Great Britain does not... (0 COMMENTS)


November 20, 2014, 1:03 am, 1374687
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

An almost 10% year-on-year increase in Japanese exports in October, to their highest level since 2008, has raised hopes that Japan’s cheap-yen policy may finally be ...


November 20, 2014, 12:05 am, 1374684

From Chris Taylor’s new How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise:

The comments section on the Marginal Revolution blog post about the Death Star calculation is a case in point.  Here, even now, sober economists [TC: is that what you ...


November 20, 2014, 12:04 am, 1374683
(November 20, 2014 12:05 AM, by Bryan Caplan) When the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy was announced in 2012, I repeatedly heard that two million would benefit. The bottom line has been far smaller: as of March 2014, 673,000 requests were filed, and just 553,000 approved. I... (0 COMMENTS)


November 19, 2014, 10:44 pm, 1374660

Admission to higher education often depends on the results of high-stakes tests, but assessing the consequences of having a ‘bad day’ on such tests is challenging. This column provides evidence from a dataset on Israeli high-school students. Random variations in pollution have measurable effects on exam performance, and these in ...


November 19, 2014, 10:44 pm, 1374659

A common view in international finance is that currency trades make money because high-interest-rate currencies tend to appreciate. This column argues that this view is flawed, suggesting that currency risk premia may be much simpler than previously thought. The carry trade has little to do with the appreciation of the ...


November 19, 2014, 9:33 pm, 1374655

1. Markets in Everything: a) Apprenticeship 2000 — “Free college, apprenticeship certification, a paycheck, and a job upon graduation,” b) the first permanent cat adoption cafe opens in Oakland, this could be the “future of pet adoption,” c) Bellhops is an on-demand moving help platform that currently employs over 10,000 ...


November 19, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1374627
From housing economist Tom Lawler:

Based on state and local realtor/MLS reports released through today, I have increased my estimate of October existing home sales as measured by the National Association of Realtors to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.31 million (my estimate in last Friday’s report ...


November 19, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1374626
Goldman Sachs has a model that divides the business cycle into four stages: early-cycle, mid-cycle, late-cycle and recession. According to Goldman economistKris Dawsey, the economy appears to be transitioning from early to mid-cycle (but not late-cycle or worse):

The likelihood of the economy showing late-cycle behavior or being in recession ...


November 19, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1374624
Professor Jeff Reimer was kind enough to send me a great example of ingenuity at work to protect natural capital in thePacific Northwest. Julian Simon would respect the salmon cannon. This video from Last Week from John Oliver tells the story.


November 19, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1374577
U.S. school children with household incomes below 130% of the federal poverty guideline have long been eligible for free school lunch and breakfast, while those with slightly higher income but still below 185% of the poverty guideline are eligible for reduced-price lunch. With a new community eligibility provision, some districts ...


November 19, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1374576
A woman walks by a sign advertising sugary drinks in a Brooklyn neighborhood with a high rate of obesity and diabetes in 2013. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration tried to ...


November 19, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1374575
A woman passes an advertisement outside a fast food outlet last year in Bristol, England, when the government debuted a TV ad to promote healthy eating in England.


November 19, 2014, 6:44 pm, 1374574
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November 19, 2014, 6:44 pm, 1374572
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November 19, 2014, 6:44 pm, 1374571

Nobel laureate Vernon Smith joins EconTalk host Russ Roberts this week on EconTalk to discuss Adam Smith's approach to economics and human behavior.

And now we'd like to hear from you...Use the prompts below to share your reactions to this week's conversation in the comments. Or use them to ...


November 19, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1374570
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November 19, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1374568
(Don Boudreaux)

On Thursday, December 4th, Todd Zywicki, a GMU colleague of mine from over in the law school, will be joined by GMU’s Pete Boettke, and Josh Wright, and the Washington Post‘s Steve Pearlstein, in a discussion of Todd’s new book, Consumer Credit and the American Economy.  The book’s message ...


November 19, 2014, 5:23 pm, 1374566
The ONS published the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings today, which contains some very useful data. For the first time, they have produced an interactive tool to help explore some of the new figures. It graphically illustrates the occupations with the highest and lowest earnings, allows the user ...


November 19, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1374505

The U.S. House of Representative’s leadership has chosen Rep. Paul Ryan to chair the House Ways and Means Committee. In the continuing debate over ways to fund the government and grow the economy, Ryan has remained a longstanding voice for reform.

The House Ways and Means Committee is ...


November 19, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1374504

The Washington Examiner yesterday published an editorial that advanced a rather contrarian idea – that certain tax breaks should be made permanent so that they can be repealed.

If this logic sounds nonsensical to you, good! It is! But that is not because the staff of the Examiner are ...


November 19, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1374502
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen arrives for a meeting in Cairns, Australia, on Sept. 20, 2014. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen had a busy ...


November 19, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1374503
President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping surprised the green community and fossil-fuel industry by unveiling their targets together at a Beijing summit last week.


November 19, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1374501

Branko Milanovic has a very nice follow-up to my column yesterday:

On Mark Thoma: marginalism, Marx etc: Mark Thoma has written a very niceblogon how Piketty’s work is transforming economics by bringing it closer too it political economy roots. I found the post excellent, and wanted just to ...


November 19, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1374500
A few key points:
• Housing permits in October were at the highest level since 2008. Last year, in 2013, there was a surge in multi-family permits in October - and that was followed by an increase for starts in November. It looks like that might happen again ...


November 19, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1374499
Sen. Elizabeth Warren made the case Wednesday that a populist economic message is attractive to voters.


November 19, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1374497
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November 19, 2014, 4:05 pm, 1374495

In a survey earlier this year by accounting and consulting firm Crowe Horwath LLP, the average full-time teller with a few years of experience earned $25,738 in total compensation, down 2.9% from the previous year and last among the 28 bank functions analyzed in the survey.

According to the latest data ...


November 19, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1374494

Image Source

Black Friday is right around the corner, and whether you’re one for camping out on Thanksgiving eve (not I!) or sitting in and enjoying some lightning fast sales on Amazon, there are some great deals to ...


November 19, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1374489

Statistics Canada has released its provisional estimates of Canadian Government Finance Statistics (CGFS) for the period 2008 to 2012. This is a move away from the Financial Management System (FMS) data that was previously published by Statistics Canada.

As described by Statistics Canada: “The FMS was founded ...


November 19, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1374486
Michael Pettis has a very interesting article on the Spanish news site ABC regarding a possible default of Spain and the eventual breakup of the eurozone.

Pettis Three Ways

His article El exceso de deuda impide el crecimiento in Spanish. His article Debt ...


November 19, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1374488
Aaron Task did a nice video interview of famed short seller Doug Kass on Yahoo! Finance. I am waiting to pull the trigger, says Kass.

Kass’s contrarian views are well known on Wall Street. Last December, he predicted that global economic growth would be subpar, even as ...


November 19, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1374487
I am seldom astonished by ridiculous Congressional proposals to waste money, but here's an entirely new idea: Congressman Suggests Moat Around White House.

Faced with an increasing number of White House intrusions that led to the resignation of a Secret Service director, a congressman on Wednesday suggested ...


November 19, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1374485

1. Sweatshop Video of the Day I. A surprising and inspiring 2012 TED Talk above on the alleged exploitation of Chinese factory workers, who we are told lead miserable and bleak lives making iPhones, Coach handbags and Nike running shoes in factory sweatshops for rich ...


November 19, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1374423

Back in 2008, one of the Tax Foundation’s tasks was to fact-check the fiscal policy statements by the candidates. We documented a lot of the misleading rhetoric and advertisements that came from both sides. Personally, most of the work we did is forgotten, but one area of the 2008 ...


November 19, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1374422
Median new-home sizes had been on a general upward swing since 2012 as builders focused on building increasingly larger, more expensive homes. Getty Images (2013)

Newly built, ...


November 19, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1374421
New Fed research finds there is little evidence that workers who are out of a job for a prolonged period contribute any less to inflation trends than those who ...


November 19, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1374419

The Federal Reserve released minutes for its Oct. 28-29 meeting today. A few takeaways beyond the main headlines:

EBOLA: Fed staffers took a wide view in assessing the sources of volatility in financial markets during October: “Concerns about the global economic outlook apparently helped to prompt a sharp pullback ...


November 19, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1374420

The gap between what British men and women earn has narrowed to record-low levels, the Office for National Statistics said Wednesday, but the news might not be as rosy as it appears at first glance.

Median hourly ...


November 19, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1374418

From Ben Craig and Sara Millington of the Cleveland Fed:

The Effect of Oil Price Declines on Consumer Prices, by Ben Craig and Sara Millington: Oil prices have declined significantly in recent weeks, reaching levels not seen in several years. At the same time, the year-over-year percent change in ...


November 19, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1374417

Paul Krugman:

Fiscal Responsibility Claims Another Victim: A few more thoughts on Japan.

The bad growth news shows, pretty clearly, that the consumption tax hike was a big mistake. It also shows, by the way, how weak the market monetarist argument — which is that fiscal policy doesn’t matter, because ...


November 19, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1374416
From the Fed: Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee, October 28-29, 2014. Excerpts:

In their discussion of the economic situation and the outlook, most meeting participants viewed the information received over the intermeeting period as suggesting that economic activity continued to expand at a moderate pace. Labor ...


November 19, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1374415
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November 19, 2014, 2:34 pm, 1374413
Teaser:

A ...


November 19, 2014, 2:05 pm, 1374411

November 19, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1374406

From a reporter:

What I'm interested in is:

1. Your reaction to the study.

2. Your assessment of local fisheries based on what you have seen working with the SAFMC and well as the sanctuary.

My reply:

1a. That is an old study. Why is it drawing interest now?