Economics Roundtable

NOTICE 4/30/18

The Economics Roundtable is back. The technical problem that has limited the set of blogs has been resolved. The RSS feed is, however, still not working.

Flushing caches will likely cause some old posts to show up for a day or two.


Employment as a Percentage of Population

The graph below shows employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old.


Click on the image to get a bigger version.


March 2017 Payroll Employment

Payroll employment has not grown impressively since 2000. Some baby-boomers retired, but that does not totally account for this graph.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


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.


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.


RSS Feed

- Recent Entries


November 21, 2018, 8:35 am, 1923067
The DOL reported:

In the week ending November 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 224,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 5,000 from 216,000 to 221,000. The 4-week moving average was 218,500, an ...


November 21, 2018, 8:04 am, 1923061

As Americans scour the grocery stores and markets for ingredients for their Thanksgiving feasts, something they may not realize is they are paying less for Thanksgiving dinner in 2018 than they did 32 years ago. Something to be thankful for indeed.


November 21, 2018, 7:52 am, 1923060
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November 21, 2018, 7:48 am, 1923052

Imagine if an alien came to earth and told us some new scientific fact that no human had ever known. Artificial intelligence is starting to do just that. Computers and AI have long given us solutions to problems that humans could not have worked out for themselves but AI ...


November 21, 2018, 7:32 am, 1923051

The widespread selling in equity markets around the world has left most regions in the red for year-to-date performance, based on a set of exchange-traded funds as of yesterday’s close (Nov. 20). The conspicuous exception: stocks in the Middle East. The US market, which has fallen sharply in recent weeks, ...


November 21, 2018, 7:28 am, 1923047

Last week, a team of researchers under the auspices of the Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH) at Oxford University published an article in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE. The article purports to calculate “economically optimal tax levels for 149 world ...


November 21, 2018, 7:28 am, 1923046

Last week, a team of researchers under the auspices of the Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH) at Oxford University published an article in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE. The article purports to calculate “economically optimal tax levels for 149 world ...


November 21, 2018, 7:23 am, 1923045
October housing permits and starts flat vs. trend This morning’s report on housing permits and starts will do nothing to stop the now-received wisdom that higher interest rates, higher prices, (and the impact of the cap on the mortgage tax deduction) has caused this most important cyclical market to cool. ...


November 21, 2018, 7:10 am, 1923032

This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

The U.S. economy looks great. But markets tumbled Tuesday, wiping out yearly gains for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average. Just some jitters or do investors know something we don’t? 

Good morning. ...


November 21, 2018, 7:04 am, 1923031
From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease Slightly in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 0.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 16, 2018. This week’s results do not include an adjustment ...


November 21, 2018, 6:13 am, 1923016

Trump inclined to give Saudis a pass on Khashoggi killing: The Hill
Trump responds to special counsel over alleged Russian meddling: BBC
Stock market’s slide may be a warning on the economy: NY Times


November 21, 2018, 6:10 am, 1923008

Yet another data point to show the Carolinas are, well, different.

Happy Turkey Day, y'all. (Posting will resume on Monday.)

   


November 21, 2018, 6:09 am, 1923007

Excellent review, in Quillette, here is part of the closing sequence:

Ultimately, absorbing the thesis of Stubborn Attachments would entail a radical loss of purpose for the politically-minded among us. The small, short-term policy fights that energize us most are precisely the ones from which, on Cowen’s account, we should abstain entirely. ...


November 21, 2018, 6:04 am, 1923006

The US State Department funds Freedom House’s annual Freedom on the Net report to the tune of about half a million dollars annually. Over the years, the report provided valuable information and comparisons of different countries, particularly highlighting individuals and groups persecuted online by ...


November 21, 2018, 5:49 am, 1923002

"Monday night’s masterpiece showed how the best teams allocate resources on both sides of the ball—and how the league’s brightest minds use them".

  


November 21, 2018, 5:49 am, 1923001

Sigh.

    Related Stories"Amaz-in! Forklift ...


November 21, 2018, 5:49 am, 1923000

I'm not convinced they'll figure it out, but I wish 'em luck.

    


November 21, 2018, 5:29 am, 1922996

The driver had a really bad day. With video clip.

(Assuming it's not fake. The guys at the bottom of the screen move awfully fast.)

  


November 21, 2018, 4:37 am, 1922987

“I’ve never seen things this bad,” Altom said. “I know several farmers who hired lawyers, to see if they can sue over the [soybean and corn storage] pricing and fees issues.”

That’s from a Reuters article entitled Harvesting in a trade war: U.S. crops rot as storage costs soar ...


November 21, 2018, 3:29 am, 1922983

We're going to tie something that we learned during 2009's Thanksgiving to China's trade war strategy with the U.S. in this article, but we first need to set the stage for that lesson by examining an alleged mistake that China's leaders have made.

China's leaders are ...


November 21, 2018, 3:29 am, 1922982

We're going to tie something that we learned during 2009's Thanksgiving to China's trade war strategy with the U.S. in this article, but we first need to set the stage for that lesson by examining an alleged mistake that China's leaders have made.

China's leaders are ...


November 21, 2018, 2:39 am, 1922972

The DAWN Café is an upcoming trial project that will test an inclusive working environment. The café will seemingly be staffed with robots that will wait on you by bringing you your coffee and asking if you need anything. But if you think this is another example of robots coming ...


November 21, 2018, 1:08 am, 1922965

From Kelly Crow at the WSJ:

New artists who show their work early in a relatively small network of 400 venues—like Gagosian Gallery or the Guggenheim Museum—are all but guaranteed a successful art career, the study said. By contrast, artists who exhibit mainly in lower-level galleries and ...


November 20, 2018, 10:05 pm, 1922942
Wednesday:
• At 7:00 AM ET, The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

• At 8:30 AM, The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for 213 thousand initial claims, down from 216 thousand the previous week.


November 20, 2018, 9:53 pm, 1922941

[I'm not fully happy with this post. I think it does an OK job of explaining SRAS shocks that the central bank accommodates. But it doesn't say what happens when the central bank does not accommodate SRAS shocks. And I would like to integrate George Selgin's ...


November 20, 2018, 8:34 pm, 1922924
I have had enough court time to last a life time. While mine was not fun and it was a battle, this I find hilarious. It is a well placed shot across the bow of someone who believes they are impervious to society, the courts, and morality. The census case ...


November 20, 2018, 8:09 pm, 1922920

The news in Latin America this year has brought two reminders that Latin America's stringent gun controls have not stemmed the growing homicide problem in many parts of the region.

The first is that homicides reached new highs in Mexico this year , reaching record levels not seen ...


November 20, 2018, 5:24 pm, 1922871
Update: Watching existing home "for sale" inventory is very helpful. As an example, the increase in inventory in late 2005 helped me call the top for housing.

And the decrease in inventory eventually helped me correctly call the bottom for house prices in early 2012, see: The ...


November 20, 2018, 4:05 pm, 1922844

November 20, 2018, 3:43 pm, 1922838

It is all too common for the global economy to be confronted with a variety of risks. However, as we approach 2019, there would seem to be two qualitative and disturbing differences in the risks now besetting the global economic recovery.

The first is that there is a higher-than-usual chance that ...


November 20, 2018, 3:23 pm, 1922836
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November 20, 2018, 3:08 pm, 1922824

By the "benevolent nature of capitalism," I mean the fact that it promotes human life and well-being and does so for everyone. There are many such insights, which have been developed over more than three  centuries, by a series of great thinkers, ranging from John Locke to Ludwig von Mises and ...


November 20, 2018, 2:10 pm, 1922794

Here is the video, link corrected, note it has hardly any overlap with my earlier Conversations with Tyler with Paul.  And the questions go in both directions.

The post My new two-way interview with Paul Krugman appeared first on Marginal ...


November 20, 2018, 2:06 pm, 1922793
Yesterday the NAHB reported that builder confidence declined sharply to 60 in November from 68 in October.

Here are some interesting comments on confidence via twitter from John Burns, CEO of John Burns Real Estate Consulting (a premier RE consulting firm).

John Burns wrote:


November 20, 2018, 1:12 pm, 1922767
A


November 20, 2018, 1:08 pm, 1922746

November 20, 2018, 12:43 pm, 1922741
A


November 20, 2018, 12:43 pm, 1922740
A


November 20, 2018, 12:39 pm, 1922730

These “grinders” — a slang term for biohackers who use themselves as laboratories — aren’t satisfied with making trips to the robot red-light district to consort with increasingly realistic sex machines. Impressive smart sex toys might be fine for the general public looking to spice things up in the bedroom. They’re ...


November 20, 2018, 12:39 pm, 1922729

Mainstream opinion writers have opined that Bitcoin mining is too energy intensive. They say it contributes to climate change, or that it simply takes more energy than a monetary system is justified in taking, and is a "potentially catastrophic energy guzzler." Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are ...


November 20, 2018, 11:43 am, 1922706

After you register for the event, you will receive an email with further instructions. If you do not receive this email, please check your spam filter and then email Neil Filosa at Neil.Filosa@aei.org.

Join AEI’s Center on Housing Markets and Finance co-director Edward Pinto and senior research analyst Tobias Peter ...


November 20, 2018, 11:28 am, 1922699

From Seth Gershenson, Cassandra M.D. Hart, Joshua Hyman, Constance Lindsay and Nicholas W. Papageorge:

We examine the impact of having a same-race teacher on students’ long-run educational attainment. Leveraging random student-teacher pairings in the Tennessee STAR class-size experiment, we find that black students randomly assigned to a ...


November 20, 2018, 11:28 am, 1922698

From Seth Gershenson, Cassandra M.D. Hart, Joshua Hyman, Constance Lindsay and Nicholas W. Papageorge:

We examine the impact of having a same-race teacher on students’ long-run educational attainment. Leveraging random student-teacher pairings in the Tennessee STAR class-size experiment, we find that black students randomly assigned to a ...


November 20, 2018, 11:08 am, 1922681

Here is the video, note it has hardly any overlap with my earlier Conversations with Tyler with Paul.  And the questions go in both directions.

The post My two-way interview with Paul Krugman appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.


November 20, 2018, 11:03 am, 1922680

Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force on September 14th, 2001, nearly seventeen years prior to the month that the American people elected 80 military veterans to represent them in Congress. When the 116th Congress convenes on January 3rd, 2019, nearly half of the military veterans ...


November 20, 2018, 10:35 am, 1922664
Earlier: Housing Starts Increased to 1.228 Million Annual Rate in October

Housing starts in October were slightly below expectations, however starts for August and September were revised up. Overall this was close to expectations.

The housing starts report released this morning showed starts were up 1.5% in ...


November 20, 2018, 10:34 am, 1922663

November 20, 2018, 10:34 am, 1922662

This Thanksgiving post has been an annual tradition at CD and I feature a slightly revised version again this year!

Like in previous years, most ...


November 20, 2018, 10:04 am, 1922651
Resident Fellow Marc Thiessen discusses the Democratic candidates who could challenge Trump on Fox News' 'Fox News at Night with Shannon Bream.'


November 20, 2018, 9:44 am, 1922639
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to USA Today:

Glenn Reynolds correctly ...


November 20, 2018, 9:43 am, 1922638


November 20, 2018, 9:43 am, 1922637
Good payroll reports will probably coninue until next spring One of my continuing mantras over the years has been that spending leads hiring. It is simply demonstrable fact that, going back over 50 years, upward or downward changes in trend in consumer spending as revealed by retail sales, happen before ...


November 20, 2018, 9:23 am, 1922627

Supervised learning, the most developed form of machine learning, starts with the preparation of labeled training data that are rich and representative (e.g., a large number of typical “spam” or “normal” emails). The machine teaches itself with these examples, such that it can label new data (i.e., new emails) that ...


November 20, 2018, 9:23 am, 1922626

Supervised learning, the most developed form of machine learning, starts with the preparation of labeled training data that are rich and representative (e.g., a large number of typical “spam” or “normal” emails). The machine teaches itself with these examples, such that it can label new data (i.e., new emails) that ...


November 20, 2018, 9:04 am, 1922613
From the Census Bureau: Permits, Starts and Completions

Housing Starts:
Privately‐owned housing starts in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,228,000. This is 1.5 percent above the revised September estimate of 1,210,000, but is 2.9 percent below the October 2017 rate of 1,265,000. ...


November 20, 2018, 8:42 am, 1922612

Nick Cohen makes a good point:

Political correspondents, who couldn’t find a big picture in a multiplex, buzz around Westminster hyperventilating about the number of letters sent to the 1922 Committee, and the replacement of minister X with junior minister Y, as if it mattered in ...


November 20, 2018, 7:44 am, 1922582
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 74 of F.A. Hayek’s brilliant 1945 lecture “Individualism: True and False,” as this ...


November 20, 2018, 7:33 am, 1922581

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has released its 22nd annual edition of  National Health Expenditure Trends covering the period 1975 to 2018 and the basic highlights are as follows:

Total health expenditure is expected to reach $253.5 billion or $6,839 per Canadian in 2018. In 2018, total health expenditure ...


November 20, 2018, 7:32 am, 1922579

The hard data on the US housing market has been weakening for most of this year but the blowback for sentiment in the homebuilder industry has been mild – until now.

The Housing Market Index (HMI), a monthly benchmark of survey results, fell in the November update to ...


November 20, 2018, 7:32 am, 1922580

The hard data on the US housing market has been weakening for most of this year but the blowback for sentiment in the homebuilder industry has been mild – until now.

The Housing Market Index (HMI), a monthly benchmark of survey results, fell in the November update to ...


November 20, 2018, 7:28 am, 1922573

I met Daniel Lahoud in Rosario (Argentina) in 2008. He had submitted a very interesting paper to the International Conference I organize every two years – “The Austrian School of Economics in the 21st Century.” From then on he had participated in every Austrian Conference with the exception of 2014. That ...


November 20, 2018, 7:10 am, 1922558

This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

U.S. housing starts may rebound a little in October but that won’t signal liftoff for the housing industry. The sector has been a drag on the economy and is likely to stay ...


November 20, 2018, 6:10 am, 1922546

If true, this is good news: "We have the tools nowadays to postpone aging considerably."

   


November 20, 2018, 6:10 am, 1922545

John Tamny, excellent as usual.

Crucial here is what the ad says about successful businesses more broadly. It’s a very important reminder that big businesses are that way precisely because they meet the needs of the greatest number of people.

If anyone doubts the above tautology, ...


November 20, 2018, 6:10 am, 1922544

George Will, reviewing work by Philip Howard.

The nation that built the Empire State Building in 410 days during the Depression and the Pentagon in 16 months during wartime recently took nine years just for the permitting of a San Diego desalination plant. Five years and 20,000 ...


November 20, 2018, 6:10 am, 1922543

"Duke Engineering student's bright idea could save university millions".

Follow up.

    


November 20, 2018, 6:04 am, 1922542

In February, AEI hosted an event with Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) to discuss their Cyber Shield Act (S. 2020 and H.R. 4163) and efforts to improve Internet of Things (IoT) cybersecurity. As I’ve written previously, cybersecurity has traditionally focused ...


November 20, 2018, 6:04 am, 1922541

The new version of the First Step Act, endorsed by President Trump last week, is that rarest of Washington happenings: a compromise bill that actually raises the bar rather than settling for the lowest common denominator. In July, AEI Domestic Policy Director Ryan Streeter and I wrote ...


November 20, 2018, 5:51 am, 1922540

Federal judge bars Trump administration from enforcing asylum ban: Fox
Pelosi’s bid for Speaker on the House in jeopardy: Politico
Trump set to list Venezuela as state sponsor of terrorism: The Hill
Parts ...


November 20, 2018, 5:50 am, 1922533

Many states are experiencing rapid labor-force gains as the economic expansion hums along. In Wyoming and West Virginia, the situation couldn’t be more different.

Since the recession ended in June 2009, Wyoming’s labor force has contracted by 5.1%, the biggest drop of any state in the nation during this period. West Virginia ...


November 20, 2018, 5:49 am, 1922531

Sounds like a fine idea to me.

While the current number of physicians is not adequate to meet America’s need for primary care (and the future looks even bleaker), there is a way to expand the capacity of the nation’s primary care workforce by using nurse practitioners ...


November 20, 2018, 5:25 am, 1922525

That’s the title of a new report published by a consortium of European academic institutes, and written by Benedikt Zoller-Rydzek and Gabriel Felbermayr. I don’t have a problem with the analysis, which is mostly straightforward. It’s just a problem with the title.

The paper is really a quantitative analysis ...


November 20, 2018, 5:05 am, 1922518
This topic video looks at trends in UK youth unemployment, some of the causes of a high youth jobless rate, the economic and social consequences and some of the policy options to help reduce the rate of long term youth unemployment in the British economy.


November 20, 2018, 5:05 am, 1922517

The J Curve effect a depreciation in the exchange rate can cause a deterioration of the current account in the short-term (because demand is inelastic). However, in the long-term, demand becomes more price elastic and therefore, the current account begins to improve.

The J-Curve is related to the Marshall-Lerner condition, which ...


November 20, 2018, 3:48 am, 1922502

When the popular BBC TV program The Travel Show introduced Taiwan to its viewers, it failed to mention the island’s food, the Liberty Times noted Thursday.

The show visited the Anping Fort in Tainan, the brand new Weiwuying arts center in Kaohsiung, the sunrise and the tea plantations near Alishan, ...


November 20, 2018, 3:29 am, 1922497

There's a long list of popular products and institutions that Millennials are purportedly killing. Beer. Department stores. Bar soap. Movies. The National Football League. Sex. The ...


November 20, 2018, 3:29 am, 1922496

There's a long list of popular products and institutions that Millennials are purportedly killing. Beer. Department stores. Bar soap. Movies. The National Football League. Sex. The ...


November 20, 2018, 2:34 am, 1922489

Eliminating all student debt has become a fashionable idea on the left, prompting New York Times opinion columnist David Leonhardt to remind progressives that wiping away $1.5 trillion in student loans would be, in his words, “a giant welfare program for the upper middle class.”

He’s correct. An analysis ...


November 20, 2018, 1:08 am, 1922478

COWEN: Given all the data that search companies and some of the other major tech companies have, why aren’t they bundled with hedge funds?

SCHMIDT: What do you mean by bundled?

COWEN: Well, literally in the ...