Questions that are rarely asked

From Arnold Kling (and the graph is from Karl Smith):

I challenge any supporter of the sticky-wage story (Bryan? Scott?) to write a 500-word essay explaining how this graph does not contradict their view. If employment fluctuations consisted of movements along an aggregate labor demand schedule, then employment should be at an all-time high right now.

My view is “sticky nominal wages for some, negative AD shock, ongoing stagnation and thus low job creation, and the progress we have is in some sectors immense but typically labor-saving rather than job-creating, all topped off with a liquidity shock-induced revelation that two percent of the previous work force was ZMP.”  (Try screaming that from the rooftops.)  I read the above graph as consistent with that mixed and moderate view.  As Arnold notes, it’s harder to square with an AD-only view.  If I wanted to push back a bit on Arnold’s take, and save some room for AD stories, I would cite the “Apple Fact of the Day,” and also note that stock prices have not responded nearly as well as have measured corporate profits.  Still, we economists are not taking this graph seriously enough.

Addendum: Arnold Kling responds to responses.


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