Economic chart porn

There are some things to be said for staring at scatterplots and times series plots

Calculated Risk, in case you hadn’t heard, is one of the best economics and finance blogs on the Net.

Bill at CR is a demon for generating plots:
This one is Business Outlook Survey – question is, of course, what is the instantaneous second derivative.

Or look at Government Employment – Fed, State and Local, and now, with Education sector excluded!

There is the Infamous Employment vs Recession chart

and

why you should go to university… (click to embiggen)
– modulo opportunity costs of course

CR commenters also provide high S/N, and pointers to data.
Here is the very interesting St Louis Fed employment series:

non-durable good manufacturing employment

or durable goods manufacturing employment

Er, Construction employment?!

well, it can’t be all bad, there is the New Economy, like
Information Services employment – oh dear, and note the y-axis scale…

even Financial Services?

It is all there

extractive industries has had an uptick… pretty much nothing else.

then there are the WTF series – this one is a monetary base measure

or there are the shit-scary charts: MZM – monetary velocity
i-a2f04f98ab10f803eb0cdf39ed637f2b-fredgraphMZM.jpg
click to embiggen

brings out your inner geek for endless hours of amusement

Comments

  1. #1 Matt K
    September 17, 2010

    I’ve never been an economics geek, as a lot of it seems to be smoke and mirrors to my eye (recent xkcd comics as noted in your blog notwithstanding) but….

    Could we please have a post where you give your top five economic indices, along with a short description of why you think/know they’re important? Something like Econ 101 for Astronomers?

  2. #2 Nox
    September 17, 2010

    These look vaguely scary but they’d probably mean a lot more if you included one or two line explanations of what things like monetary velocity mean.

  3. #3 Eric Lund
    September 17, 2010

    Matt: The economics profession suffers from a bad case of physics envy. I’m saying this as a physicist, but at least one economist, Andrew Lo of MIT, has admitted this (see this paper on the ArXiv).

    Many in the economics business push theories which are backed with some heavy-duty mathematics. So do physicists, but outside of string theory most theoretical physics has solid data behind it and good, falsifiable arguments for why the neglected terms are in fact negligible. Economic theories, when they bother to check against data, often spectacularly fail to explain the data, and the arguments for neglecting what they neglect, when they bother to provide them, are handwaving at best and frequently flat-out wrong.