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Graphic Economics

A collection of graphic representations of data by CEPR researchers on important economic issues.

Year-over-year Change in Personal Healthcare Expenditure, 2005 - 2013 Print

November 7, 2013

An important factor slowing spending on services in the third quarter was continued restraint in health care spending. Real spending grew at just a 0.9 percent annual rate in the quarter. Measured as a share of nominal GDP, spending on health care services has actually fallen slightly over the last year. If this trend continues, it will eliminate most of the long-term budget shortfall when the Congressional Budget Office incorporates it into its projections.




For more, see the latest GDP Byte.

Pending Home Sales September 2012 - 2013 Print

October 29, 2013

Pending home sales probably give the clearest evidence of continued slowing in the housing market. These numbers reflect contracts signed. Pending sales reported for September were down 5.6 percent from August and by 1.2 percent from the year-ago level. They are down 8.7 percent from the peak hit in May.


For more, read the latest edition of the Housing Market Monitor.

Part-Time Employment as Share of Total Employment, 2007-2013 Print

October 22, 2013

According to the latest jobs report, the percentage of unemployment due to people voluntary quitting their jobs rose back to 8.8 percent, tying the high for the recovery hit in June. The duration measures were little changed, although the share of the unemployed who were out of work for more than 27 weeks fell 1.0 percentage point to 36.9 percent, the lowest since October of 2009. However, this is probably more attributable to shorter benefit duration than an improvement in job prospects. The number of people working part time continued to fall back, continuing the trend of the last three years.


For more, read the latest Jobs Byte.

Three-Month Moving Average of Total New Private Housing Units Started Print

September 24, 2013

The Census Department’s report of a sharp 13.4 percent drop in new home sales in July provided a clear indication that higher interest rates were having a substantial effect. (New homes sales measure contracts signed in the month, not completed sales.) There is a similar story in housing starts. After rising sharply in 2012, starts peaked in March and have been pretty much flat in subsequent months. Residential construction may still contribute to growth in the second half of 2013 and 2014, but its impact is likely to be considerably less than in 2012 and the first half of this year.


For more, check out the latest Housing Market Monitor.

Income Share of the Top 1 Percent, 1913-2012 (annotated) Print
Written by Colin Gordon   

September 20, 2013

This graphic adds an annotated political history to the iconic (and recently-updated) Piketty and Saez data on top income shares in the U.S. The events and legislative landmarks listed here are representative rather than exhaustive. And they are meant to suggest broad policy shifts rather than direct causal relationships. But the pattern is nevertheless clear. The share of the top one percent rose during eras of tax cutting, light financial regulation (or deregulation), and labor weakness. And inequality narrowed when policy pushed in the opposite direction.

Colin Gordon is a professor of 20th Century U.S. History, at the University of Iowa and the author, most recently, of Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality.

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