Matthew Yglesias on the (Latest) Pinker Thesis
ROFLOL: Steve Pinker/Perpetual Peace Edition

The Financialization of the American Economy

FRED Graph  St Louis Fed 2

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel 1

Finance and Insurance go from 3.8% of GDP in 1960 to 6% of GDP in 1990 to 8.7% of GDP today. Real Estate (rentals, sales commissions, and imputed rent on owner-occupied housing) goes from 10.7% of GDP in 1960 to 12% of GDP in 1990 to 13.7% of GDP today.

Finance and Insurance goes from 3.5% of nonfarm payroll employment in 1960 to 4.6% of nonfarm payroll employment in 1990 to 4.3% of non farm payroll unemployment today. Real Estate grows from 1.2% to 1.5% of nonfarm payroll between 1960 and 1990s, and stays constant at 1.5% of nonfarm payroll employment between 1990 and today.

For Finance and Insurance, value added per worker goes from 1.09 times the national nonfarm average in 1960 to 1.30 times the nonfarm national average in 1990 to 2.02 times today.

What have we purchased with this rise in value added in Finance and Insurance from 3.8% of GDP two generations ago to 8.7% of GDP today?