Macroeconomic Circular Flow Visualizer — Preview Version Available

Have you ever wanted to control the economy’s leakages and injections to see what would happen to the flows of spending and income?
Wanted to see how GDP falls and the government deficit rises if households increase their rate of saving? (The so called “balance sheet recession” effect).
Wanted to see the increased leakage to the import channel (even as GDP rises) if the government cuts taxes?
Wanted to see the “S-I” identity in the context of other flows?

Now you can visualize these things and more with the

Macroeconomic Circular Flow Visualizer (preview version)

It’s the flow-centric sibling to the stock-centric Macroeconomic Balance Sheet Visualizer. Make sure to mouse over the deficits and surpluses to see the related deficits and surpluses visually highlighted — since all deficits and surpluses must sum to zero! Other diagram elements (e.g., the orange flow ratios) also show extra information when pointed at — and there’s more dynamic highlighting to come.

Here are some possible future features (these are also listed as part of the “more info” section in the visualizer). Please let me know which you think would be most valuable! (I also very much welcome other feedback and suggestions besides what’s on this list… thanks!)

  • Enhanced Scenario Modeling
    • Built in (but configurable) reaction functions between flows — for example a fall in GDP could trigger a rise in government spending due to safety net payments, a fall in investment due to less optimistic sales outlooks, a precautionary rise in the household savings rate, etc.
    • Built in modeling and visualization of macroeconomic capacity (level of unemployment, idle factories, etc).
    • Visualization of changes in GDP that are nominal versus real — i.e., show how capacity is a constraint and inflation accelerates when demand rises at full capacity.
    • Visualization of changing macroeconomic stocks (quantities) such as government debt, and related ratios such as government debt/GDP.
    • Further decomposition and illustration of dynamics between finer-grained sectors (debtor households, creditor households, businesses, etc) including changes in private sector debt.
  • Real World Data
    • Time-animated visualization of real economic data tracking the US economy (and other countries) during important historic episodes.
    • Drill-down from aggregate flows into component flows (e.g., click on “investment” flow to see fixed investment (residential & non-residential), change in inventories, etc).
  • Enhanced Visualization & Presentation
    • Have the graphical flow animations convey visually the relative sizes of the actual flow quantities in the model.
    • Visualization of flow differentials (e.g., economic growth since last time period), i.e., not just total flows.
    • Graphs floating in the diagram next to the flows to show changes over time.
    • Embellishment like animations showing movement between employment and unemployment.
    • Narrated page overview for newcomers — an annotated step-by-step guide explaining how to use the page.