The Scout Report for Business & Economics - September 25, 1997

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

September 25, 1997

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The target audience of the new Scout Report for Business & Economics is faculty, students, staff, and librarians in business and economics. Each biweekly issue offers a selective collection of Internet resources covering topics in the field that have been chosen by librarians and content specialists in the given area of study.

The Scout Report for Business & Economics is also provided via email once every two weeks. Subscription information is included at the bottom of each issue.

In This Issue
The Scout Report
* Research * Current Awareness
* Learning Resources * New Data
* General Interest * In the News

Report of Condition and Income Database--FRB
The Report of Condition and Income database, provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, contains financial data for all banks regulated by the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Comptroller of the Currency. Merger Data contains information on all "bank acquisitions and mergers since 1985." The Merger Data is available in either ASCII or SAS format. Quarterly Call Report Data contains "income and balance sheet items for all the banks" from the first quarter of 1989. The data are on an individual bank basis and are downloadable in zipped SAS transport data file format. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

World Competitiveness On-line
This site houses the on-line version of the World Competitiveness Yearbook published by IMD (International Institute for Management Development). The Yearbook aims to "capture in a single index the capacity of a country's economic structure to promote growth." The index of competitiveness is based on 244 indicators of international competitiveness which are grouped into eight factors: domestic economy, internationalization, government, finance, infrastructure, management, science and technology, and people. A total of 46 countries consisting of the 28 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and 18 newly industrializing and emerging countries are ranked. At the site, the overall rankings, rankings in each of the factors and individual country profiles are available. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Economics of Networks [.pdf, .ps]
Nicholas Economides of the Stern Business School at New York University has assembled a "collection of information on economic issues of networks, such as the internet, telephone and fax communications networks, the railroad network, the airline network, and financial exchange and credit card networks." The site contains a large collection of research papers on networks, compatibility, and related issues; and on financial networks and electronic trading written by Economides in collaboration with other researchers. Visitors to the site can choose to read the abstracts online or download papers (in Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] or Postscript format). In addition, there is also an extensive bibliography. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Econ Data and Links
The Econ Data and Links site is maintained by Dr. John A. Shaw of California State University, Fresno. The site was created to provide quick access to the latest economic statistics. The main part of the site is devoted to links to United States data sources covering population, labor force and earnings, productivity, income and wealth, income distribution, poverty, national income statistics, federal finance, monetary aggregates, interest rates, prices, exchange rates and trade. There are also selected links to international data and California state data. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Compendium of Sustainable Development Indicator Initiatives and Publications
Bellagio Principles [RealAudio]
Sustainable Development Principles
The Compendium of Sustainable Development Indicator Initiatives and Publications site is jointly developed by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Environment Canada, Redefining Progress, and the World Bank. It provides an "information base of indicator initiatives being carried out at the international, national and provincial/territorial/state levels in the context of sustainable development." The site provides a search engine that allows users to query the 110 indicator initiatives in the Compendium. Each entry in the compendium provides information on the aim and nature of the project, contact person at the organization and a list of relevant publications. The Bellagio Principles (available in text and as a RealAudio multimedia presentation) provide "guidelines for the practical assessment of progress towards sustainable development." These principles were developed by an international group of researchers in 1996. The Sustainable Development Principles site contains a general collection of Principles for Sustainable Development provided by IISD and other organizations/institutions from around the world. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Dairy Market News--AMS [.pdf]
Monthly and Annual Averages [.pdf]
The Agricultural Marketing Service of the US Department of Agriculture has made available (Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format only) this weekly report, which is an indispensible resource for dairy market analysts. It tracks trends in the butter, cheese, fluid milk, nonfat dry milk, whey and casein markets, on a national and regional basis. Though certainly not aimed at the casual reader, this is probably the best place to keep current of market developments. Weekly, monthly, and annual pertinent statistical average tables (mostly prices) are also available. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

Learning Resources
Essential Principles of Economics: A Hypermedia Text
Roger A. McCain, Professor of Economics at Drexel University, has made available the lecture notes for his Principles of Economics (Microeconomics and Macroeconomics) course. Topics covered in the microeconomics section include demand and supply, elasticity, market structure, public goods and externalities, and factor markets. The macroeconomics portion of the lecture notes contain information on measuring the economy, economic growth, money, trade, the Keynesian model, rational expectations and policy ineffectiveness, and theories of unemployment. Tables and diagrams are also included. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

David Backus Home Page [.ps]
David Backus, Professor of Economics and Finance at Stern Business School, New York University, has provided the course materials for his MBA course on debt instruments on the web. The syllabus, lecture notes (160 pages), reviews, assignments and exams are all available in PostScript format. The site also contains a few working papers and a manuscript "Quantitative Models of Bond Pricing" that is still a work-in-progress. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Economics in the News
Economics in the News is provided by W.W. Norton and the Wall Street Journal. The aim of the site is to help teachers introduce current events into the teaching of economics by providing a collection of news and articles from the WSJ that can be used for classroom discussion. Each article contains commentary linking the news to economic analysis covered in Norton textbooks. The textbooks that are supported by the site are: Principles of Microeconomics (1st and 2nd editions) and Principles of Macroeconomics (2nd edition), by Joseph E. Stiglitz; Macroeconomics (5th edition), by Robert Hall and John Taylor; and Intermediate Microeconomics (4th edition), by Hal Varian. Instructors using different textbooks should still find the site useful. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

General Interest
NonProfit Gateway
The NonProfit Gateway is meant to serve as "a one-stop site for finding federal government information of particular relevance to nonprofit organizations." Fifteen federal departments and agencies have participated in this project by creating their own NonProfit Gateways, which are linked to this site. The site contains a directory of the federal government, links to federal information clearinghouses, and information about grants and regulations. There is also a connection to the University of Massachusetts' GovBot search engine at the site. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

American City Business Journal
American City Business Journal publishes metropolitan business newspapers in 35 American cities. The main site is linked to each city's web site containing selected news, information and commentary about local businesses. Most of the news on the site is directed towards small businesses. From this site, there are links to The Real Estate Journal, Health Care Journal, Banking and Finance Journal, Tourism and Hospitality Journal, Retailing and Restaurants Journal, Demographics Journal and High Tech Journal. These are specialized journals that contain selected local news stories about the respective industries. The Journal's articles are sorted into city and industry categories, and are fully searchable. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

World Bank Group [.pdf]
The World Bank group consists of IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development); IDA (International Development Agency); IFC (International Finance Corporation); MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency); and ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes). Visitors to the site will find information on the goals and activities of these agencies. Press releases, project reports and speeches by World Bank officials are also available at the site. The highlight of the site is the publications section which contains various online versions of World Bank periodicals such as World Bank News, Environment Matters, Finance & Development (discussed in the March 21, 1997 Scout Report) and Private Sector Notes, among others. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Commodity Futures & Financial Market Charts
This site, a product of TFC Commodity Charts, provides daily, monthly and weekly price charts for various commodity and financial futures. These include grains, meats, energy, metals, exchange rate and interest rate futures. There is also a short course introducing beginners to commodity market trading. The course covers topics from the origins of commodity trading to the operations of a commodity market. Beginners will be interested in the glossary of commodity futures terms provided at the site as well. Note that these are not realtime charts. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

US Small Business Administration
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) was established by the federal government to provide assistance to small businesses. There is much useful information here on how to start a business. Resources available include a guide to create your own business plan, a list of financial and marketing assistance programs, a directory of SBA offices, and counseling and training resources. SBA also provides business-related software to be downloaded from its site and a business card exchange. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Current Awareness
Working Papers
Federal Reserve Bank System
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Working Papers [.pdf]
FRB Board of Governors Finance and Economics Discussion Series [.pdf, .ps]
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has released three new working papers covering issues of central banking, property tax and small business lending. The Board of Governors has released four new FEDS papers (No. 1997-36 to 1997-39). [THN]

International Monetary Fund
IMF Working Papers [.pdf]
IMF Papers on Policy Analysis and Assessment [.pdf]
The IMF has released six new working papers (No. 98 to No. 103) covering topics such as Japanese foreign investment, transition economics, the Middle East, corruption, EMU and exchange rates. Seven new papers on policy analysis and assessment are also available. They discuss issues such as the European Central Bank, exchange rate policy and the disinflation program in the transition economies. [THN]

Private Sector Notes--World Bank [.pdf]
New Private Sector Notes on Competition and Regulation, Finance, Power and Energy, Transport, Water and Strategy are available. [THN]

For links to additional working papers from various sources, visit the Working Papers section on the Current Awareness Resources Page. (
[Back to Contents]

Federal Reserve Bank System
Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve
District (Beige Book)
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Survey of Professional Forecasters
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Economic Policy Review [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Economic Perspectives [.pdf]
The Federal Reserve Board of Governors released the latest issue of the Beige Book (discussed in the January 24, 1997 Scout Report) on September 17. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the Third Quarter 1997 Survey of Professional Forecasters. The May/June issue of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis Review has a summary of the proceedings of the conference on Measuring Inflation and Real Growth. New issues of the Economic Policy Review and Economic Perspectives are now available. [THN]

Poverty Lines--World Bank [.pdf, compressed .ps]
The September 1997 issue of Poverty Lines "Investing in Infrastructure: A Growth Strategy that Favors the Poor?" is now available. [THN]

Petroleum 1996: Issues and Trends--EIA [.pdf, 151p.]
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) "undertook a broad analysis of rapid gasoline price run-ups, record low stock levels, rising petroleum imports, weak refining margins, high refining capacity utilization rates, and declining trading volume in futures markets" in 1996. The results are now available in this report (under Other Reports). [THN]

For links to more periodicals from various sources, visit the Periodicals section on the Current Awareness Page. (
[Back to Contents]

Books and Journals
Journal of Finance [.pdf]
Articles from the forthcoming December 1997 issue of the Journal of Finance are now available. [THN]

ECONbase is a database of 35 Economic, Econometric and Finance journals published by Elsevier. Through the database, the table of contents and abstracts of all the journals are available for browsing and searching. Journal editorial board and subscription information is available. Elsevier also provides Contents Alert Economics, "an e-mail service alerting readers to published articles in 36 economic journals published by Elsevier/North-Holland." [THN]
To subscribe send email to:
In the subject line of the message type:
subscribe casecon-c

Academia Book Releases--Baker & Taylor--September 1997
September 1997 Books in Business
September 1997 Books in Economics
Baker & Taylor's Academia site has put together a collection of newly available books in Business and Economics. [THN]

For links to tables of contents and abstracts for various journals, and new book listings, visit the Journals and Books sections on the Current Awareness Page. (
[Back to Contents]

Royal Economic Society Conference Diary
The Royal Economic Society Conference Diary page has details on forthcoming economic conferences in the United Kingdom and Europe. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

New Data
Earnings by Occupation and Education 1990
The Government Information Sharing Project of Oregon State University has provided a searchable interface for this US Census database, which covers "all persons 18 years and over in the experienced civilian labor force who worked with earnings in 1989" in the United States, all States, the District of Columbia and each metropolitan area. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

New from the Census Bureau
Public Elementary-Secondary School Systems Financial Statistics: Individual Unit Data
Who Can Afford to Buy a House in 1993?
The Census Bureau has released public education finance tables from the 1994 Annual Survey of Local Government Finances. The tables provide revenue, expenditures and debt data for public elementary-secondary school systems. Who Can Buy a House in 1993? examines "the ability of the 40 million renters in the United States in 1993 to purchase a modestly priced home." [THN]
[Back to Contents]

United States Department of Agriculture
National Agricultural Statistics Service
Economic Research Service
Via email:
The latest agricultural economic statistics and reports can be found at the above sites. These statistics and reports are available via email from Cornell University's Mann Library. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Energy Information Agency--EIA
Country Analysis Briefs
Short Term Energy Outlook Third Quarter 1997
Via email:
US Energy Information Administration Country Analysis Briefs for Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Greece have been added or updated. The September 1997 Forecast Updates for the Short Term Energy Outlook are now available. Electronic versions of the these and other reports are available via email. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Bureau of Economic Analysis
New data available at the BEA site include International Transactions, International Trade in Goods and Services, and State Per Capita Personal Income. [THN]

For links to other data sites, visit the Data section on the Current Awareness Page. (
[Back to Contents]

In the News
Welfare Reform
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
HHS Fact Sheet: on the Welfare Reform Bill (August 12, 1997)
Wisconsin Works Resource Page
Institute for Research on Poverty Focus--Spring 1997 [.pdf]
Institute for Research on Poverty Special Report 69 [.pdf, 272p.]
Evaluating Comprehensive State Welfare Reforms: A Conference
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 was passed on August 22, 1996. The Act "changed the nation's welfare system into one that requires work in exchange for time-limited assistance." An overview of the main features of the new law can be found in the US Department of Health and Human Services Fact Sheet. On September 1, 1997, Wisconsin introduced Wisconsin Works (W-2), a welfare program based on work participation to replace Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The Wisconsin Works site contains a W-2 program fact sheet, Transition Times (a monthly newsletter) and a glossary of W-2 terms. The Institute for Research on Poverty at University of Wisconsin-Madison held a welfare reform conference in March 1997. Both the summary and full proceedings of the conference are available. Note that the summary is available in Focus. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Subscription and Contact Information

To subscribe to the Scout Report for Business & Economics, send email to:
In the body of the message type:
subscribe SRBUSECON

For subscription options, send email to:
In the body of the message type:

Internet Scout team member information:

The Scout Report for Business & Economics
Brought to You by the Internet Scout Project

The Scout Report for Business & Economics is published every other Thursday by the Internet Scout Project, located in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Computer Sciences.

Susan Calcari
Jack Solock
Thiam Hee Ng
Jeannine Ramsey
Managing Editor
Assistant Editor
Production Editor

Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-1998. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the Scout Report for Business & Economics provided the copyright notice and this paragraph is preserved on all copies. The Internet Scout Project provides information about the Internet to the US research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin - Madison or the National Science Foundation.

Internet Scout
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project

Comments, Suggestions, Feedback
Use our feedback form or send email to

© 1999 Internet Scout Project
Information on reproducing any publication is available on our copyright page.