The Scout Report for Business & Economics - October 9, 1997

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

October 9, 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

IDEAS Working Paper Information--University of Quebec at Montreal
Christian Zimmerman of the Center for Research on Economic Fluctuations and Employment (CREFE) at the University of Quebec at Montreal, has recently established this site, whose acronym stands for Internet Documents in Economics Access Service, as a new end user interface to the RePEc (Research Papers in Economics) project at the well known NetEC (discussed in the January 10, 1997 Scout Report) meta resource. IDEAS is an attempt to organize the RePEc information about research papers and make it more easily available to the end user. IDEAS contains information about an astonishing number of working papers, including BibEc, WoPEc, and EconWPA, among others. This resource may include descriptive and/or abstract information about the papers, JEL (Journal of Economic Literature) classification, and the full text of the papers themselves (in various formats). Paper information can be browsed by series or searched via an Excite engine. Users should consult the FAQ to understand the differences between this new service and other NetEC bibliographic services. [JS]
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ELDIS (Electronic Development and Environment Information System)
ELDIS is a development and environmental issues meta-site hosted by the British Library of Development Studies. It provides annotated links not only to networked information of all types, ranging from web sites to library catalogs, but also research project information, map and newspaper collections, and bibliographies as well. The ELDIS site is searchable; users can also search for full-text materials available at other sites. A browseable list covering some 60 subjects is provided. The resources at this site are all annotated and contain links to resources in related areas. [THN]
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Federal Reserve System's National Information Center of Banking Information
The National Information Center (NIC) web site contains extensive information about banks and other institutions regulated or supervised by the Federal Reserve. These include banks (including commercial and savings), savings and loan associations, credit unions and bank holding companies, among others. The information available includes balance sheets and income statements; details on the types of loans for the most recent five quarters for all institutions are available. The corporate structure and branch location of any institution can be found at the site. [THN]
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Jurgen A. Doornik Work Page for Ox, GiveWin, PcGive and PcFiml [.ps]
Jurgen A. Doornik of Nuffield College, Oxford (UK) has made Ox, an object oriented matrix programming language similar to Gauss and S-plus, available at this site. Ox is available on several platforms including Windows (PC and Alpha), MS-DOS, Linux, SunOS, Solaris, HP-UX, Unix (DEC-Alpha), Irix (SGI) and RS6000 (AIX). The console version of Ox is free for educational and research use. OxEdit, a text editor with "support for syntax highlighting, and running external tools" developed to write Ox programs is offered at this site. Note that OxEdit works only under Windows 95 and NT. The site also contains Introduction to Ox (postscript format), a hands-on guide to the Ox language. The guide contains many examples, exercises, and 30 tutorial programs for interactive learning. There are also software reviews comparing Ox to various other econometric packages such as Gauss and S-Plus. [THN]
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World Development Sources [TMS Sequoia]
World Development Sources is the "digital repository" of World Bank documents. It houses a searchable database of development-related reports produced since 1988 by the World Bank. These include Staff Appraisal Reports (SARs), World Bank President's Reports and Memoranda, Economic and Sector Work, Evaluation Reports and Studies, and Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Montreal Protocol Project documents. It also contains working papers and publications produced by the World Bank since 1993. All of these papers can be viewed online using the TMS Sequoia plug-in (available at the site for Windows and Macintosh). [THN]
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Archive of RISKWeb messages:
This is the homepage for the RISKWeb mailing list. RISKWeb is an electronic discussion list aimed at promoting the discussion of risk and insurance issues. Visitors may subscribe to the mailing list from the website or through email. All messages sent to RISKWeb are automatically indexed and archived. The site also contains useful links to resources on risk and insurance. [THN]

To subscribe, send an email to:
In the body of the message type:
subscribe riskweb
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Learning Resources
Insurance 101--Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times has begun a weekly ten-part guide to life insurance written by Kathy M. Kristof. This guide aims to educate consumers on the types of policies, how much to pay for coverage and policy extras. The first four lessons are now available. They cover issues such as the need for life insurance, the kind of insurance that you need to buy,the changing nature of insurance products, and the basics of whole life policies. Future lessons will offer a discussion of universal life policies, annuities and using insurance for estate planning. [THN]
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An Introduction to Investment Theory
Cases in Investment Management
William Goetzmann, professor of Finance and Real Estate at Yale University, has created An Introduction to Investment Theory, a hyper-text book available on the web. It covers portfolio theory, the tradeoff between risk and return, diversification, and modern asset pricing models. This book's intended audience are masters students taking Introductory Finance. Professor Goetzmann also provides nine case studies in investment management at the site. [THN]
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Introduction to Options
International Finance and Commodities Institute (IFCI) and Axone Services & Development S.A. of Switzerland have developed an on-line course on options. The course is divided into six parts: Comparing Forward, Futures and Options; Options Basics; Basic Options Pricing; Structure and Functioning of an Options Exchange; Hedging; and Trading Strategies. Many of the lessons take the form of brief introductory remarks and then interactive multiple choice questions. At the end of the course there is an interactive quiz you can take to test your knowledge. Note that some prior knowledge of options is assumed. The TermFinance site provides a glossary of financial derivatives instruments (discussed in the October 18, 1996 Scout Report) in English, German, Italian and French. [THN]
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The Dismal Scientist
The Dismal Scientist, provided by Dismal Sciences, is a web site aimed at college students interested in the US economy. The site provides a "quick summary of major economic releases, along with an economist's perspective on its implications" and a summary table of the main indicators. It also contains regional data for all 50 states, Washington D.C., and 257 metro areas which can be ranked by different criteria. Other features include historical and forecast information for various geographical level variables and an economic data series dictionary. [THN]
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General Interest
World Bank Group--IMF Annual Meetings 1997 [.pdf] [QuickTime]
The World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) held their most recent Annual Meeting in Hong Kong. The site contains the text of the Annual Meeting Speech titled The Challenge of Inclusion by John D. Wolfenshon, President of the World Bank, and the Per Jacobsson Lecture titled Asian Monetary Cooperation presented by Joseph Yam, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Speeches by Michael Camdessus, George Soros and Dato Seri Dr Mahathir Bin Mohamad (Prime Minister of Malaysia) are also available. The 1997 Annual Reports of the IMF and World Bank Group can also be viewed at the site. The Focus on Asia section contains various relevant speeches, publications, and other information on Asia produced by the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund. [THN]
[Back to Contents] Times is produced by Financial Times, a UK financial newspaper. The News and Comment section provides the main international news stories and a selection of articles from the various international editions of FT. An archive of articles from the last 30 days is available to search. In the Companies and Markets section, users can browse through company news, obtain 20-minute delayed London share prices and trading volumes, and track their equities portfolio. The Themes and Topics section contains articles on various issues such as Arts and Leisure, Britain, Business Travel, Economics, European Monetary Union, UK Personal Finance, Technology, Transport, the White Collar Industries and Work. [THN]
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EY TaxCast--Ernst & Young
EY TaxCast was developed by Ernst & Young, a large accounting firm, as a source of information for tax-related issues. Visitors to the site will find the latest news on tax-related legislation and court decisions. The site also contains a good collection of resources on international taxation, as well as the Financial Planning Reporter and the Business UpShot newsletter. The Public Forum database is provided to allow users to share and exchange views on the practices of corporate tax departments. The best part of the site is the Tax News section where you can search or browse a database of tax news. [THN]
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Antitrust Policy
The aim of Antitrust Policy is to "expose lawyers to relevant economic research; expose economists to the legal issues that arise in antitrust cases; teach students about antitrust; and ultimately, to inform public policy." It does so by linking together information from "antitrust case documents (complaints, opinions, and expert testimony); enforcement guidelines and speeches; economic bibliographies; and current antitrust issues in the news." These resources are categorized into three areas; mergers, price fixing and vertical restraint. The site also contains merger simulations where users can calculate the impact of a merger on prices and quantity, examine the impact of a spatial merger and calculate damages from patent infringement. [THN]
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Current Awareness
(For links to additional current awareness on periodicals, journals, working papers, new books, data, etc., see the Business and Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Working Papers
Federal Reserve Bank System
Current Issues in Economics and Finance from Federal Reserve Bank of New York [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota Staff Report [.pdf] [.ps]
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has released the September 1997 issue of Current Issues in Economics and Finance titled Do Rising Labor Costs Trigger Higher Inflation? by David A. Brauer. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota has released Staff Report No. 239, Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis by Per Krusell, Lee E. Ohanian, Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, and Giovanni L. Violante. [THN]

IMF Working Papers [.pdf]
The IMF has released several new working papers (No. 104 to No. 118). They cover topics such as fiscal corruption, transition economies, banking crises, savings in Asia and Latin America, the Japanese trade system, Social Security, and the changing role of the State. [THN]

OECD Economics Working Papers [.pdf]
Four new working papers (No. 180 to No. 183) are now available at the OECD site. The papers cover topics such as structural unemployment, NAIRU (Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment), globalization and the distribution sector. [THN]
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Federal Reserve Bank System
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Agricultural Letter, September 1997 [.pdf]
Chicago Fed Letter, October 1997 [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has released the September 1997 issue of Agricultural Letter. It has also released the October 1997 issue of the Chicago Fed Letter titled Economic Gains from Trade Liberalization--NAFTA's Impact by Michael A. Kouparitsas. [THN]

Nuclear Power Generation and Fuel Cycle Report 1997 [.pdf, 121p.]
Full text:
Nuclear Power Generation and Fuel Cycle Report 1997, an Energy Information Agency publication (available in Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format only), provides information and forecasts on domestic and world nuclear and uranium industries covering topics such as nuclear capacity and generation, worldwide uranium requirements, enrichment service requirements and spent fuel discharges. [THN]
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Books and Journals
Harvard Business School Publishing Upcoming Books for Fall 1997
Harvard Business School Publishing Hot Off the Press
Harvard Business School Publishing Best-Selling Books
This site contains information about upcoming and latest business books published by Harvard Business School Publishing. Users can also browse through their best-selling books. [THN]

International Monetary Fund Latest Publications
Titles and ordering information for the International Monetary Fund's recent publications are available at this site. Publications available include Working Papers, books, Staff Country Reports, Occasional Papers, and Statistical Reports. [THN]
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New Data
News from the Census Bureau
Annual Demographic Survey 1997
Money Income in the United States: 1996
Poverty in the United States: 1996
Health Insurance Coverage: 1996
The Census Bureau has made the 1997 Annual Demographic Survey (Current Population Survey March Supplement) data available through Ferret (discussed in the June 6, 1997 Scout Report). In addition, three new reports have been released, "Money Income in the United States: 1996;" "Poverty in the United States: 1996;" and "Health Insurance Coverage: 1996," covering the issues of income, poverty and insurance coverage for the nation and states. [THN]
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Energy Information Agency
Natural Gas Annual 1996 [.pdf, 251p.]
[Note: Select Natural Gas Annual]
The Changing Structure of the Electric Power Industry: An Update
PDF version:
EIA Country Analysis Briefs
Natural Gas Annual 1996 provides information on the "supply and disposition of natural gas in the United States." It contains State level data for production, transmission, storage, deliveries, and price of natural gas in 1996. Historical data at the national level are available from the 1930's. The Energy Information Agency provides the latest information on electric power industry restructuring for each state. The information is available in HTML and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. New Country Analysis Briefs for Venezuela and Equatorial Guinea are now available. [THN]
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Bureau of Economic Analysis
The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released the Gross Domestic Product and Corporate Profits for the Second Quarter 1997, and Personal Income for August 1997. [THN]
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In the News
Year 2000 Problem
Year 2000 News Clippings
Year 2000 Archives
IBM Year 2000
Federal Government: Year 2000 Information Directory
The Year 2000 problem is caused by the fact that most computer systems only recognize the last two digits of a year. As a result, when the year 2000 comes around, it will be stored as year "00." This will give rise to mathematical and logical errors in computer systems resulting in incorrect results or even system failures. The Year 2000 Archives and news clippings site contains many useful articles on the Year 2000 problem. The IBM Year 2000 site contains useful information about the problem and also the book The Year 2000 and 2-Digit Dates: A Guide to Planning and Implementation (ASCII and PostScript format). The Federal Government: Year 2000 Information Directory contains information about relevant Internet sites to assist federal government and other interested organizations in addressing the Year 2000 problem. It includes the final Federal Acquisition Regulation on Year 2000 and a collection of best practices. [THN]
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The Scout Report for Business & Economics
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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
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Managing Editor
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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.

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