The Scout Report for Business & Economics - October 23, 1997

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

October 23, 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

Information Technology Outlook 1997--OECD [.pdf, 236 pages]
Press Release 97
Information Technology Outlook 1997 is published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It analyzes major IT (information technology) market trends, the impact of IT networks on the economy and government use of IT to deliver services. Other issues covered in the report include "Internet congestion, recent software developments (component software, data mining), and IT's effect on the packaged goods industry (supermarkets, department stores, specialty retail)." [THN]
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Electronic Markets [.pdf], [frames]
This is the web site for Electronic Markets, the International Journal of Electronic Commerce, published by the Institute for Media and Communication Management at the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland. The aim of the journal is to report on "the current developments, the latest trends, the impacts, policies, system concepts, methodologies and cultural change related to the exciting and rapidly evolving new research field of Electronic Commerce". At the site users can search an archive of all of the past issues of the journals by issue, author, topic or article. 1997 topics featured in the journal include Electronic Markets Architectures, Electronic Commerce in Asia, Electronic Product Catalogs and Electronic Contracts. [THN]
[Back to Contents] [Java], a Java based site (free registration required), is jointly developed by Infinity Financial Technology, Dow Jones & Company and IBM. It aims to allow investors to examine their returns and estimate the risk of those investment by providing a "free source of global equity data and risk analytics." Investors may obtain historical returns and volatilities, risk-return analysis, forecast volatilities and correlations, portfolio performance analysis, market summaries and Value at Risk (VaR) calculations. This can be done on an individual stock or a user-selected portfolio of stocks. Investors can build their portfolios with US stocks or international stocks. Further, investors can examine the value of their stock portfolios in a variety of currencies. [THN]
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GTAP: The Global Trade Analysis Project--Purdue University [.pdf]
The Global Trade Analysis Project brings together contributors across the world to "provide data, a standard model and software, and training for multi-country computable general equilibrium (CGE) analysis." The project is coordinated by the Center for Global Trade Analysis, the Department of Agricultural Economics, and Purdue University. The site contains several GTAP Technical Papers available for download in Adobe Acrobat format. Visitors interested in the project may subscribe to the gtap-l mailing list, which provide information on "new features of the GTAP model or data base, as well as new projects and course offerings." [THN]

To subscribe to the gtap-l mailing list email to:
In the body of the message type:
subscribe gtap-1 firstname lastname
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Economic and Game Theory [.pdf] [Java]
David Levine, Professor of Economics at the University of California, Los Angeles has created a web site devoted to game theory. This site contains many useful resources on game theory including an introductory essay and a suggested reading list. There is also a collection of working papers by David Levine and coauthors on economic theory, mathematical economics and game theory. A highlight of the site is the availability of a 348 page book by Drew Fudenberg and David K. Levine, Theory of Learning in Games, in Acrobat format. The site also contains an on-line zero-sum game solver, an on-line forecaster and cooperative learning games (Java based). [THN]
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Learning Resources
Macro--Econ 100b Lecture Notes
Professor Bradford De Long of the University of California at Berkeley has placed his lecture notes for his Econ 100b (Intermediate Macroeconomics) course on the web. These detailed and well-written lectures cover a range of topics from business cycles to domestic macroeconomic policy to open economy macroeconomics and long run economic growth. In addition to the lecture notes, problem sets and exams for the course together with the answers are also available at the site. [THN]
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Economics Interactive Lectures List [Java]
Samuel Baker, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Administration at the University of South Carolina, has developed a series of interactive economics lectures. The lectures are at the level of introductory microeconomics. Lecture topics cover: demand, supply, elasticity, market equilibrium, costs, discounting, and internal rate of return. Each lecture features Java based interactive questions and examples. Users receive immediate feedback and hints on their responses to questions. [THN]
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Understanding Financial Statements [Java]
Bob Elmore of UOL Publishing has re-implemented an interactive courseware in Understanding Financial Statements in Java. These lessons are divided into four parts: Understanding the Balance Sheet, Understanding the Income Statement, Analyzing and Interpreting Financial Statements, and Funds Flow Statements. Interactive examples and questions provide users with many opportunities to learn. When a mistake is made the program supplies hints to help guide a user to the right answer. [THN]
[Note: This site is no longer available for free; subscription fee(s) required.]
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Insurance Industry Activity on the World Wide Web
The University of Wisconsin Business School and the Department of Risk Management and Insurance have assembled a list of links to insurance-related web pages "as an educational resource to illustrate the rich and innovative applications by the insurance industry on the WWW." Sites are categorized into: Property and Casualty Insurers, Health Insurance, Life Insurers, Agents, Brokers and Consultants, Trade Associations, and Professional Associations. Short annotations about each site are also provided. [THN]
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General Interest
Report of the National Bankruptcy Review Commission [.pdf]
National Bankruptcy Review Commission
The National Bankruptcy Review Commission is an independent commission created in 1994 with the aim of "investigating and studying issues related to the Bankruptcy Code". After seeking views and opinions from different parties and evaluating them, the Commission has released a report with more than 170 recommendations to reform the bankruptcy law on October 20, 1997. The most controversial part of the report is on the reform of consumer bankruptcy adopted on a 5-4 vote. The Commission suggests that for consumer bankruptcy, "a uniform approach to exemptions for debtors -- coupled with audits, national filing records and a limit on both repeat filings and the reaffirmation of of unsecured debt -- should help slow or stop the increase in consumer bankruptcies and enable debtors to repay more of their obligations to more of their creditors." [THN]
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Microsoft's Money Insider
Money Insider is a new personal finance site developed by Microsoft. It aims to help individuals understand complex financial products and it provides them with a plan to take charge of their finances. The site is divided into three sections. Taking Charge focuses on getting individuals to take control of their finances by advising them on saving, investing, credit and taxes. Living Well tries to get individuals to set their priorities right and plan for the larger investments such as home and college tuition. Finally, Looking Ahead aims to provide information on insurance, retirement and estate planning. The site also has a newsgroup forum where financial experts are available to answer selected questions. [THN]
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Bloomberg Online
Bloomberg Online provides the latest financial news and data. The site features three sections: Bloomberg News, World Markets and Bloomberg Energy. In the Bloomberg News section, visitors can read the latest financial news from the United States and around the world. They can also read articles written by Bloomberg columnists on various business and financial issues. The World Markets section provides stock market indices and currency rates from all over the world. The section also contains a yield curve on US and foreign bonds. Bloomberg Energy provides the latest information and news on energy prices. Some information at this site is available only to Boomberg Personal Magazine subscribers. [THN]
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Entertainment, Media and Communications (EMC) Global Roundtable 1997
The Entertainment, Media and Communications (EMC) Global Roundtable 1997 is a conference sponsored by Price Waterhouse that brings together top executives from entertainment, media and communication companies. Interested users can find the results of the 1997 Price Waterhouse Consumer Technology Survey which polled 1,010 consumers about new technologies. This site features an interview with Reed Hundt, the Federal Communications Commission Chairman, and perspectives from several top industry executives on technology issues. [THN]
[Note: Resource(s)/URL(s) mentioned above may no longer be available.]
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Current Awareness
(For links to additional working papers and periodicals see the Business and Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Working Papers
Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture--"The Structure of Dairy Markets: Past, Present, and Future" [.pdf, 52 pages]
"The Structure of Dairy Markets: Past, Present, and Future" by Alden C. Manchester and Don P. Blayney provides an "historical overview of the dairy industry" and examines future prospects and trends in the industry. [THN]

Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Board Finance and Economics Discussion Series [.pdf] [.ps]
Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota Working Papers [.pdf] [.ps]
Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota Staff Report [.pdf] [.ps]
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Working Papers
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Working Papers [.pdf]
The Federal Reserve Board has released four new papers (1997-40 to 1997-43) in the Finance and Economics Discussion Series. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota has released working paper 585 titled "Moral Hazard Under Commercial and Universal Banking" by John H. Boyd, Chun Chang, and Bruce D. Smith and Staff Report no. 240 titled "Government Production of Investment Goods and Aggregate Labor Productivity" by James A. Schmitz, Jr. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released four working papers (no. 97-14 - 97-17) including "Intermediation and Vertical Integration" by James McAndrews and William Roberds. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has released Working Paper 9709 titled "A Note on Purifying Mixed Strategy Equilibria in the Search Model of Money" by Randall Wright. [THN]

IMF Working Papers [.pdf]
The IMF has released seven new working papers (WP/97/119-WP/97/125) covering topics such as exports and inflation, monetary policy, trade liberalization and economic growth. Working Paper No. WP/97/124, "Monetary Impact of a Banking Crisis and the Conduct of Monetary Policy," by Alicia Garcia-Herrero examines the effect of banking crises on "the short-run stability on the demand for money, the money multiplier, transmission mechanism, and the signal variables of monetary policy." It also discusses the implications of these factors for the conduct of monetary policy. [THN]

OECD Economics Working Paper [.pdf]
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released Economics Working Paper No. 184, "Concept, Measurement and Policy Implications of the NAIRU (Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment) - Perspective from Belgium" by Joost Verlinden. [THN]
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Energy Information Agency
Short-Term Energy Outlook, Fourth Quarter, 1997
Electricity Reform Abroad and US Investments
The Energy Information Agency has released the fourth quarter, 1997 issue of Short-Term Energy Outlook. This issue provides energy demand, supply, and price forecasts through 1998. The Agency also released a new study, Electricity Reform Abroad and US Investments, examining Argentina, Australia and the United Kingdom's efforts to reform their electricity industries. [THN]

Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Manufacturing and Services Survey [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Southeastern Manufacturing Survey
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Current Issues in Economics and Finance [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Fed Letter
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Economic Perspectives
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has released the September results of their Manufacturing and Services Survey in the Fifth District. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has released the September 1997 results of the Southeastern Manufacturing Survey. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released the October 1997 issue of Current Issues in Economics and Finance titled "The New York-New Jersey Job Recovery" by James Orr and Rae D. Rosen. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has released the November 1997 issue of the Fed Letter titled "Household Debt" by Wendy M. Edelberg and Jonas D.M. Fisher and the November/December 1997 issue of Economic Perspectives. [THN]
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Books and Journals
International Journal of Game Theory
The web site for the International Journal of Game Theory provides abstracts of all articles in past issues of the journal. The site also provides a mailing list that offers abstracts of articles in forthcoming issues of the journal. [THN]

To subscribe, send an email to:
In the body of the message type:
subscribe ijgt-l Firstname Lastname

RAND Journal of Economics
RAND Journal of Economics Table of Contents Service
The web site for the RAND Journal of Economics allows visitors to search through the abstracts and browse through the table of contents of all past issues of the journal. There is a table of contents service which will deliver table of contents and abstracts by e-mail of forthcoming issues 2-3 months before they are published. [THN]

(For links to tables of contents, abstracts for various journals, and new books, visit the Journals and Books sections on the Current Awareness Page:
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1998 Annual Meetings of the Public Choice Society and Economic Science Association
The 1998 Annual Meetings of the Public Choice Society and the Economic Science Association will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, from Friday, March 13 until noon on Sunday, March 15. For those who wish to present a paper or participate in the conference more details are available at the web site . [THN]

1997 National Community Development Lending Conference
The 1997 National Community Development Lending Conference, with the theme "Community and Economic Development: Expanding Market Opportunities," will be held in New Orleans from November 4 to November 6, 1997. The conference is sponsored by the American Bankers Association. [THN]

American Bankers Association (ABA) Insurance Risk Management Conference
American Bankers Association (ABA) Security and Fraud Prevention Conference
Both conferences will be held from February 1 to February 3, 1998 in San Diego, California. The Insurance and Risk Management conference will address the issue of "constructing a bank insurance portfolio." The Security and Fraud Prevention Conference will focus on the "design of an effective and efficient security department." [THN]

Fifth Annual EDINEB (EDucational INnovation in Economics and Business) International Conference
The fifth annual EDINEB International Conference will be held from September 2 to September 5, 1998 in Cleveland, Ohio. The theme of the conference will be "Business Education for the Changing Workplace." Information on submitting a paper to the conference and registering for the conference is available at the site. [THN]
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New Data
(For links to additional sources of new data see the Business and Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Energy Information Agency
Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 1996 [.pdf,142 pages]
Energy Information Agency Country Analysis Briefs
The Energy Information Agency (EIA) has released a new report, "Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 1996. The report shows that in 1996, "U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases increased by 3.4 percent over 1995 emissions, the highest rate of increase in recent years." EIA also released updated Country Analysis Briefs for OPEC, North Sea and Kuwait. [THN]
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The European Community Economy in 1997-99--Autumn 1997 Economic Forecasts
The European Commission has confirmed that the economy of the European Community is indeed recovering from recent slumps. This website contains the text of the Commission's economic forecasts and a link to tables of nine main economic indicators from 1961-98, sorted by country and year. [MD]
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Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 1996-97--USDA ERS [.pdf, 347 pages]
Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 1996-97, published by the Economic Research Service of the Department of Agriculture, "identifies trends in land, water, and commercial input use; reports on the condition of natural resources used in the agricultural sector; and describes and assesses public policies that affect conservation and environmental quality in agriculture." The full report is available for download in Adobe Acrobat format. [THN]
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Bureau of Economic Analysis
The Burea of Economic Analysis has released data for U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, August 1997. [THN]
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In the News
1997 Nobel Prize for Economics
Chicago Board Options Exchange Understanding Stock Options
A Study of Options Pricing Model
Options Strategy Guide
Option Calculator
Financial Numerical Recipes
This week's In the News covers options. The six resources above offer an introduction into the world of options. Fischer Black and Myron Scholes first published their formula for valuing an option in 1973. Robert Merton independently derived an alternative method for valuing options in 1973 as well. The availability of the Black and Scholes formula for valuing options has helped the options market to grow rapidly.

The Nobel site contains the full text of the announcement for the 1997 Nobel Prize for Economics awarded to Myron Scholes and Robert Merton for their contribution in developing "a new method to determine the value of derivatives." Understanding Stock Options by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) provides a good non-technical introduction to options. It explains the benefits of options, differences between options and stocks, the pricing of options, and it provides some basic options strategies. A Study of Options Pricing Model by Kevin Rubash of Bradley University provides a brief introduction to options and the Black and Scholes options pricing model. Numa Financial Systems provide an easy-to-use Options Strategy Guide where the options strategies are categorized to the user's expectations of the stock price. For those interested in pricing their own options, the Option Calculator (also provided by NFS) calculates the adjusted Black-Scholes model to value European options. Financial Numerical Recipes by Bernt Arne Odegaard of the Norwegian School of Management provides computer code in the C++ Language to implement the Black-Scholes option pricing model. [THN]
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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.

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