The Scout Report for Business & Economics - November 20, 1997

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

November 20, 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

Two Agricultural Economics Annual Meetings--Selected Papers
American Agricultural Economics Association 1997 Annual Meeting Selected Papers [.pdf]
Rethinking Markets--Fellows Address at the American Agricultural Economic Association 1997 Annual Meeting [.pdf, 32p.]
Western Agricultural Economics Association 1997 Annual Meeting Selected Papers
These two Agricultural Economics Meetings, held in the summer of 1997, have made selected papers available through the University of Minnesota AgEcon Search site (discussed in the November 29, 1996 Scout Report). The nine AAEA papers currently available cover topics such as agricultural pollution, risk management for farmers, and the enlargement of the European Union. Daniel Bromley, Chair of the University of Wisconsin Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, gave the Fellows Address at the meeting. The full text of his address, Rethinking Markets, urging economists to be more "modest about the alleged magic of the market," can be found on the University of Wisconsin AAE site. The WAEA Annual Meeting has provided over 80 papers to the AgEcon Search site at this time, in 24 broad subject categories ranging from environmental economics, to agricultural business and finance, to community and regional economics. Note that all papers are available in Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format only. [THN]
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Berkeley Roundtable on International Economy
Berkeley Roundtable on International Economy (BRIE) is a research project based at the University of California at Berkeley that examines the "real-world interactions of technology, markets, and economies" and "formulate[s] path-breaking positions that challenge conventional economic policy-making." Visitors to the site will find a collection of working papers, research papers and research notes written by BRIE researchers. Current and more recent papers are available for viewing on-line. The site offers a collection of detailed summaries of briefing papers from the BRIE conference titled "Will there be a Unified European Economy?". [THN]
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Data on the Net--UCSD
Data on the Net is housed at the University of California at San Diego. It contains a searchable and browsable database of over 750 "Internet sites of numeric Social Science statistical data, data catalogs, data libraries, social science gateways, addresses and more." Sites are categorized into data sites, catalogs of data, data archives and vendors of data. A detailed description of each site and contact information of the data source is provided. [THN]
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FreeEDGAR, provided by Partes Corporation, allows users to access real-time corporate data filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) EDGAR database (discussed in the February 9, 1996 Scout Report). The site allows visitors to "quickly navigate through filings to find and extract important financial news and information." FreeEDGAR offers a useful feature that it allows users to generate a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet from data at the EDGAR site by downloading an add-in for Excel at their site. Only Excel 97 is supported by the add-in. Watchlist, an experimental service provided by FreeEDGAR, allows users to track a personalized list of. When the companies submit new electronic filing to the SEC, FreeEDGAR will notify users through email. Registration is required to use the services. [THN]
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Dismantling the Barriers to Global Electronic Commerce--OECD [.pdf]
"Dismantling the Barriers to Global Electronic Commerce" is the theme of an international conference and business-government forum organized by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Government of Finland in co-operation with the European Commission, Japan and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) from November 19-21, 1997. This site features the conference background and agenda. Users can peruse a small collection of documents provided by the organizers of the conference. [THN]
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Learning Resources
Price Theory: An Intermediate Text
David D. Friedman, Professor of Law at Santa Clara University, has made his textbook, "Price Theory: An Intermediate Text" available on the web. The book focuses on trying to teach students the "economic way of thinking" and the "analytical core of economics -- price theory." Topics covered include consumer choice, market structure and economic efficiency. Price Theory also contains chapters on less conventional topics such as the political marketplace, the economics of law and law breaking; and the economics of love and marriage. [THN]
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History of Accounting (ShockWave)
Visitors can learn about the history of accounting at this site developed by Arthur Andersen. The four sections of the site display an annotated timeline that runs from 3600 BC to 1913 and includes accounting in Babylon, the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, and development of the double-entry system by Pacioli. Note that the ShockWave animations, though entertaining, are extraneous to the usefulness of the site. [THN]
[Note: Resource(s)/URL(s) mentioned above is no longer available.]
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Dr. Ed Yardeni's Economics Network [.pdf]
The Economics Network site is developed by Dr Ed Yardeni, Chief Economist of Deutsche Morgan Grenfell. The site features a large collection of economic and financial indicators for both the United States and foreign economies. In addition to the usual indicators, Dr Yardeni also provides economic history charts which look at the trend of various economic indicators over a long period of time, and a demography chart of the baby boom. There is also a special section on cybereconomics which examines the impact of the high-tech sector on the economy. Users who wish to keep track of the economy will be interested in the weekly forecast calendar and monthly calendar releases. Note that some sections of the site are available only to accounts of Deutsche Morgan Grenfell at this time, and that much of the site's contents are available in Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format only. [THN]
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Amos World Testing System
AmosWorld Testing System is developed by Orley M. Amos, Jr., Professor of Economics at Oklahoma State University. The testing system allows users to retrieve up to ten multiple choice questions on various economics topics. Among the topics covered are scarcity, business cycles, GDP, money and unemployment. After the users have answered the multiple choice questions, the testing system will notify the users which of the questions were answered correctly. The site does not provide the correct answer for incorrect choices, however. [THN]
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General Interest
Kiplinger Online
The Kiplinger organization developed Kiplinger Online to provide personal finance guidance on the Internet. Users can find selected articles from the current and past three months' issues of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine on topics ranging from investing to retirement planning. The news section highlights consumer, business and financial news. Visitors to the site can compare the rankings of mutual funds (stocks and bonds) by size and return, consult a glossary of 101 financial terms and examine financial planning calculators . Parents might want to refer to sections on educating children, budgeting, and money management. Note that certain parts of the site require subscription. [THN]
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The site is developed by Thomson Financial Publishing, and contains extensive banking resources. The site is divided into several sections. Among them, Banking on the Net examines how banks are using the Internet to market their services and serve their customers, Court Watch provides a list of "judicial decisions affecting the banking industry from the Supreme Court and all federal courts of appeals." Other sections cover topics such as electronic commerce, human resource management, global banking developments, federal legislative and regulatory developments, marketing, market news, bank compliance, and trusts and investments. [THN]
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Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI)
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI) site informs visitors about Japan's current economic policies. Reports available include the plans to reform the economic structure, trade issues, and the 1997 White Paper on International Trade which looks at trends in world trade and long-term issues concerning Japanese trade and industry. A collection of chronologically sorted press releases, transcripts of press conferences, statistics on industrial production, and a summary of industrial economic trends can be found at this site. A collection of trade-related reports and Japanese submissions to the World Trade Organization (WTO) are also available. [THN]
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Contingency Analysis [.pdf]
Contingency Analysis is a forum for professionals to discuss financial risk management. A consultant in financial risk management, Glyn Holton, developed this site. Visitors to the site can benefit from the broad overview of enterprise risk management and risk measurement that is provided. This site contains a collection of research papers on enterprise risk management covering topics such as value at risk, risk visualization, and accuracy vs. precision, as well as an in-depth glossary of 200 risk management terms. [THN]
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Current Awareness
(For links to additional current awareness on periodicals, journals, working papers, new books, etc., visit the Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Working Papers
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Working Papers
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has released three new working papers (97-4 to 97-6) covering issues such as interest rates swap, male marriage premiums and check float. [THN]

IMF Working Papers
International Monetary Fund has released two new working papers (WP/97/140 and WP/97/141) on the reform of Canada's pension plan and the Latin American banking crises in the 1990s. [THN]
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Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Survey of Agricultural Credit Condition [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Economic Quarterly [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Fed Letter [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Letters
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Economic Trends [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Economic Review [.pdf]
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has released the second quarter Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions in the Tenth Federal Reserve District. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has released the Summer 1997 issue of the Economic Quarterly. This issue contains articles on the check float puzzle, behavior of M2 demand, structural vector autoregressions and testing for long-run neutrality. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has released the November and December 1997 issues of the Fed Letter. The November issue looks at problem of household debt and the December issue examines the challenges facing US agriculture. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has released two new Economic Letters (No. 97-34 and 97-35) covering the topics of job security and the relevance of NAIRU (Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment) to monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has released the November 1997 issue of Economic Trends and the third quarter edition of the Economic Review. Economic Trends offers a monthly snapshot of international, national and regional issues, while the Economic Review contains articles on foreign exchange intervention, inventories and business cycles, and demand for workers in the banking industry. [THN]
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Books and Journals
Net Exposure
Net Exposure is an electronic journal, published monthly by Dr Carol Alexander, that covers the topic of financial risk. The journal aims to bridge the gap between "academics and practitioners in the international financial risk management community." It features topics that are relevant to "enterprise wide risk with an emphasis on risk measures that cut across different markets and geographies." Registration is required to enter the site. [THN]
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11th Annual EBEN conference
The 11th Annual European Business Ethics Network (EBEN) Conference will be held in Leuven, Belgium from September 9-11, 1998. The theme of the conference is "The Ethics of Participation: How to Share Work, Profit and Ownership?" Conference goals are to "analyse and evaluate from an ethical point of view the renewed interest in theories and practices of participation in business." [THN]
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Job Openings in Economics from the Chronicle of Higher Education
Job Openings in Business and Management from the Chronicle of Higher Education
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New Data
(For links to additional sources of new data see the Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

US Imports/Exports History: 1992-1996--GISP OSU
The Government Information Sharing Project at Oregon State University has updated the US Import and Export History database to include data from 1992-1996. Previously, data was available from 1991-1995. This database from the Census Bureau contains the value and quantity of commodities imported and exported. [THN]
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Census Bureau
Characteristics of Business Owners Survey [.pdf]
Manufactured Exports Approach $500 Billion a Year [.pdf]
The Census Bureau has released the results of the 1992 Characteristics of Business Owners Survey (CBO). These results provide data for comparing the "selected economic, demographic, and sociological characteristics" of business owners. The Census Bureau also released a new Census Brief titled "Manufactured Exports Approach $500 Billion a Year," which looks at the manufactured exports of United States. [THN]
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Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
BEA has released the data for Personal Income and Outlays in September 1997 showing that personal income increased by 0.4% in September. [THN]
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Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Employment Situation October 1997
Productivity and costs, Third Quarter 1997
Producer Price Index, October 1997
Consumer Price Index, October 1997
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the data for employment in October 1997 showing that the unemployment rate had dropped to 4.7%. It also released the preliminary third quarter 1997 figures for productivity. Productivity in the business sector and nonfarm business sector grew by 4.4% and 4.5% respectively, the highest since the fourth quarter of 1992. BLS also released figures for the Producer Price Index (PPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI) in October 1997. The CPI increased by 0.2% in October while the PPI increased by just 0.1% in the same period. [THN]
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UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Agricultural Data: Production and Production Indices
Forestry Data
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organizations Agricultural database has added 1997 data for agricultural production and production indices. The database now runs from 1961-1997 annually. The forestry database has been updated to include preliminary 1996 data. It now provides annual data from 1961-1996. [JS]
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Estimates of the Government of Canada--1997-1998 [.pdf]
The Treasury Board of Canada has released estimates and supplementary estimates for the Canadian Government budget for 1997-1998 (Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format only. Estimates are divided into several parts, most being provided in the Main Estimates (Blue Book) file. 1996-97 estimates are also available. [JS]
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In the News
Free Trade Debate
Washington Post Special on Trade Policy Fast Track
Economic Gains from Trade Liberalization - NAFTA's Impact [.pdf]
NAFTA's Positive Impact on the United States: A State-by-State Breakdown
Fast Track
Richard Gephardt Speech on "Fairer Trade, Freer People"
AFL-CIO Fast Track Facts
Sierra Club's "Responsible Trade Campaign Action Alert"
This week's In the News looks at the debate over free trade in light of the failure of President Clinton to obtain fast-track authority from Congress. The eight resources above provide an overview of the debate over granting fast-track authority to the President and, more generally, on whether America should pursue free trade. On September 17, 1997, President Clinton went against the liberals in his own party to request fast-track authority from Congress to negotiate new trade accords. The Senate approved the President's request for fast track on November 5, 1997 but the vote in the House was shelved when it appeared likely that fast-track would be defeated. The opponents of free-trade consist mainly of trade unions who are worried about the loss of jobs to countries with cheap labor, and environmentalists concerned about the effect of free trade on environmental standards. The supporters of free-trade are mainly businesses who see business potential in the larger market that would be created by expanding free trade.

The Washington Post Special on Free Trade contains articles on the debate over fast-track from the newspaper. The site provides a good introduction to the battle over fast-track including a collection of quotes and links to the supporters and opponents of fast-track. It also has a collection of papers evaluating the impact of NAFTA. The October 1997 Chicago Fed Letter issue, "Economic Gains from Trade Liberalization - NAFTA's impact" by Michael A. Kouparitsas, (available in Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format only) evaluates the gains from NAFTA. "NAFTA's Positive Impact on the United States: A State-by-State Breakdown," by John Sweeney of the Heritage Foundation, attempts to examine the gains to individual states from NAFTA and concludes that most states have benefited. Fast Track is an advocacy site aimed at generating support for granting fast-track authority to the President. It contains articles and speeches in support of free trade. Richard Gephardt (an opponent of fast track) gave a speech to the Detroit Economic Club on the need to use trade as a tool to promote human rights around the world. AFL-CIO, America's largest trade union organization, has provided a web site detailing "why fast track is the wrong track." The Sierra Club, an environmental group, argues that expansion of free trade "imperils our health and natural heritage." [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
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Thiam Hee Ng
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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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