The Scout Report for Business & Economics - March 12, 1998

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

March 12, 1998

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

Strategy and Business
Strategy and Business is sponsored by Booz, Allen and Hamilton, a large management consulting firm. Designed to help users "sharply focus their agenda and put the best business ideas to work," the site contains articles on business research, policy, technology, strategy, management and competition. Also provided are business book reviews, best practice, case studies, business quotes and interviews. Users can browse through articles by date of publication or search by keyword. [THN]
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Two From CBO
Expanding Health Insurance Coverage for Children Under Title XXI of the Social Security Act
Select: Health/Expanding Health Insurance Coverage for Children Under Title XXI of the Social Security Act
Revised Baseline Budget Projections for Fiscal Years 1999-2008
Select: Revised Baseline Budget Projections for Fiscal Years 1999-2008
The US Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released these two new reports. The first report, Expanding Health Insurance Coverage for Children Under Title XXI of the Social Security Act, looks at how states are responding to the creation of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and estimates how many children may have gained health insurance coverage under the program. The report also provides estimates of uninsured children and the goals of policy makers for expanding coverage. The second report updates the baseline budget projections for fiscal years 1999-2008 by taking into account new information from the President's budget and other sources. The revised figures show that CBO expects a budget surplus of almost $8 billion for this year. [THN]
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Implementing the OECD Jobs Strategy: Lessons from Member Countries' Experience
Implementing the OECD Jobs Strategy: Lessons from Member Countries' Experience summarizes the key lessons learned from the implementation of unemployment policies contained in the 1994 OECD Jobs Study. The report examines the experiences of the 25 OECD countries which were members in 1994 and finds that "many countries have made progress in implementing the Jobs Strategy, but progress has been uneven both between countries and between different areas of policy." Statistical tables on unemployment and unemployment benefits across the OECD countries, and table summaries of country-specific recommendations for implementing the OECD Jobs Strategy are also provided. [THN]
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The Center for Research on Contracts and the Structure of Enterprise
This site is provided by the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh. The Center's mission is to provide "a focal point for empirical research on the causes and consequences of alternative forms of contracting, governance and organization." The main part of the site is the Online Contracts Library, which contains a wide range of contracts collected from the EDGAR database at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Visitors to the library can search for keywords in the full texts of the contracts, or just for types of contract. Note that free registration is required to access the Online Contracts library. [THN]
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Agricultural Outlook Forum '98--USDA [WordPerfect, Word, PowerPoint, WordPro, FreeLance]
The U.S. Department of Agriculture organized Agricultural Outlook Forum '98 to provide "up-to-date assessment of farm and commodity prospects and major economic developments in agriculture." The topics covered in the forum include agricultural and trade prospects, new frontiers for agriculture, food safety, economic opportunities for small farms, risk management, trade barriers, biotechnology, marketing organic food products, conservation, international marketing, price indexes and transportation. Selected speeches from the forum are now available for downloading. [THN]
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Learning Resources
Wachowicz's Web World
John Wachowicz, Jr., Professor of Finance at the University of Tennessee, has put together this impressive collection of finance-related links for students. The links are divided into categories such as Introduction to Financial Management, Valuation, Tools of Financial Analysis and Planning, Working Capital Management, Investment in Capital Assets, Cost of Capital, Capital Structure and Dividend Policy, Intermediate and Long-Term Financing, and Special Areas of Financial Management. Also provided are brief annotations for each link. [THN]
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Finance Tools [Java]
Roswell Mathis, Assistant Professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology's School of Management, has created several Interactive Tutorials for corporate finance. The tutorials cover common financial challenges that users can solve using calculators at the site (the site also provides documentation on how to use the calculator). Currently, tutorials cover present value, future value and annuities; cash flow calculations, bond valuation and bond yields calculation; capital budgeting, expected return, portfolio return, and the capital asset pricing model (CAPM). [THN]
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Water Resource Economics
Professor Jeffery Jordan of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at University of Georgia has created this site for his course on water resource economics. The site provides the syllabus, assignments, and a reading list for the course. Class notes covering the area of "cost-benefit analysis, willingness-to-pay, demand estimation and some aspects of water marketing and the Tri-State Water Wars" are available for online reading or downloading. [THN]
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Human Society and the Global Economy [Word]
This site offers excerpts from an in-progress survey textbook on economics. Written by Kit Sims Taylor of Bellevue Community College, the textbook traces the development of "the global capitalist economy and of economics from the beginning of capitalism to the present" from an institutionalist/Post-Keynesian perspective. Currently, drafts for 12 chapters are available; completed chapters examine the issues of the market mechanism, theories of value, money and the Keynesian revolution, among others. Note that almost all available chapters can be viewed in HTML as well as downloaded in Microsoft Word format. [THN]
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General Interest
Australian Financial Review
The Australian Financial Review offers the latest daily financial news from Australia, as well as regional and world financial news. News reports are categorized into sections such as information technology, banking, and property. The site also provides personal finance advice in the Smart Money section. Contents for the site are archived in 18-day intervals. [THN]
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Financial Times UK Budget 98
The Financial Times has added the UK Budget 98 section to its site. The new section contains news and analysis leading up to the delivery of the budget on March 17. The site also contains a guide to the UK budget, commentaries and interviews. The most interesting part of the site is the "You be Chancellor" game, which allows the user to take on the role of Chancellor of the Exchequer and prepare the budget. Basically, one can choose the level of the main spending and revenue components of the budget to arrive at the budget surplus or deficit. Free registration is required for the Financial Times site. [THN]
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Dead Economists Society
This site was created by John McGinnis of Penn State University, as a tribute to classical liberal economists. Defined by McGinnis as those who "champion free markets, limited government, and the private property order," the site provides links to short biographical sketches and writings of classical liberal economists such as Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Hayek von Mises, Benjamin Franklin and John Stuart Mill, among others. A discussion forum is also available at the site for visitors to share their opinions. [THN]
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The Ultimate 1998 Guide to Mutual Funds--Money
Money magazine has made this site available as its latest online guide to mutual funds. The site features articles on successful young fund managers, problem areas for mutual funds, and a roundup of the most successful stock and bond funds in 1997. The highlight of the site is the Fund Finder which allows users to search through a database of 7,500 stock and bond funds to find the best match for their portfolio based on objective, performance, expenses, holdings and risk. There is also a Mutual Fund IQ Test that allows users to evaluate their understanding of mutual funds. [THN]
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CEO Express
This site was created by AlphaSight Online Strategies as a "no-nonsense business site built by an executive for fellow executives." The site provides an extensive list of links that are of interest to executives. Links are categorized into daily news and information, business research, all things Internet, and tools, travel, and fun. Within each of these categories, links are further divided into smaller categories to facilitate browsing. [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 Board Finance and Economic Discussion Series [.pdf, .ps]
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Working Papers [.pdf]
The Federal Reserve Board has released these eight new working papers in the FEDS series (No. 1998-4 to 1998-11). The papers cover topics such as share repurchases, regulatory policy, auctions, bankruptcy, and poison put bonds. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has released Working Paper No. 9805 and No. 9806, which consider the effect of FDICIA on bank CEO's pay and performance, and the rate of technological progress in structures. [THN]

Stockholm School of Economics Working Papers Series in Economic and Finance [.pdf, .ps]
The Stockholm School of Economics has released these three new working papers (No. 225-227) which examine long memory models and the stochastic frontier model. [THN]

Institute of International Economic Studies Seminar Papers [.pdf, .ps]
The Institute of International Economic Studies has released Seminar Paper No. 636, titled "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," by Lars E.O. Svensson and John Faust. [THN]

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Economics Working Papers [.pdf]
The OECD has released Economic Working Paper No. 189, titled "Income Distribution and Poverty in Selected OECD Countries," by Jean-Marc Burniaux, Thai-Thanh Dang, et al. [THN]
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Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Letters
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago AgLetter [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Economic Policy Review [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Current Issues in Economics and Finance [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Reports [.pdf]
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has released Economic Letters No. 98-06 to No. 98-08, examining the prospects of the US and California economies, the usefulness of M2, and the transition to a fully funded Social Security system. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has released the February 1998 issue of AgLetter, which looks at the issue of farmland values and credit conditions. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has released the February 1998 issue of the Economic Policy Review, which contains the proceedings of the "Excellence in Education: Views on Improving American Education" conference. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has also released the March 1998 issue of Current Issues in Economics and Finance, titled "Evaluating the Price Competitiveness of U.S. Exports," by Thomas Klitgaard and James Orr. Also included is the March 1998 issue of Staff Reports, titled "How Workers Use 401(k) Plans: The Participation, Contribution, and Withdrawal Decisions," by William Bassett, Michael Fleming and Anthony Rodrigues. [THN]

OECD Observer [.pdf]
The OECD has released OECD Observer No. 209. This report looks at the issues of unemployment, market access in the automobile sector, changes in the tax system in Canada, immigration in the United States and population aging in Japan. [THN]
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Books and Journals
New abstracts are available from the Journal of Financial Economics (Vol. 46 No. 3), Journal of International Money and Finance (Vol. 16 No. 6), Pacific-Basin Finance Journal (Vol. 5 No. 5), Journal of Monetary Economics (Vol. 40 No. 3), Ecological Economics (Vol. 24 No.1), Agricultural Economics (Vol. 18 No. 1), Journal of Development Economics (Vol. 54 No. 2) and Research Policy (Vol. 26 No. 4-5). [THN]

Central Banking in Theory and Practice
MIT Press has published Central Banking in Theory and Practice, by Alan Blinder. The book is based on the 1996 Lionel Robbins Lectures and covers a wide variety of issues in monetary policy. Pricing and ordering information are available at the site. [THN]

Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Business--March 1998
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Economics--March 1998
Baker & Taylor has made available a list of forthcoming books to be published in April in the fields of economics and business. [THN]
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Social Capital - Bridging Disciplines, Policies and Communities International Conference
This conference will be held at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan from April 20-22, 1998. It aims to "bring together academics and practitioners from different disciplines and divergent practices who share an interest in social capital and its consequences." [THN]

Seventh European Workshop on Econometrics and Health Economics
The Seventh European Workshop on Econometrics and Health Economics will be held from September 9-11 1998 at STAKES, Helsinki, Finland. The goal of the Workshop is to "provide a forum for the development and dissemination of applications of econometrics and other quantitative methods in health economics." [THN]

Tenth Asian-Pacific Conference on International Accounting Issues
The Tenth Asian-Pacific Conference on International Accounting Issues will be held on October 25-28, 1998 in Maui, Hawaii. The theme of the conference is "Currency Fluctuations, Capital Markets and Global Economy." [THN]
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The QM&RBC Job Market
Christian Zimmerman, Associate Professor of Economics at the The University of Quebec at Montreal, provides this metasite for academic employment listings. It points to several resources that have information about jobs listings in its "labor demand" section. Note that some of these links point to temporarily posted listings and may or may not be available. Its "labor supply" section points to two resources that list economics Ph.D. candidates by school. [JS]

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:

Regional and State Employment and Unemployment--January 1998
Employment Situation--February 1998
Productivity and Costs--Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages, 1997 (revised)
Work at Home in 1997
BLS has released new data for regional and state unemployment rates during January 1998. The latest figures show that in January the unemployment rates were basically unchanged; the unemployment rate also remained stable at 4.6 percent in February. The BLS has also released the revised estimates for productivity change during the fourth quarter and the full year of 1997. Work at Home in 1997 concludes that more than 21 million Americans worked at home as part of their primary job in 1997. [THN]
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Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Selected NIPA Tables--Fourth Quarter 1997
Business Situation--March 1998 (Survey of Current Business)
Gross Domestic Product--Fourth quarter 1997 (preliminary)
Personal Income--January 1998
The BEA has released selected National Income and Product Account tables that include "preliminary" 1997 fourth quarter and annual estimates. The Business Situation article from the March 1998 Survey of Current Business is also available. The BEA's gross domestic product fourth quarter preliminary estimates show that real gross domestic product grew by 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 1997 compared with 3.1 percent in the third quarter of 1997. Meanwhile, personal income increased by 0.6 percent in January 1998 compared with 0.4 percent in December 1997. [THN]
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Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Inventory of Power Plants in the United States as of January 1, 1997 [.pdf]
Short-Term Energy Outlook--March 1998
The EIA has released this Inventory of Power Plants in the United States, including "annual statistics on generating units operated by electric utilities in the United States" and a "10-year outlook for generating unit additions." Also available is the March 1998 issue of Short-Term Energy Outlook, which provides forecasts for energy demand, supply and prices. [THN]
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Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Survey of Real Estate Trends--January 1998 [.pdf]
The FDIC has released the results of its latest survey of real estate conditions at this site. Senior examiners and asset managers at federal banking and thrift agencies contributed their assessments of local real estate market conditions during the recent three-month period. The survey concludes that, on the whole, the residential real estate market has improved since the last survey in October. [THN]
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Foreign Exchange Rates--February 1998
Selected Interest Rates--February 1998 [.pdf]
Consumer Credit--January 1998
The Federal Reserve Board of Governors has released the February 1998 figures for foreign exchange rates and interest rates. The newly released January 1998 figures for consumer credit are also available at this site. [THN]
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In the News
Mortgage Refinancing
Mortgage Refinancing 101
Home Refinance Path
A Consumer's Guide to Mortgage Refinancings
gopher to:
select: Consumer Information Center/Housing/A Consumer's Guide to Mortgage Refinancings
Consumer's Glossary of Mortgage Terms
Bank Rate Monitor
This week's In The News covers the increasing numbers of mortgage refinancing options in America. The six resources listed above offer help for homeowners making refinancing decisions. The falling interest rate in America has sparked an interest in many homeowners to refinance their mortgage and take advantage of low interest rates. For some homeowners it would be beneficial to refinance, while others are better off retaining the existing mortgage.

CNNfn's Mortgage Refinancing 101 provides a brief introduction to mortgage refinancing with some quick tips on when to refinance. QuickenMortgage is a more comprehensive site, providing mortgage news and advice, and a mortgage refinancing calculator to help users decide whether or not to refinance. The Home Refinance Path site, provided by FannieMae, contains a very useful step-by-step guide to refinancing. It starts off by helping the user decide when to refinance, and proceeds to explain the refinance process, types of mortgage loans, and how to shop for the best mortgage deal. The Federal Reserve Board and the Office of Thrift Supervision prepared the "Consumer's Guide to Mortgage Refinancings" to provide basic information about mortgage refinancing to consumers. Examples include costs of refinancing, and whether or not to refinance an ARM. The Consumer's Glossary of Mortgage Terms, provided by First Service Home Mortgage, Inc., can help new borrowers understand the terminology used in mortgages. Finally, the Bank Rate Monitor site provides the latest mortgage rates and allows users to compare the mortgage rates from several providers in their area. [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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