The Scout Report for Business & Economics - March 26, 1998

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

March 26, 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

Survey of Financial Systems of the Americas -- IADB [SPSS 7.5, .zip]
The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) has carried out the Survey of Financial Systems to provide "decision makers with information regarding the structure and level of development of the national financial systems of the Western Hemisphere." The Survey strives to provide information about the region's "financial institutions, instruments, law and regulatory oversight." The questions for the survey and information about how the survey is carried out can be found at the site. The data for the Survey is also available for download as an SPSS 7.5 data file. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

IMF Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics Annual Report 1997 [.pdf, 18 pages]
The IMF Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics has released its 1997 Annual Report. The report points to sizable discrepancies in the global balance of payments statistics. Central to this report are the efforts that attempt to account for the discrepancies such as the coordinated portfolio investment survey. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Economics and Financial Reports -- Bank of America
Bank of America has made available its collection of economic and technical research reports. The reports include a weekly economic briefing on the US economy, a survey of Wall Street economists, an analysis of payroll employment and CPI; and occasional reports on business and economics. Bank of America also provides a weekly international economic briefing; a technical analyses of the yen, mark and pound exchange rates; and the Stock and Bond Investment Overview & Strategy. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

National Regulatory Research Institute [.pdf, WordPerfect 7.0]
The National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI) was created to "provide research, educational services and technical services to the state regulatory commissions." At the site visitors can download selected research articles and read the online version of the NRRI Quarterly Bulletin. The site also contains the latest reports on the electric industry restructuring, a data bank of state commission decisions on arbitrated interconnection agreements, and the report on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Internet Working Group. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Bayesian Analysis, Computation and Communication Homepage [.pdf ,.ps]
The Bayesian Analysis, Computation and Communication site is being developed by Siddhartha Chib and John Gweke from the University of Minnesota for the project Bayesian Communication in the Social Sciences. The site provides software codes for the Bayesian communication software, utility routines and Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling of econometric models developed under the project. A software manual and an article by John Gweke titled "Using Simulation Methods for Bayesian Econometric Models: Inference, Development and Communication" is also available at the site. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Learning Resources
Development Education Program
The Development Education Program was created by the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank with the aim of educating students to "think critically about the social, economic and environmental issues of sustainable development." Teachers will find text, maps, charts, data tables, photos and case studies in the Learning Modules section to use in their classrooms. The Learning Modules cover topics such as population growth rate, gross national product (GNP) per capita, and access to safe water. There is also a teaching guide available to teachers on how to present the materials. Students can choose to go through the materials in the Learning modules themselves. Sustainable Development Post, an interactive forum for thoughts and comments about issues of sustainable development, invites student participation. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

International Trade
The Department of Economics at the University of Western Australia created the International Trade site as an "interactive on-line course teaching the fundamentals of international trade policy." The course is divided into two parts. The first section looks at basic international trade models such as the general equilibrium model, Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage, Hecksher-Ohlin models, Krugman's model, and intra-industry trade, among others. The second part of the course examines the application of trade theory to policy and welfare analysis. Issues covered in the course include tariffs, quotas, subsidies, dumping, and the use of game theory in international trade. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Economic Analysis of Law
David Friedman, Professor of Law at Santa Clara University, developed this web site for his course on the Economic Analysis of Law. The highlight of the site is the draft chapters from "Why is Law?: An Economists' Perspective." Currently, ten of the planned nineteen chapters cover topics such as the role of economics in law, efficiency, and defining and enforcing property rights. Visitors to the site can also find selected articles written by David Friedman and lecture outlines. Course exams and answers to previous exams are provided. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

The Basics of Investing: A Guide for Educators
The Basics of Investing: A Guide for Educators is developed jointly by the National Association of Securities Dealers and the National Institute for Consumer Education. The aim of the site is to "enhance the knowledge and skills of individual investors". The guide is divided into six sections focusing on designing a personal finance plan: learning how financial markets work, choosing among the various investment options, finding and using investment information, avoiding financial fraud, and ethics. Within each section there are worksheets to help individuals implement the lessons; a test at the end to allows users to gauge their understanding. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

General Interest
History of Money from Ancient times to the Present Day
Glyn Davies, Emeritus Professor at the University of Wales, collaborated with Roy Davies to create this web site. The site traces the development of money through history with a series of essays. The first essay details a chronology of money from the earliest times; other essays discuss the pendulum metatheory of money, the origins of money and banking, warfare and financial history, Celtic coinage, the Vikings, money in North America, the European Monetary Union, government control of the money supply, and Third World debt. Users can also search the site on a particular topic. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Equity Trader
EquityTrader is a stock-charting service provided by John Bollinger's Acme Analytics. The site is aimed at helping investors make decisions about stocks. At the site, investors can obtain a risk-adjusted view of the past through the Performance Rating section and the site's assessment of the stock's future potential through the Potential Rating of any stocks. There are also three sets of technical indicators at the site: Supply/Demand, Relative Strength, and Momentum. The stock charts provided show 90 days of stock prices with Bollinger Bands and volume. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

On Balance
South-Western College Publishing has created On Balance to serve as an "on-line gathering place for the academic accounting community." The site is divided into several conferences where users can discuss their topics of interest. Each conference is hosted by at least one expert. Current conferences include teaching and learning strategies, value creation, and social accounting. Free registration is required prior to conference participation. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

The Electronic Commerce Guide
The Electronic Commerce Guide web site is provided by Mecklermedia, a publisher of Internet-related magazines. The site features news, articles and web links related to electronic commerce on the World Wide Web. In the library section, visitors can find links to articles on Advertising & Marketing, Electronic Money, Electronic Payment Systems, and Smart Cards from various online sources. The site also contains a database of companies providing electronic commerce services and list of Internet links arranged by category. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

The Entrepreneur's Mind
The Entrepreneur's Mind features a collection of "real-life stories and advice from successful entrepreneurs and industry experts" on developing your own business. The Keynote Entrepreneurs and Launchpad section contains information about the entrepreneurs and how they succeeded in their businesses. The site also has a section which examines the experiences of small businesses outside America. Users can benefit from the professional advice of experts in the Expert's Corner and Arthur Andersen sections. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

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
BRIE Working Papers
Berkeley Roundtable on International Economics has released six new working papers (No. 97-100, 105-106, 111) covering the topics of Japan's political economy, China's technology industry, Asian production networks, the European Union, international production networks in the electronics industry, and technology policy. [THN]

Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Working Papers [.pdf]
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has released working paper 98-1 titled "A Public Finance Analysis of Multiple Reserve Requirements" by Marco Espinosa-Vega and Steven Russell. [THN]

International Monetary Fund Working Papers
The International Monetary Fund has released eighteen new working papers (WP/98/10 to WP/98/27). They cover the issues of monetary policy, financial derivatives, currencies, wage indexation, and generational accounting, among others. [THN]

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Economics Working Papers
The OECD has released has five new working papers (No. 189-193) covering the topics of income distribution and poverty, monetary policy, carbon emission abatement and the macroeconomics of aging. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Quarterly Review [.pdf, .ps]
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Letters
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Review [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Fed Letter [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Southwest Economy
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis has released the Winter 1998 issue of the Quarterly Review; articles address the topics of working hours and monetary theory. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has released Economic Letters No.98-09 looking at the possibility of a currency board for Indonesia. The Federal Reserve Board of Kansas City has released the first quarter issue of the Economic Review featuring articles on inflation and US agriculture. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has released the April 1998 issue of Fed Letter, which looks at the changing fiscal policy in the Seventh District. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has released the March/April 1998 issue of Southwest Economy which examines the impact of the Asian crisis on the US economy. [THN]

United States Information Agency (USIA) [.pdf, .zip]
Economic Perspectives -- March 1998
The USIA has released the March 1998 issue of Economic Perspectives, which considers the theme of Free Trade and the Summit of the Americas. The articles center around the discussion of the formation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). [THN]

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Banking Review [.pdf]
The FDIC has released Vol. 10 No.2 of the Banking Review containing articles on the Year 2000 computer problem and small business credit markets. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Books and Journals
Econbase -- Elsevier
The abstracts for Insurance: Mathematics and Economics (Vol. 21 No. 3), Economic Letters (Vol. 57 No. 3), European Economic Review (Vol. 42 No.1), the Journal of Econometrics (Vol. 84 No.1), the Journal of Corporate Finance (Vol. 3 No.4) and Japan and the World Economy (Vol. 9 No.4) are now available. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

International Conference on Exchange Rate Stability and Currency Board Economics
The International Conference on Exchange Rate Stability and Currency Board Economics is organized by the Department of Economics, School of Business, Hong Kong Baptist University. The conference will be held from November 28-29, 1998 in Hong Kong. [THN]

Twenty-Sixth Annual Telecommunications Policy Research Conference
The Twenty-Sixth Annual Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC) will be held from October 3-5, 1998 in Alexandria, Virginia. The conference brings together researchers and policy-makers to discuss policy-relevant telecommunications and information issues. [THN]

Forecasting Methods: New Developments
Forecasting Methods: New Developments is the second Time Series Workshop at Arrabida. It will be held from 29 June to 3 July 1998 at Convento da Arrabida, Portugal. The aim of the conference is to expose the participants to recent developments in time series forecasting methods and applications. [THN]

First Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis
The Center for Global Trade Analysis at Purdue University is organizing the First Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis to be held from June 8-10, 1998. The aim of the conference is to "promote the exchange of ideas among economists conducting quantitative analysis on issues of global significance" with particular emphasis on applied general equilibrium models. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

European Job Openings for Economists (E-JOE)
The E-JOE site is hosted by the Department of Economics at the Technical University of Berlin and the European Economic Association. It provides announcements of job openings for economists in Europe. The listings are searchable; there is also an email alert service that offers weekly updates on new job openings. [THN]

Job Openings in Economics from the Chronicle of Higher Education
Job Openings in Business and Management from the Chronicle of Higher Education

Job Openings for Economists -- February 1998
JOE is provided by the Emerican Economics Association and the Economics Department at the University of Texas at Austin. [JS]
[Back to Contents]

New Data
(For links to additional sources of new data see the Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes -- February 1998
Producer Price Indexes -- February 1998
Consumer Price Index -- February 1998
Real Earnings -- February 1998
Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment -- January 1998
Regional and State Employment and Unemployment -- February 1998
The latest BLS figures show that the US Import Price Index fell by 0.8 percent while the US Export Price index declined by 0.2 percent in February 1998. Similarly, the Producer Price Index for Finished Goods fell by 0.1 percent in February, seasonally adjusted. However, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose by 0.1 percent, seasonally adjusted in February. Real average weekly earnings increased by 0.9 percent in February after seasonal adjustment. Regional and state unemployment rates were generally stable in February, with the Midwest continuing to be the lowest unemployment region with an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent. The BLS also released the January 1998 figures for Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
United States International Transactions: Fourth Quarter and Year 1997
United States International Trade in Goods and Services: January 1998
The latest data from the BEA show that the US current account deficit widened to $45.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 1997 from a deficit of $43.1 billion in the third quarter of 1997. For the year of 1997, the current account deficit increased to $166.4 billion from $148.2 billion in 1996. The BEA also released the January 1998 international trade figures showing the goods and services deficit increasing to $12 billion from $10.9 billion in December 1997. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions (Beige Book)
Finance Companies --January 1998
The Federal Reserve Board of Governors has released the March issue of the Beige Book based on information collected before March 9, 1998. The Beige Book contains anecdotal information on current economic conditions from interviews with key businessmen, economists and other sources. The latest report demonstrates that "all the district economies continue to show overall strength, but a few have noted some recent moderation in their rates of growth." The Federal Reserve Board of Governors also released the January 1998 figures for Finance Companies. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Quarterly Banking Profile -- Fourth Quarter 1997 [.pdf]
The FDIC has made available the Fourth Quarter 1997 issue of the Quarterly Banking Profile. The report provides summary reports, tables and graphs on the performance of all FDIC-insured institutions. [THN]
[Back to Contents]

Energy Information Administration (EIA)
National Energy Modeling System: An Overview 1998 [.pdf]
The EIA has released the National Energy Modeling System: An Overview 1998 which provides a summary description of the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) including a brief description of the methodology and the scope of each component module. The NEMS is the model used by the EIA to forecast energy production, demand, imports and prices through the year 2020 for the Annual Energy Outlook 1998.[THN]
[Back to Contents]

In the News
Preparing your Taxes
IRS Tax Forms [.pdf. ps] [.pdf] Taxes
Tax Planning Guide
Your Taxes: New York Times
Tax Prophet [.pdf, Word]
H&R Block Tax Refund Calculator
IRS e-file using a Personal Computer
This week's In the News looks at the resources available for people preparing their taxes. The eight resources above provide information and additional resources to taxpayers who are preparing their return. With the tax filing deadline of April 15 approaching, tax return preparation is in full swing.

A good place to start is the IRS Tax Forms site where visitors can download and print all of the necessary Federal tax forms and publications. Another source for tax forms is, which provides most state tax forms in addition to Federal tax forms. Taxes is a comprehensive tax site with the latest in tax news and expert tips on preparing taxes. It also houses a bulletin board where visitors can share their views on various aspects of the tax system. Another comprehensive tax site is the Deloitte & Touche Tax Planning Guide site. The site provides a number of tax tips, several tax planning tools, and other tax information. Your Taxes site by the New York Times provides useful articles on preparing taxes. The Tax Prophet provides a collection of tax newsletters, outlines on selected tax issues, and a tax class on estate planning. The H&R Block Tax Refund Calculator provides users with a quick estimate on how much of a refund to expect. For those interested in electronically filing their tax return, the IRS e-file using a Personal Computer site provides useful information and a list of software products that can be used for electronic filing. [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.