The Scout Report for Business & Economics - June 4, 1998

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

June 4, 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

National Agricultural Statistics Service--USDA
The United States Department of Agriculture created the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to provide up-to-date statistical information for agricultural producers, businesses, and organizations. Reports focus on stocks, prices, labor, weather, and chemical use as well as the production and prospects for crops and livestock. Data may be as specific as weekly state crop-weather bulletins (accessible by a clickable map of the US) or compose part of USDA NASS annual reports (discussed in the May 29, 1998 Scout Report). Rankings of crops and commodities by state and NASS contacts and career information are also available. Geographic coverage and time series vary, but past information is archived and users may subscribe to an electronic mailing list for updates. [MW]
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The Latin American Development Archive (LADARK) [SPSS]
The Latin American Development Archive (LADARK) was developed by the Program in Comparative International Development, Johns Hopkins University to provide research resources on Latin American development. The site features papers presented at the Guatamalan conference on development and democracy, SPSS data sets and working papers on Latin America. Educators will also find the collection of syllabi for Latin American courses and bibliographies useful. [THN]
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Walrasian General Equilibrium Theory
Goncalo L. Fonseca, a Ph.D. student in Economics at Johns Hopkins University, examines the limitations and uses of Walrasian Economic Theory in an extensive historical essay. A time-line of Walrasian Thought, definitions, mathematical notes and models, and discussions of related theories are given. The paper is linked to Fonseca's History of Economic Thought (HET) page (Discussed in the April 9, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics ) which features over 500 descriptions of notable economists, their publications, and related bibliographies. [MW]
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Microenterprise Innovation Project [.pdf]
A US Agency for International Development (USAID) initiative, the Microenterprise Innovation Project (MIP) aims to provide "microentrepreneurs," owner-operators of tiny, informally organized businesses, with greater access to financial development services. Grant information, technical reports, working papers, and papers produced by MIP components are available for download [.pdf] or purchase, and some include versions in French and Spanish. Topics of discussion range from particular financial institutions to the building of better markets for women and the very poor around the world, and abstracts may be read without Acrobat conversion. [MW]
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Learning Resources
Economics 1423: Capital Markets [.pdf]
John Y. Campbell, Professor of Economics at Harvard University, has made available the materials for his course on Capital Markets. The aim of the course is to introduce students to asset pricing and capital markets. Topics covered include the random walk hypothesis, term structure of interest rates, mean variance analysis, capital asset pricing model (CAPM) and arbitrage pricing theory (APT) and derivatives. The syllabus, lecture notes, assignments and exams are all available at the site. [THN]
[Note: Course instructor and/or materials may have changed since the original review.]
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The EconEdLink site was created by the National Council on Economic Education in partnership with MCI. The aim of the site is to create "a portfolio of web sites offering rich academic content" that can be integrated into classroom activities. There are three sections at the site. The CyberTeach section provides links to useful educational web sites and also includes a guide to constructing economics lessons using the Internet. Net Newsline features analyses of current economic issues from economists, and interactive lessons and forums. The Economics Minute section helps students interpret the economics behind the news of the week by linking to news sources, providing classroom discussion questions and suggested classroom activities. [THN]
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Professor James Follain's Economics Classes
Economics 601: Survey of Microeconomic Theory
Economics 481: Money and Banking
Economics 300: Government and Markets
Economics 745: Urban and Regional Economics
Economics 441: Urban and Regional Economics
James R. Follain, Professor of Economics at Syracuse University, developed these class pages for five courses on economics. The Survey of Microeconomic Theory encourages students to think as economists by using opportunity costs, rational choice and individual preference theory. The Money and Banking course covers the developments of financial markets and the pricing of financial instruments. The Governments and Markets course examines how to choose between a government and a market-oriented approach to allocating resources. Economics 745 looks at the various issues related to housing and housing finance, and aspects of regional economics such as Henderson's system of cities. Economics 441 examines the major problems in the field of urban and regional economics. Each course page contains a detailed course description, class notes and problem sets. [THN]
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Principles of Macroeconomics [.pdf, PowerPoint, RealAudio]
This Principles of Macroeconomics course page was developed by Beth Ingram, Associate Professor of Economics at University of Iowa. The course introduces students to basic concepts in macroeconomics such as GDP, inflation and interest rates. Visitors to the site can either view the lecture notes in slide form or listen to lectures via RealAudio. Exams and quizzes (including answers) are also available at the site. [THN]
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General Interest
Investment Club Central
Investment Club Central was developed by invest-o-rama! to promote investment clubs. At the site, visitors will find many useful articles on how to start an investment club, as well as a collection of investment club news stories. Other resources at the site include a list of online data sources, links to stock research, tutorials on selecting stocks for the club and a directory of investment clubs online. [THN]
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BizProWeb was designed to connect small business owners, professionals and home office entrepreneurs to Internet resources that will help them with their business. The site is divided into Picks of the Day, Web Sites, Newsgroups, Shareware, Features and Discussion Forums. The Picks of the Day section highlights a new web site, shareware or commercial demo program and newsgroup, while the Web Sites section contains links to helpful business sites. A list of Usenet newsgroups that discusses business topics and professional interests and a directory of shareware programs for business tasks can also be found at the site. The site also provides a collection of feature articles on business-related topics and four discussion forums where users can discuss business issues. [THN]
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Dow Jones Business Directory
Dow Jones & Company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, provides this annotated and searchable webliography of business sites to help users find in-depth and accurate Internet business information. Quality sites covering business news, economics, companies, industries, and financial data are rated according to content, access speed, navigation, and design. Editor ratings are provided with descriptions, and most reviewed sites are free. Links to career information, government data, and discussion groups are also included. [MW]
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Human Resource Management Resources on the Internet
Ray Lye, a staff member at the Business School of Nottingham Trent University (UK), has gathered a variety of resources in human resource management for student research. Topics range from business psychology to employee relations and include links to bibliographies, discussion groups, and working papers. Students will also find a list of full-text human resource manuals informative. [MW]
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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
A. Bank for International Settlements[MW]
The Macroeconomic and Financial Implications of Aging Populations--Group of Ten [.pdf]
Monetary Policy in the Nordic Countries: Experiences Since 1992--Policy Paper No. 2 [.pdf]

B. Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Staff Reports [.pdf, .ps]
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis has released two new Staff Reports (No. 246-247), entitled "The Demand for Money and the Nonneutrality of Money," by Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian, and "Comments on Gordon, Leeper, and Zha's 'Trends in Velocity and Policy Expectations,'" by Ellen R. McGrattan. [MW]

C. International Monetary Fund
Working Papers
The IMF has released five new working papers (WP/98/67 to WP/98/71) examining the issues of exchange rates and economic fundamentals, inflation, deviations of exchange rates from purchasing power parity, and government expenditure arrears among others. [MW]

D. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
OECD Economic Working Papers [.pdf]
Development Center Technical Papers [.pdf]
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has released four new working papers (No. 196-199) on topics such as the Norwegian health care system and APEC trade liberalization among others. Its Development Center has released Technical Paper No. 134, "Exchange-Rate Management and Manufactured Exports in Sub-Sahara Africa," by Khalid Sekkat and Aristomene Varoudakis. [MW]

E. World Bank
Public Policy for the Private Sector [.pdf]
The World Bank has released two new papers in the "Public Policy for the Private Sector" series (No. 142-143). They are "Mitigating Risks in Power Reform--A New World Bank Lending Approach: Power sector reform in the Indian state of Haryana," by Djamal Mostefai and "Developing International Power Markets in East Asia," by Enrique Crousillat. [MW]

F. Other Institutions
Institute of International Economic Studies Seminar Papers--IIES [.pdf]
The Institute of International Economic Studies has released Seminar Papers No. 637 and 638, "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," by Lars E.O. Svensson and Glenn Rudebusch, and "Open-Economy Inflation Targeting," by Lars E.O. Svensson. [JS]

Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance--SSE [.pdf]
Four new Working Papers (No. 237-239, 242) covering issues of dynamics of small scale private manufacturing in Vietnam, a simple nonlinear time series model, and monetary policy and market interest rates, among others, are available from the Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper series. [MW]
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A. Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Ag Letter [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Chicago Fed Letter [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Letters
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas--Southwest Economy
Federal Reserve Board of Governors Finance and Economic Discussion Series [.pdf, .ps]
Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has released the May 1998 issue of Ag Letter, highlighting farmland values and credit conditions. It has also released the June 1998 issue of Fed Letter, which discusses credit derivatives. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has released two new Economic Letters (No. 98-17 and 98-18) covering the issues of US and central bank inflation targeting. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has released the May/June (No. 3, 1998) issue of The Southwest Economy, which discusses electricity deregulation in the US. The Federal Reserve Board of Governors has released three new Finance and Economic Discussion Series papers (1998-19 to 1998-21). The papers examine endogenous business cycles and output, hours and consumption; stock market wealth and consumer spending; and wage rigidity and cyclicality. It has also released the May 1998 issue of Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices, which indicates that "the domestic respondents generally remained eager to make loans to businesses, while the foreign respondents had become less eager." [JS]

B. Bank for International Settlements
International Banking and Financial Market Developments [.pdf, .csv]
The Bank for International Settlements has released the May 1998 issue of its quarterly International Banking and Financial Market Developments. The 79 page table annex is available in both .pdf and .csv (comma-separated values) formats. [JS]

C. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
The Survey of Real Estate Trends [.pdf]
The April 1998 issue of The Survey of Real Estate Trends has been made available by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The report concludes that the composite index of real estate activity was 79, up eight points from a year ago. [JS]

D. US Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Outlook--May 1998
The USDA has released the May 1998 issue of Agricultural Outlook, containing articles on farm finance, food safety technologies, and a special article entitled "Livestock Sector Restructuring in CEE/NIS Countries." [JS]

E. Other Institutions
Economic Perspectives--USIA
The US Information Agency (USIA) has released the May 1998 (Vol. 3, No. 3) issue of Economic Perspectives, discussing intellectual property in the global marketplace. [MW]

Focus Hot File--OECD
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released the May 1998 issue of Focus Hot File containing articles on latest developments in public management from various OECD nations. [MW]
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Books and Journals
The abstracts and table of contents for the following journals are now available online: Journal of Banking Finance (Vol 22 No 2), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (Vol 35 Nos 2 and 3), Journal for Public Economics (Vol 68 No 1), Structural Change and Economic Dynamics (Vol 9 No 1), Agricultural Economics (Vol 18 No 2), Information Economics and Policy (Vol 10 No 1), International Journal of Industrial Organization (Vol 16 No 4), Economics Letters (Vol 59 No 1), and Resource and Energy Economics (Vol 20 No 1). [THN]

Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Business--June 1998
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Economics--June 1998
Baker & Taylor has made available a list of forthcoming business and economics books to be published in July. [THN]
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1998 American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA) Annual Meeting
The AAEA annual meeting, entitled "Responsible Resource Use in a Global Economy," will be held August 2-5, 1998, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The meeting is co-sponsored by the Western Agriculture Economics Association (WAEA). To improve the dialogue between the public and private sectors, conference organizers are soliciting the participation of agricultural economists from both the private and public sectors. Special addresses will be made by Marc Reisner, a nationally recognized author, and American Economics Association president Dr. Gale Johnson. Workshops concerning societal issues, research, teaching, and decision making will also be held, and online registration materials are available at the site. [MW]

World Innovation and Strategy Conference 98
The World Innovation and Strategy Conference 98 (WISC98) will be held in Sydney, Australia from August 2-5, 1998. The conference aims to "bring together business practitioners, researchers and policy makers from around the globe to examine and present leading edge approaches to improving innovation, strategy development and the environment in which they operate." [THN]

Young Economists Meeting 1999
The Fourth Young Economists Meeting will be held at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands from April 10-11, 1999. The Meeting is designed to provide young economists (Ph.D. students and assistant professors) with an opportunity to meet, present and discuss their work. [THN]

Fourth International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming
The Fourth International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming will be held in Pisa, Italy from October 26-30, 1998. The conference aims to discuss issues concerning computing with constraints including "algorithms, applications, environments, languages, models and systems." [THN]
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Green Dream Jobs [frames]
The Sustainable Business Network (a project of the Envirolink Network), and Lycos provide this site, a clearinghouse for business related jobs that support a sustainable environment. The site contains job listings at the university, executive, mid- and entry-level. Internships are also posted. [MW]

Job Openings from The Chronicle of Higher Education[MW]
Job Openings in Economics
Job Openings in Business and Management

European Job Openings for Economists (E-JOE)
The E-JOE site is hosted by the Department of Economics at the Technical University Berlin and the European Economic Association. E-JOE provides announcements of job openings for economists in Europe. The listings are searchable and there is an email alert service providing weekly updates of new job openings. [THN]
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New Data
(For links to additional sources of new data see the Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Census Bureau
Housing Starts and Building Permits--April 1998
Survey of Market Absorptions--First Quarter 1998
The US Census Bureau has released the figures for housing starts and building permits for April 1998, showing that private housing starts were down by 2 percent compared with March, while the number of building permits were down by 3 percent during the same period. The 1st Quarter 1998 Survey of Market Absorption is available. It "provides data concerning the rate at which privately financed, nonsubsidized, unfurnished units in buildings with five or more units are rented or sold" (absorbed). Annual data are available for 1995-97 and quarterly data are available back to the 4th quarter of 1995. [THN]
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Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Regional and State Employment and Unemployment--April 1998
Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment--April 1998
The BLS reports that unemployment rates fell in all regions of the US in April 1998. The Midwest had the lowest unemployment rate (3.4 percent), and the West had the highest unemployment rate (5.2 percent). The BLS also reports that 200 metropolitan areas had unemployment rates below the national average, while 119 had above-average rates in April. [JS]
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Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
US International Trade in Goods and Services--March 1998
Gross Domestic Product and Corporate Profits--First Quarter 1998 (Preliminary)
Personal Income and Outlays--April 1998
Gross State Product by Industry--1977-1996
News Release
Detailed State Listing [.prn]
The BEA has announced a March 1998 export total of $79.4 billion and an import total of $92.4 billion for goods and services. The goods and services deficit was up $0.8 billion from the February total. First quarter preliminary GDP and corporate profits are available. Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 4.8 percent in the first quarter, while corporate profits increased by $4.4 billion. The BEA has also issued revised and updated figures for Gross State Product by Industry. Figures are available in .prn format on a state-by-state basis, for easy conversion to spreadsheet and statistical programs. [MW]
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Finance Companies--May 1998
Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization--May 1998
Foreign Exchange Rates--June 1998
Selected Interest Rates--June 1998 [.pdf]
Consumer Credit--May 1998
The Federal Reserve Board of Governors has released its latest reports with respect to finance companies, industrial production and capacity utilization, foreign exchange rates, interest rates, and consumer credit. Industrial production rose by 0.1 percent in April, and capacity utilization decreased by 0.3 percent. Consumer credit grew by 1 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in March 1998. [MW]
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates--May 1998
Outlook For Agricultural Exports--May 1998
The World Agricultural Outlook Board of USDA has released World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates for May 1998. The report covers the international crop and livestock situation. The May 1998 Outlook for Agricultural Exports forecasts US agricultural exports for fiscal 1998 to be $55 billion. [JS]
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Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Commercial Nuclear Fuel from U.S. and Russian Surplus Defense Inventories: Materials, Policies, and Market Effects [.pdf, 113p.]
Electric Power Monthly--May 1998 [.pdf]
Commercial Nuclear Fuel... provides "information and forecasts on the supply of commercial fuel for nuclear electric generation from US and Russian surplus defense inventories." The report covers topics such as government policies, market pentration factors for uranium, and projections through 2010 of uranium spot-market price. Electric Power Monthly for May 1998 has also been released. It summarizes developments in all aspects of US electricity generation. [JS]
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In the News
Economic Sanctions and the Arms Race in India & Pakistan
May 16, 1998 White House Press Release
Arms Export Control Act
US Deparment of Commerce Market Access and Compliance India Sanctions Page (MAC)
May 29, 1998: Interim Guidance on Indian And Pakistan Export Control Licensing Policy--Bureau of Export Administration
Briefing of Strobe Talbott--Department of State
India--CIA World Factbook 1997
Pakistan--CIA World Factbook 1997
India & Pakistan: Nuclear Anxiety--New York Times
This week's In the News explores the United States' response to nuclear tests in India and Pakistan through economic sanctions. The above eight resources provide background economic pictures of India and Pakistan as well as recent press releases from the United States, India, Pakistan, and beyond. On May 11, 1998 India declared itself a nuclear state and conducted the first of five underground nuclear tests in defiance of international law. Neighboring Pakistan responded with a similar test on May 28 causing President Clinton to enact economic sanctions against both nations. Although India's Minister of Finance, Yashwant Sinha, is confident that a financially strong "new India," will not be affected by US action, Pakistan's fragile economy is highly dependent on US support and may lead to an end to this dangerous arms race.

President Clinton's original May 16, 1998 Press Release discussing the economic sanctions imposed against India is available at the United States State Department Bureau of Regional Affairs web site. These sanctions include ending assistance to India under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1991, ending military sales and financing under the Arms Export Control Act, and denying any other U.S. financial aid to India except humanitarian assistance. Particular titles and sections from the Arms Export Control Act can be accessed via the Legal Information Institute server at Cornell University. Background information concerning United States economic policy and trade practices with foreign nations as well as the particular sanctions enacted against India can be found at the United States Department of Commerce International Trade Administration Market Access and Compliance (MAC) India Sanctions page. Top United States exports to India and United States machinery exports are also listed there. Steps in export control to Indian and Pakistani government entities (Licensing Policies) are listed at the United States Department of Commerce Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) site. As of June 3, 1998, some license exceptions exist for eligible exports, but interested parties are encouraged to contact the Office of Exporter Services listed on site for up-to-date policy adjustments. International support for United States sanctions are disussed in a press briefing with Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State, made on May 28. Mr. Talbott emphasizes the need for "multilateral efforts" among world leaders to strengthen the impact of US sanctions. Indian and Pakistani political data, maps, and economic snapshots prior to May 16 are available at the CIA World Factbook sites for these countries. The New York Times (freely available after registration in the US) have compiled useful links to Indian and Pakistani national sites, world-wide news publications, and United States opinion pieces with some economic discussions. [MW]
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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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