The Scout Report for Business & Economics - July 2, 1998

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

July 2, 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
* Research * Current Awareness
* Learning Resources * New Data
* General Interest * In the News

Center for Research in Security Prices Working Paper Series--UC GSB [.pdf]
The Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) was founded in 1960 by James H. Lorie and Lawrence Fisher, Professors at the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business to "advance research in operations of security markets." CRSP compiles standard and derived security data concerning the NYSE, AMEX and NASDAQ stock markets, and maintains a list of current staff working papers for academic and commercial use [.pdf]. At present, thirty papers cover topics of market efficiency, stock diversification, and bank deregulation among others. A bibliography of reprints locates other titles in publications such as The Journal of Monetary Economics and The Journal of Finance.[MW]
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1998 Directory of Community Development Investments--FRB [.pdf, 192p.]
The Federal Reserve Board has recently released the 1998 Directory of Community Development Investments [.pdf]. Descriptive profiles of bank investments in community development corporations are given with information on the amount of initial capital invested, a description of the community development projects undertaken or planned, and persons to contact for additional information. The complete directory consists of 192 pages, but is also sub-divided by bank location. Cities listed with bank holding companies now engaged in community development activities include Boston, New York, Cleveland, and Atlanta, among others. Listings of state member banks with community investments include New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Atlanta, and Chicago, among others. [MW]
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Scott Simkins, Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics at North Carolina A & T State University, created this metasite to provide easy access to basic economic and financial information for students. Links to US government publications, economic statistics, and financial market information, among others, are clearly organized and annotated. A "Student Resources" list provides links to economic textbooks (full text), while a "Current News" directory of Internet news sources encourages students to stay abreast of the latest world developments. Educators may also find a "Teacher Resources" list of discussion group and course material links useful. [MW]
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USDA ERS Relaunch [.pdf]
The Economic Research Service (ERS) is one of four agencies in the Research, Education, and Economics (REE) Mission Area of the US Department of Agriculture addressing issues of efficiency, efficacy and equity in agriculture and rural development. Recently, ERS has relaunched their site, emphasizing ease of accessibility to publications such as research reports, periodicals, maps, photos and fact sheets to view or download (.pdf format). ERS also provides email, fax, and phone numbers of subject specialists for direct research questions, and a "What's New" menu gives calendars of up-coming titles. [MW]
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Learning Resources
Africa Business Network--IFC
The Africa Business Network is a work in progress provided by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group (discussed in the November 6, 1997 Scout Report for Business and Economics) to encourage private investment in Africa. ABN brings together IFC, World Bank, and other publications on African financial topics under one search interface. In addition, a "Country Information Center" includes detailed economic, social, and business profiles of Sub-Saharan Africa countries. Currently, information for Uganda and Cote d'Ivoire is available with up-dates and future country profiles expected soon. [MW]
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Introduction to Activity Based Costing (ABC)
Narcyz Roztocki, staff member at the University of Pittsburgh, presents this Introduction to Activity Based Costing (ABC) in slide presentation format. Topics include "a typical situation in a small manufacturing firm," "major factors for determination of market price," and "traditional cost accounting (TCA)" among others. Participants may respond to the presentation via a questionnaire and a webliography of other ABC and Equal Value Added (EVA) sites is annotated for further research. [MW]
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Leslie Brock Center for the Study of Colonial Currency
Based at the University of Virginia Department of Economics, the Leslie Brock Center for the Study of Colonial Currency makes the controversial work of the late Leslie V. Brock (1903-1985), Professor of History, College of Idaho, available for study. Fundamental sources of Brock's inquiries into colonial paper money practices, such as Ben Franklin's "Modest Enquiry into the Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency" (1729) and Douglass's "Discourse on the Currencies of the American Plantations" (1740), are included in full text, as are current articles on American monetary history. Useful links to other monetary history chronologies, sites, bibliographies, and currency calculators are maintained by Roy Davies, Science Librarian at the University of Exeter, England. [MW]
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Risk Management and Insurance
Tapen Sinha, Professor of Risk Management and Insurance at Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico, Mexico City, provides this introduction to Risk Management and Insurance in 48 slides. Slide topics define management, give a basic matrix of decisions and consequences, and explain property value when exposed to loss. Students may view slide contents in sequence or select topics of interest from a hypertext table of contents. [MW]
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General Interest
Created by Doug Fairclough, a founding developer of Hot Wired, and Kris Shrinak, a former Wall Street trader, ClearStation provides "professional trading techniques" for both experienced and novice investors. A unique combination of graphs, daily computer-generated stock ideas, and staff educational articles help users enhance their trading strategies and portfolios. News and data providers include S&P ComStock, Zacks, and Market Guide. Registration is required and members must agree to share their ClearStation-created portfolios with other members, to increase learning and discussion on site. [MW]
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Arent Fox Corporate Survival Guide to Patenting
Washington D.C. law firm Arent Fox created the Corporate Survival Guide to Patenting to provide a general overview of issues in the patenting process. As there are often no easy answers concerning inventors, their works, and terms of employment, Arent Fox staff offer in-depth advice based on important decisions, as well as links to other useful patent pages. Articles on site cover topics such as employment contracts, guidelines for computer software, and establishing a successful patent program, in addition to invention ownership in general. [MW]
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Better Business Bureau Central Web Server
The Better Business Bureau Central Web Server links Better Business Bureaus in the US and Canada with the goal of promoting "the highest ethical relationship between businesses and the public." A resource library lists a wide range of BBB publications by subject, and includes scam alerts, press articles and links to other company information servers. Business directories are also available and users may locate a BBB nearby, or file a complaint online. [MW]
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Social Investment Forum Guide to Socially Responsible Investing
The Social Investment Forum, a national nonprofit membership association, provides the Guide to Socially Responsible Investing to help individuals use their savings in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Up-to-date rates and terms are given for a variety of social ventures, from checking, savings, and direct deposit accounts to money markets and mutual funds. Four general types of institutions are described (community banks, credit unions, loan funds, and microenterprise lenders) with geographical, email, website, and telephone directory information. [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. Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Working Papers [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Research Archive Staff Reports [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Working Papers [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Board Finance and Economics Discussion Series [.pdf], [.ps]
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has released "Does the Federal Reserve Have an Informational Advantage" (98-2), by Joe Peek, Eric S. Rosengren and Geoffrey M.B. Tootell and "An Optimizing Model for Monetary Policy Analysis" (98-1), by Jeffrey C. Fuhrer. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Research Archive has released Staff Report No. 248 entitled "The Defining Moment: A Review Essay," by Lee E. Ohanian. Seven working papers (Nos. 98-1 to 98-7), covering topics of credit union policies in Latin America, capital allocation in commercial banking, and the single-family housing market, among others, are available from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The Federal Reserve Board has released six new Finance and Economics Discussion Series papers (1998-19 to 1998-24) on topics of stock market wealth and consumer spending, natural unemployment rates, effects of stock prices on money market mutual funds, and nominal wage rigidity and real wage cyclicality. [MW]

B. International Monetary Fund
IMF Staff Country Reports [.pdf]
The International Monetary Fund has released sixteen new staff country reports (discussed in the January 30, 1998 Scout Report) covering the Republic of Latvia, the Bahamas, Switzerland, Morocco, and the People's Republic of China, among others (Nos. 31-47). Most include statistical appendices. [MW]

IMF Occasional Papers [.pdf]
The International Monetary Fund has released five new occasional papers (Nos. 155, 160, and 162-164) examining issues of Algerian stabilization and transition to market, the market economy in Egypt, and fiscal reforms in low-income countries, among others. [MW]

C. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
OECD Working Papers
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has released eight new working papers (Nos. 200-207) on the topic of aging and retirement in several OECD nations. [MW]

D. Other Institutions
Wharton Working Papers [.pdf]
The Wharton Financial Institutions Center, an independently managed site at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has released the new working paper "Bankruptcy Exemptions and the Market for Mortgage Loans," by Richard Hynes and Jeremy Berkowitz (No. 98-17). [MW]

Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance--SSE [.pdf]
Two new Working Papers (Nos. 246-247), entitled "Efficiency in the Treatment of Hip Fractures," by Magnus Tambour and Niklas Zethraeus, and "Health Care System Effects on Cost Efficiency in the OECD Countries," by Ulf-G. Gerdtham and Mickael Lthgren, are available from the Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper series. [MW]
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A. Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Economic Review and Economics Update [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Economic Perspectives [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Business Review
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has released Economic Review for the second quarter of 1998 (Vol. 83 No. 2) with articles on choice of capital instruments and minimum wage hikes. The quarterly newsletter Economics Update (Vol. 11 No. 2) is also available from FRB Atlanta with feature articles on welfare reform efforts and risk management. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has released the second quarter 1998 Economic Perspectives, with in-depth articles on home ownership, access to FHLBank advances and the impact of regulation on bank cost efficiency, among others. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the May/June 1998 issue of Business Review with "The Retail Revolution and Food-Price Mismeasurement," by Leonard I. Nakamura, and "Restructuring During Recessions: the Silver Lining in the cloud?" by Keith Sill. [MW]

B. Other Institutions
United States International Trade Commission--USITC
Industry, Trade, and Technology Review [.pdf]
The US International Trade Commission has released the June 1998 issue of Industry, Trade, ad Technology Review (.pdf format), with articles on China's evolving automotive industry and Canadian involvement in Mexico's maquiladora industry. [MW]
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Books and Journals
The abstracts and table of contents for the following journals are now available online: Economic Letters (Vol. 59 No. 2), European Journal of Political Economy (Vol. 14 No. 2), Insurance: Mathematics and Economics (Vol. 22 No. 1), International Journal of Industrial Organization (Vol. 15 No. 5), Journal of Econometrics (Vol. 85 No. 1), Journal for Public Economics (Vol. 68 No. 3), and Labour Economics (Vol. 5 No. 1). [MW]

Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Business--July 1998
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Economics--July 1998
Baker & Taylor has made available a list of forthcoming business and economics books to be published in August. [MW]
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Trade Forum @ the Americas--SICE
Upcoming conferences for economists and business people interested in the Caribbean and Latin America are listed at this Organization of American States Foreign Trade Information System (discussed in the December 18, 1997 Scout Report for Business & Economics). Titles include "The Transformation of the Americas," hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce of Peru, and "Miami Conference on the Caribbean and Latin America," sponsored by Caribbean/Latin American Action in Miami, Florida. Telephone numbers, email addresses, and links to further information are given for each conference. [MW]

1998 Economic History Association Meetings
The Economic History Association, managed at the Department of Economics, University of Kansas at Lawrence, will hold their 1998 Annual Meeting September 25-27, 1998 in Durham, North Carolina. Presentation topics cover property rights and distribution, economic history and the consumer, and governance and economic growth among others. Registration is available online as well as coordinator contact information. [MW]

1999 Business History Conference
The Center for the Study of the American South and the Southern Business History Initiative will host the 1999 Business History Conference March 5-7, 1999, at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Papers or panels are invited on any topic of business history, although preference will be given to topics addressing the 1999 theme, "The Virtues of Business; the Business of Virtue." Papers or panels relating to the study of the American South and Southern Business History are also highly recommended. Proposal addresses are available online as well as links to University of North Carolina departments. [MW]
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Job Openings from The Chronicle of Higher Education[MW]
Job Openings in Economics
Job Openings in Business and Management

AAEA Employment Services
The American Agricultural Economics Association maintains this site, an ongoing list of academically oriented job listings. Listings are posted in order of closing dates, with the earliest ones listed first. [JS]
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New Data
(For links to additional sources of new data see the Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Census Bureau
Annual Survey of Communication Services [.pdf]
The Census Bureau has released findings for selected United States communications industry groups from 1995 to 1996. Telephone communication revenues showed an increase of 10 percent while radio and television broadcasting services increased 9 percent. Cable and other pay television services grew the most in 1996 with total revenues of $38 Billion at an increase of 14 percent. Overall, the industry boomed in 1996 with revenues of more than $322 billion. [MW]
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Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Number of Jobs, Labor Market Experience, and Earnings Growth: A Longitudinal Survey [.pdf]
Regional and State Employment and Unemployment: May 1998
Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment: May 1998
The Employment Situation: June 1998
According to a BLS longitudinal survey covering the years 1979 to 1996, the average US citizen holds 8.6 different jobs from the ages of 18 to 32. The BLS statistics for Regional and State Employment and Unemployment for May 1998 remain at the low levels recorded in the early months of this year. Regionally, the Midwest continued to report the lowest unemployment rate, 3.5 percent in May, while the West retained the highest at 5.2 percent. In May, the lowest jobless rates for a metropolitan area were recorded in Fargo (North Dakota)-Moorhead (Minnesota) at 1.1 percent, and Madison, Wisconsin at 1.2 percent. The highest metropolitan unemployment rate was in Yuma, AZ at 31.2 percent. Overall, the May US Employment Situation changed very little over the month with 131.5 million people employed. [MW]
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Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
International Accounts Data
The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released information on US international transactions. The report includes annual tables of exports and imports by area and country, covering the years 1993-95, with additional current data (1996-98) by month. Private service transactions are also provided for the years 1986-95. [MW]
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA Reports Calendars: July 1998
USDA Agency Reports Calendar
ERS Calendar
NASS Calendar
USDA summarizes its report releases from various sources (the Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and the World Agricultural Outlook Board) at these three calendar sites. Notable data for June 30, 1998 include the NASS Acreage Report. Corn planted for all purposes is estimated at 80.8 million acres, up 1 percent from last year, and soybean acreage includes 72.7 million acres, up 3 percent. [MW]
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Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Annual Energy Review 1997 [.pdf, 358p.]
Electric Power Monthly: June 1998
The EIA has released its Annual Energy Review for 1998. Its twelve chapters cover such topics as end-user consumption, financial indicators, and international energy resources. Full text is available (.pdf format), but the bulk of the work is contained in its over 100 tables (available in several formats), time series of varying length beginning as early as 1949 and ending as late as 1997. The EIA has also released the June 1998 Electric Power Monthly Report [.pdf]. Topics include US electric utility net generation, consumption of fossil fuels, fossil-fuel stocks, and electric utility sales, among others, and cover the months of February and March 1998. The energy source with the largest quantitative increase in generation, as compared to March of last year, was coal. Also in comparison to March 1997, retail sales of electricity in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors increased by 6 percent, 4 percent, and 3 percent, respectively. ASCII text versions of each data table supplement the report. [MW]
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REIS 1996 Update--UVA SSDC
The University of Virginia Social Science Data Center (discussed in the April 26, 1996 Scout Report) has updated its interactive query database of the US Bureau of Economic Analysis' Regional Economic Information System through 1996. Disaggregated data at the national, regional, state, county, metropolitan statistical area (MSA), and BEA economic area are available for personal income, employment, transfer payments, and farm income, as well as regional economic profiles. Annual data begin in 1969. [JS]
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In the News
UAW Battle with General Motors
1. Detroit News
2. General Motors Homepage: Financials
3. The GM Timeline
4. UAW Press Releases
5. History of the United Auto Workers
6. Automotive Information Center
7. World Socialist Web Site
8. A Message from Michael Moore
This week's In the News examines the causes and effects of the recent United Auto Workers strikes against major Michigan employer General Motors. These eight sites discusss various aspects of the issues involved in the strikes. The strikes began on June 5, 1998, at the Flint Michigan Metal Center due to GM demands to eliminate set production quotas, idling approximately 162,700 GM North American Operations and Delphi Automotive systems employees in the US, Mexico, and Canada. GM officials estimate their total losses at $1.18 billion, although many industry analysts suggest the strike will have little effect on the over-all booming automotive market. While GM sales are seen up 15 to 19 percent since last June, company press releases continue to emphasize the importance of remaining competitive in an increasingly global market. In the state made famous by cars, labor, and the documentary Roger and Me, however, workers question what toll on the community might result from a more diversified General Motors Corporation in the future.

(1) For detailed and up-to-date local news accounts consult the Detroit News. Past articles are archived and viewers may compare a spectrum of viewpoints from the people most affected by the strike. (2) For a financial snapshot and company history, the General Motors Corporate Homepage includes information for investors, as well as product information. (3) A timeline of GM innovations may be viewed at their GMCanada site. GM also provides press releases at both homepages. (4-5) The United Auto Workers site includes press releases, as well as a "History of the United Auto Workers" timeline and photo archive. (6) For links to more automotive product information, history, and the Michigan auto workers labor movement, the Automotive Information Center is an extensive annotated metasite. For information from the worker's point of view, both (7) the World Socialist Web Site and (8) film maker Michael Moore's pages provide interesting opinions and links to grassroots organizations worldwide. [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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