The Scout Report for Business & Economics - July 16, 1998

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

July 16, 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

We regret to inform you that an error occurred in the July 2, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics annotation for ClearStation. Please note that the portfolios created by users are kept completely private as indicated by ClearStation's Member Agreement. We apologize for any misunderstanding this annotation may have caused.

Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS)
Acting as part of the European Commission's INNOVATION Programme, the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) provides information on European Union research, development, and innovation activities to help strengthen the competitiveness of European organizations, particularly Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Ten searchable databases covering various news and research publications, EU funded research programmes, and organizational contact and partnership directories are designed to help SMEs find data and funding. An Acronym dictionary of EU research and development terms aids search navigation, and key pages are available in English, French, German, and Italian. [MW]
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Trade, Global Policy, and the Environment Conference Papers--World Bank [.pdf]
To encourage the exchange of ideas among academics and government policy makers concerning the effects of trade liberalization on the environment, the World Bank Environment Department (discussed in the September 25, 1997 Scout Report for Business & Economics) has made fifteen working papers available from the "Trade, Global Policy, and the Environment" conference held April 21-22, 1998, in Washington, DC. Contributors from the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Monetary Fund, Johns Hopkins University, and Columbia University, among others, address topics ranging from trade liberalization and pollution to policy options for global environmental problems. Papers are listed as they occurred in the original program, and thereby retain the interlocutory nature of this event. [MW]
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US Department of Labor Women's Bureau [.pdf]
Created by Congress on June 5, 1920, to "promote the welfare of wage earning women," the US Department of Labor Women's Bureau (DOLWB) seeks to inform the public of women's work rights and employment issues. Bureau publications include Fact Sheets on Women in the Workplace, the legally informative Know Your Rights Series, survey results, and special reports on the history of the Equal Pay Act, child care, and financial success stories, among others (.pdf format). A Statistics and Data Library will be of particular use to educators, offering current and historical employment totals and earnings estimates in graphical, presentation formats. Male to Female wage and employment comparisons are also included on site, and some DOLWB studies delineate employment totals by occupation. Links to relevant DOL agencies and reports, as well as other women's labor organizations are also useful in researching the long history of women's labor struggles in the US. [MW]
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Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science [.pdf]
Founded in 1971 at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, the Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science is an interdisciplinary research center for economists, managerial economists, mathematicians, and other interested social scientists who use mathematical methods and models in their work. Research interests vary from the analysis and design of systems, organizations, and institutions for managing and controlling economic activities to, more recently, the theory of games. An extensive bibliography of over 1200 staff Discussion Papers dating back to 1972 is available for viewing, with more recent papers available for download (.pdf format). Math Center workshops, seminars, conferences, staff directory, and links to related departments are also listed on site. [MW]
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Learning Resources
MBA 604: Marketing through New Media
Douglas Anderson and Bruce Bailey of Madaille College, Buffalo, NY, liken marketing firms to the flesh of an orange, macroeconomic forces to an orange peel, and the process of marketing research as "peeling the orange" in this beautifully executed educational site designed to heighten student use of the web. Course objectives call for thoughtful evaluation of multimedia product design and presentation as well as the development of digital projects by students themselves. An annotated webliography of interesting essays and resources, provocative quotations, and intelligently placed graphics throughout make this site an exemplary marketing design all its own. [MW]
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The Microstate Network [frames]
Founded in 1994, the privately owned Microstate Network maintains a worldwide consulting metasite designed to link experts in public and private sector development with data concerning "the smallest of countries." Site features include a search engine, clickable map, and annotated links to general language and culture information, educational and governmental institutions, and the business homepages of over one hundred microeconomies around the world. In addition, selected United Nations, World Bank, and other conferences concerning international development are listed, and a What's New section keep searchers abreast of new additions. Students will benefit from the wealth of links concerning a variety of lesser-known economies. [MW]
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North Carolina and the Battle for Business
Author David Eddy Spicer of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, explores the issues that arise when political jurisdictions compete for businesses that are relocating, in this Case Study in Public Policy and Management. Students are put in the place of top economic advisors to Governor Jim Hunt of North Carolina, and must form opinions based on actual interviews with business and political leaders, news articles, and legal briefs. Registration is required and although a small fee (currently $2.50) is charged for access, the site is well worth the visit. [MW]
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China's Free Markets
Web author Ditty Deamer invites viewers to "see how China's free markets operate today" in this photographic essay on Chinese Farmers' markets spanning May 1996 to May 1998. An extraordinary history, Ms. Deamer leads us through markets in Bejing, Shanghai, and Pudong, among others, with detailed explanations of Chinese marketplace history, prices, taxes, and products gleaned from interviews with farmers, vendors and market managers. Expect interesting updates from Ms. Deamer in the future, as she tracks Chinese free markets while continuing to travel in China as an investment advisor. [MW]
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General Interest
Microsoft HomeAdvisor
New from the Microsoft Network, the Microsoft HomeAdvisor is now in preview and offers an extensive consumer guide to home buying. Tools for researching homes, neighborhoods, and loans on the Internet include daily national average interest rates provided by Bank Rate Monitor and community data provided by CrimeCheck, SchoolMatch, PRIZM, and Claritas Inc. Site navigation is made easy by homepage summaries and a search engine. Users may also sign up for email-distributed home and loan trackers. [MW]
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As part of the International DoubleClick Network, an affiliate of AltaVista, TradingCharts provides free financial charts on stock market prices, market indices, and money markets. Chart data are updated daily, and a written technical analysis of market movements is given with each chart output. NASDAQ, NYSE, CDN, NDX, and money market symbols may be entered in daily, weekly, or monthly terms at the homepage, and search and browse options are available for unknown symbols. In addition, a Personalized Chart Menu allows users to save charts for future reference while browsing. [MW]
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Lucash, Gesmer, & Updegrove Guide to Online Advertising
Boston, MA law firm Lucash, Gesmer, and Updegrove have reprinted the article, "Online Advertising--Beware of the Dangers," originally printed in the March 30, 1998 issue of Mass High Tech, to benefit companies and entrepreneurs involved in information technologies. Article contents discuss junk mail, proposed federal legislation on bulk email advertising, deceptive advertising, and web site linking, among other topics. A six point "Planning" section is particularly useful for those who are considering an advertising campaign in cyberspace but are uncertain of the legal constraints involved. For more extensive research, Lucash, Gesmer, and Updegrove include links to intellectual law and trade resources on site, such as FindLaw (reviewed in the February 23, 1996 Scout Report).[MW]
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Financial Players, Inc.
Digital Media Group created the Financial Players Center to increase, motivate, and support user investment knowledge. Tools on site include present and future payment calculators to assess financial goals, a glossary of terms, financial quizzes, and a time value money (TVM) trivia question of the week. A "teach me" center also provides personal finance lessons divided into basic, intermediate, and advanced levels for the developing financial mind. [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]
"Commercial Banks in The Securities Business: A Review," WP56 [.pdf]

B. Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Working Papers [.pdf]
"Voluntary Disclosure under Imperfect Competition: Experimental Evidence," WP98-7
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Working Papers [.pdf]
"The Poor Performance of Foreign Bank Subsidiaries: Were the Problems Acquired or Created?", WP98-3
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Working Papers [.pdf]
"The Importance of Bank Seniority for Relationship Lending," WP98-08
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Research Archive Staff Reports [.pdf]
"Using Simulation Methods for Bayesian Econometric Models," SR249
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Reports [.pdf]
"Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation in Probit Models with Autocorrelated Errors," SR39
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Working Papers [.pdf]
"The Dollars and Sense of Bank Consolidation," WP98-10
"The Cyclical Behavior of Regional Per Capita Incomes in the Postwar Period," WP11

Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Federal Reserve Board Finance and Economics Discussion Series--FEDS
Federal Reserve Board International Finance Discussion Papers [.pdf]
The Federal Reserve Board has released four new FEDS papers (1998-25 to 1998-28) discussing issues of multiple unit auction, monetary policy under neoclassical and New-Keynesian Phillips curves, and money-based inflation forecasts, among others. International Finance Discussion Paper 616, entitled "The Business Cycles of Balance-of-Payments Crisis: A Revision of a Mundellian Framework," by Enrique G. Mendoza and Martin Uribe, is also available. [MW]

C. International Monetary Fund
IMF Working Papers [.pdf]
IMF Papers on Policy Analysis and Assessments [.pdf]
The International Monetary Fund has released three new working papers (Nos. 98/87 - 98/89) examining issues of current account reversals, the cocoa supply in Ghana, and the United Kingdom's experience with inflation targeting. In addition, Policy Analysis and Assessments Paper 98/7, entitled "Mitigating the Social Costs of the Economic Crisis and the Reform Programs in Asia," by Sanjeev Gupta, Calvin McDonald and others, is also available at the same address. [MW]

D. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
OECD Technical Papers [.pdf]
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has released two new Technical Papers (Nos. 135-136) covering issues of domestic causes of currency crises and trade integration with Europe. [MW]
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A. Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Fed Letter [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Economic Trends [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Financial Industry Trends [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Review [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Letters
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Economic Policy Review [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Board Federal Reserve Bulletin [.pdf]
The July 1998 issue of Fed Letter, entitled "Circuit Breakers: Back to the Basics," by Lisa K. Ashley, Associate Economist, is now available from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has released its July 1998 issue of Economic Trends with articles on monetary policy, interest rates, and credit card activity, among other topics. The volume 5, 1998 issue of Financial Industry Trends is available from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas with articles spanning credit union profit and growth, agricultural banks, and the effects of the Home Equity Amendment on Texans. The effects of the Asian financial crisis on the Tenth District, computer spending, and funding pressures among rural banks are discussed in the second quarter issue of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Review. Formerly known as the Weekly Letter, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco provides weekly Economic Letters with current issues on topics of banking and commerce (98-21) and baby boom asset markets (98-20). The June 1998 quarterly edition of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Economic Policy Review (Vol 4 No 2) discusses consumer confidence, vertical specialization, and retail banking markets, among others. June 1998 articles in the Federal Reserve Board Federal Reserve Bulletin include "Profits and Balance Sheet Developments at US Commercial Banks in 1997" and "US Treasury and Federal Reserve Foreign Exchange Operations." [MW]

B. Other Institutions
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research--AEI
Economic Outlook
The July 1998 edition of Economic Outlook is available from the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI). This month, John H. Makin explores the newest victim of the Asian financial crisis, Japan, from a historical perspective in "Japan Joins the Crisis-a-Week Club." [MW]

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development--OECD
Focus Hot File
The OECD Observer [.pdf]
Policy Brief
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Focus Hot File covers the latest initiatives in OECD member countries in the field of public management. Hot File topics for July 1998 include the human resources framework of Canadian public service; modernizing the federal administrative apparatus in Germany; and public administration in Greece, among others. The April/May 1998 edition of The OECD Observer highlights the Romanian economy in addition to articles on trade policy, social affairs, enterprise, transport, education, and agriculture. The latest Policy Brief (No 6-1998), entitled "Open Markets Matter: The Benefits of Trade and Investment Liberalization," discusses the benefits of open markets, and graphs trends in world merchandise exports and GDP. [MW]
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Books and Journals
The abstracts and table of contents for the following journals are now available online: Agricultural Economics (Vol 18 No 3), International Journal of Production Economics (Vol 55 No 1), Journal of Accounting and Economics (Vol 24 No 2), Journal of Banking and Finance (Vol 22 No 4), Journal of Econometrics (Vol 85 No 2), Journal of Empirical Finance (Vol 5 No 2), Journal of Health Economics (Vol 17 Nos 2-3), Journal of Mathematical Economics (Vol 29 Vol 4), Labour Economics (Vol 5 No 2), Mathematical Social Sciences (Vol 36 No 1), Regional Science and Urban Economics (Vol 28 No 4), and Research Policy (Vol 26 No 9, Vol 27 No 1). [MW]

OECD Focus Hot File--Books
In each issue of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)'s Focus Hot File, recent books and government reports of interest are listed with summaries and contact information. Past listings may be browsed by country in the Focus Compendium, and related publications are hyperlinked throughout. [MW]
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1998 ASCEG International Meeting
The 1998 Connectionist Approaches in Economics and Management Sciences (ASCEG) International Meeting on "Complex Data Modeling and Analysis" will take place at the Universitie Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, November 20, 1998. Scientists from SAMOS (Universitie de Paris 1 Panthion Sorbonne), CEGF (Universitie Catholique de Louvain) and CeReFim (Facultis Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix) invite researchers in Economics and Management Science to exchange ideas on new approaches for data analysis, local and global optimization, and forecasting financial series, bankruptcies, consumer behavior, among other topics. Registration is available online, as well as contacts for more information. [MW]

OACES Conference
The Business Processes Resource Centre, University of Warwick, Warkwickshire, England, will host a Conference on Organizations as Complex Evolving Systems (OACES), December 4-5, 1998. Academics and business community members are invited to discuss how organizations can learn, develop and grow through theories of Complexity. Background, program, registration, and accommodation information are available online. [MW]
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Job Openings from The Chronicle of Higher Education
Job Openings in Economics
Job Openings in Business and Management

CareerWeb is a searchable database of professional, technical, and managerial jobs in the private sector. US and international employment listings may be searched by job type, location, key word, or employer, and search results include lengthy descriptions as well as links to company homepages. Job seekers deciding to register their resume with CareerWeb may enter their personal file number into the search results for immediate application. Users will also find the alphabetical listing of employers useful. [MW]
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New Data
(For links to additional sources of new data see the Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Census Bureau
Transportation Annual Survey [.pdf]
The Census Bureau provides national estimates of revenues, expenses, and vehicle fleet inventories for commercial motor freight transportation and public warehousing service industries, in this annual publication. 1996 motor freight transportation increased to $173 billion, up 7 percent from 1995, and warehousing revenues increased $11 billion, up 5 percent from 1995. [MW]
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Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Consumer Price Index--June 1998
Producer Price Indexes--June 1998
US Import and Export Price Indexes, June 1998
Real Earnings, June 1998
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1 percent in June 1998, before seasonal adjustment, to a level of 163.0. For the twelve-month period ending in June 1998, the CPI-U increased 1.7 percent. The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods decreased 0.1 percent in June (seasonally adjusted), and follows increases of 0.2 percent in both May and April. The US Import Price Index declined 0.5 percent in June, marking the eighth consecutive month it has declined, and the US Export Price Index fell 0.6 percent in June, resuming a trend of declining prices following a 0.1 percent increase in May. Offset by a 0.3 percent decrease in average weekly hours and a 0.1 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), Real Average Weekly Earnings decreased by 0.3 percent from May to June after seasonal adjustment (preliminary data). [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 July, 1998 includes the NASS Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts 1997 summary. The value of production levels of both noncitrus fruits and nuts experienced record highs last year, with the value of utilized production for noncitrus fruit crops at 8.08 billion dollars, up 11 percent from 1996, and the 1997 value of utilized production for all nut crops at 2.03 billion dollars, up 22 percent from last year. Although the value of grape, strawberry, peach, and pear production soared, apple, avocado, date, and prune values, among others, fell. The value of production for walnuts was 352 million dollars, 8 percent above last year, while the value of macadamia nuts fell 1 percent from last year at 43.5 million dollars. [MW]
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Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Short-Term Energy Outlook--July 1998 [.pdf]
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released their Short-Term Energy Outlook for US energy and world oil forecasts through 1999. Highlights include expectations for high world petroleum stock levels through the rest of 1998, the continuation of low average US retail gasoline prices, and a weakening demand for natural gas. [MW]
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In the News
IMF Loan for Russia
1. Press Briefing on Russia by Stanley Fischer--IMF
2. Russia and the IMF--US-Russia Business Council (IMF)
3. The Russian Economy at the Start of 1998--IMF
4. IMF 'Salvation' in Russia?--Christian Science Monitor
5. Russia's Fiscal Whistleblower--Mother Jones
6. New Russia, A Phoenix from the Ashes--Out There News
7. Russian Federation: Country Overview--World Bank
8. Centre for Co-operation with Non-Members--OECD-OCDE
9. Russia Today
This week's In the News looks at the International Monetary Fund's recent lending agreement with Russia. These nine resources offer commentary, news, analysis, and background information concerning the IMF's current economic package, and discuss the Russian economic crisis in general. A key player in the New Russian Federation's transition to a market economy, the IMF, agreed to ease Russia's ongoing financial crisis on July 13, 1998 with a loan of 15.1 billion dollars (to be dispersed over two years). According to IMF First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer, this amount is "a very significant draw on our resources," although the IMF has protected its funding carefully via terms outlined in the agreement. Deliberators in Russia's Parliament, however, find the conditions set by the IMF, President Boris Yeltsin, and other international lenders to be too harsh -- particularly a condition to protect the rights of foreign investors. As the debate continues, many fear that future international funding will be withheld, and the ruble will continue its downward spiral set off by the Asian financial crisis in May 1998 (discussed in the January 30, 1998 Scout Report). With 5 billion dollars or more available from the IMF as early as next week, Russian government leaders must agree on a feasible economic plan, before conditions worsen.

Current news, speeches, and archived material including First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer's July 13, 1998 Press Release, and Managing Director Michel Camdessus's April 1, 1998 US-Russia Business Council speech entitled "Russia and the IMF: Meeting the Challenges of an Emerging Market and Transition Economy" can be found at the IMF sites (1,2). Stanley Fischer's January 9, 1998 speech entitled "The Russian Economy at the Start of 1998" (3) is also available from the IMF for historical background and comparative purposes. American editorials concerning the Russian economy are available from Christian Science Monitor (5), and Mother Jones (6). Out There News (7) also provides opinion pieces on the Russian economy and culture with the compilation "New Russia, A Phoenix from the Ashes." Out There News articles contain photos, and are hyperlinked to related topics. For more detailed economic information on the new Russian Federation, the World Bank (8) provides statistics in a narrative format in their Country Overview of the Russian Federation. Articles covering recent economic policy decisions and their effects on various Russian regions are provided by (9) the Centre for Co-operation with Non-Members (OECD-OCDE). Links to Russian financial news and data from a Russian perspective may be found at Russia Today (10), a daily news service and affiliate of the European Internet Network. [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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