The Scout Report for Business & Economics - August 13, 1998

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

August 13, 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
Assessing the New Federalism (ANF) [.pdf]
Assessing the New Federalism is an ongoing, multi-year research project by the non-partisan Urban Institute, which monitors the transfer of responsibility for social programs from the federal government to the state legislatures. Issues of health policy, income support, social services, and fiscal policy are central to the project, and authors from a variety of public and private institutions contribute to a database of Occasional Papers, Policy Briefs, and State Reports (.pdf format). Users may browse ANF publications by subject, or download statistical data from the ANF State Database on education financing, food stamps, or supplemental security income, among other variables. [MW]
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TCC Trade and Related Agreements Database (TARA)
Developed by the Department of Commerce to aid US exporters, the Trade Compliance Center (TCC) provides access to more than 200 trade documents via the Trade Related Agreements Database (TARA). US Trade Agreements may be browsed by country signatory, issue, or agreement title, or searched by keyword with the benefit on an online thesaurus. In addition, the TCC provides a related database of Market Access Information with searchable country commercial guides, reports on economic policy and trade practices, and national trade estimate reports. [MW]
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Centre for the Study of African Economies [.pdf]
A research center within the Institute of Economics and Statistics, University of Oxford, the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) applies macroeconomic and microeconomic methods to African sociological, demographic, and political contexts. Selected abstracts and working papers from 1993 to present are available on topics ranging from central bank policy to health, crop choice, wages, and unemployment (.pdf format). In addition, users may browse the abstracts and tables of contents of articles from the CSAE publication The Journal of African Economies from 1996 to present. [MW]
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East Asia Crisis Workshop at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
On July 13 and 14, 1998, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) held an international workshop on the financial crisis in East Asia. Held in Brighton, UK, the workshop had contributors from leading academic institutions, private financial institutes, and international organizations such as the OECD. Commissioned papers in full text include "The East Asian Financial Crisis: A Year Later," by Yung Chul Park and Chi-Young Song of Kookmin University, "How to Protect Developing Countries from Volatility of Capital Flows?" by Stephany Griffith-Jones, Senior Fellow at IDS, and "Domestic Causes of Currency Crises: Policy Lessons for Crisis Avoidance," by Helmut Reisen, Head of Research at the OECD Development Centre, among others. Selected short contributions are also available on topics such as the macroeconomy in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. [MW]
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Learning Resources
The Traces of Advertising Giants
The Traces of Advertising Giants is an adverting history resource developed by graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin, Department of Advertising. The personal stories and professional profiles of twenty-six infamous American advertisers are given, as well as hyperlinks to related topics and bibliographies for further research. Each decade in the twentieth century is covered through 1960, and a few nineteenth century entries exist. Students will also benefit from the variety of web design techniques employed by UT authors, as well as the descriptions of historical tricks-of-the-trade. [MW]
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The AmosWorld Reading Room
Orley Amos, Professor of Economics at Oklahoma State University, has recently added The AmosWorld Reading Room as a metapage short cut to his growing universe of online publications. Links to the layman's guide to basic economic concepts, A Pedestrian's Guide to the Economy, the fictional classroom supplement Extra Credit, and the socio-economic analysis Growth Pole Cycles are provided with detailed and engaging annotations. In addition, links to the AmosWorld Encyclopedia Glossary and The Best of Ask Mister Economy (both reviewed in the November 21, 1997 Scout Report) are provided as reference material for the inquisitive AmosWorld reader. [MW]
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Syllabits is a index of Accounting, Economics, Finance, Management, Risk, and Insurance syllabi sponsored by the educational publisher Digital Springs, Inc. Syllabi from a variety of American public and private institutions are browsable by subject, and course contents are listed by instructor name with easily discernable codes indicating the educational level of each link. Interested parties may also submit their own course URLs for future inclusion in this ongoing compilation. [MW]
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Media Awareness Network: Statistics
The Canadian media conglomerate Cochran Communications has provided this compilation of statistics to heighten public awareness of the media industry. Statistics on radio, television, film, video, and Internet ownership, production, and marketing are given in a concise, browsable format. Although Canadian statistics are emphasized, many American and international figures are included and students may benefit from clear bibliographic and web links to a variety of government, think-tank, and news sources. [MW]
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General Interest
Worth Online Investor Resource Drawer
As part of the financial magazine Worth Online, the Online Investor Resource Drawer is an annotated webliography and guide to Internet investment sites and data. Recommendations covering a plethora of "General Interest Investing Sites," "Specialty Sites," "Government Sites," "Exchanges," and broad-based "Mega Sites" are given, in addition to hyperlinks. Users may also view Worth Online's latest pick under a "New Feature" category, and share opinions via an easily accessible Feedback menu. [MW]
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The Interactive Business Planner
A sub-section of the government-funded Canada/British Columbia Business Centre, the Interactive Business Planner assists entrepreneurs with the preparation of a three-year business plan. In French or English, users may learn basic techniques, create their own business plan or continue an existing one via an interactive question and answer format. Sample business plans are also given, as well as links to other small business resources in Canada and beyond. [MW]
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Dear Susan & Co.
Dear Susan & Co. is an advice column devoted to money management. Experts at the non-profit Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCB) in Houston, Texas, give detailed answers on topics ranging from bankruptcy and college debt to spending addiction and unemployment. Users may query Dear Susan & Co. by email for specific questions of their own, or search the CCCS homepage for other useful consumer education links. [MW]
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A partner of Thomson Financial Publishing, FINdex is an index and search engine of business web sites providing financial services. Business contacts are arranged by subject with entries covering Accounting, Banking, Insurance, Investments, Legal Services, and Mortgages. In addition, FINdex provides financial decision support, such as the mortgage calculator FINtools. [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 Board of Governors Supervisory Staff Reports [.pdf]
The FRB has made available two new Supervisory Staff Reports, entitled "Credit Risk Models at Major U.S. Banking Institutions: Current State of the Art and Implications for Assessments of Capital Adequacy," by the System Task Force on Internal Credit Risk, and "The Significance of Recent Changes in Bank Lending Standards: Evidence from the Loan Quality Assessment Project," by William Treacy, FRB Division of Supervision and Regulation. [MW]

FRB Finance and Economics Discussion Series (FEDS) [.pdf]
"Monetary Policy and Multiple Equilibria," 1998-29
"Putty-Clay and Investment: A Business Cycle Analysis," 1998-30
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Research Archive Discussion Papers [.pdf]
"Microfoundations and Macro Implications of Indivisible Labor," DP126
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Research Archive Staff Reports [.pdf]
"Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy," SR251
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Working Papers [.pdf]
"A Bayesian Vector Error Corrections Model of the U.S. Economy," WP9812
"Monetary Policy and the U.S. States and Regions: Some Implications for European Monetary Union," WP9817
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Working Paper Series
"Challenges and Choices in Post-Crisis East-Asia: Simulations of Investment Policy Reform in an Intertemporal Global Model," WP98-7

B. International Monetary Fund
IMF Working Papers [.pdf]
The International Monetary Fund has released four new working papers: Intermediation Spreads in Argentina (WP/98/90); Liberating Supply-Fiscal Policy and Technological Innovation in a Multicountry Model (WP/98/95); Banking System Restructuring in Kazakhstan (WP/98/96); and Financial Opening, Deposit Insurance and Risk in a Model of Banking Competition (WP/98/97). [MW]
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A. Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Board of Governors: Beige Book
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas: Financial Industry Trends [.pdf] and Vista [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City: Regional Economic Digest[.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia: SRC Insights [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco: Economic Letters
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Monetary Trends and National Economic Trends [.pdf]
Published eight times per year, the Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District, or Beige Book, is now available from the FRB BOG for August 1998. Vista is a new publication of the Dallas Fed's San Antonio Branch, examining key economic issues and trends in South Texas. This introductory issue discusses shrinking water supplies in Texas and the implementation of free markets to ensure future water availability. The 1998 annual issue of Financial Industry Trends is also available from Fed Dallas with summaries of the structure and performance of Eleventh District commercial banks, bank holding companies, foreign banking operations, credit unions, and thrifts as of year-end 1997. The Second Quarter Regional Economic Digest is now available from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, with information on regional economic indicators such as agricultural credit conditions. An article addressing performance of commercial banks within the Tenth District is also provided. The latest issue of the quarterly newsletter SRC Insights is accessible from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has released Economic Letter number 98-24 on "What Caused East Asia's Financial Crisis?". The month's publications Monetary Trends and National Economic Trends are available from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, with short essays and reviews of US monetary and financial conditions. Monetary Trends emphasizes alternative measures of monetary policy, and National Economic Trends provides a primarily graphical snapshot of the US economy. [MW]

B. Other Institutions
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research--AEI
Economic Outlook
Latin American Outlook
The August 1998 edition of Economic Outlook and the July/August issue of Latin American Outlook are available from the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI). This month, John H. Makin explores US interest rates and soaring stocks in "Mr. Greenspan's Dilemma," and Mark Falcoff examines the political factors behind Venezuela's stunted economic growth in "Venezuela: Dancing on the Precipice." [MW]

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development--OECD
Focus Hot File
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 August 1998 include new directions for internal audit in the Australian Department of Finance and Administration, Government reform and accountability to citizens and businesses in Italy, and the promotion of advanced information technologies in the Japanese Public Administration. [MW]
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Books and Journals
The abstracts and table of contents for the following journals are now available online: Economics Letters (Vol 59 No 3), Journal of Banking and Finance (Vol 22 No 5), Journal of Corporate Finance (Vol 4 No 2), Journal of Development Economics (Vol 56 No 1), Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control (Vol 22 Nos 7-9), Journal of Empirical Finance (Vol 5 No 3), Journal of International Economics (Vol 45 No 1), and Research Policy (Vol 27 No 2). [MW]

Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Business--August 1998
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Economics--August 1998
Baker & Taylor has made available a list of forthcoming business and economics books to be published in September. [MW]
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The 47th Annual International Atlantic Economics Conference
The International Atlantic Economic Society will host its 47th Annual Conference in Vienna, Austria, March 16-23, 1999. Past participants have included Nobel Laureates, Prime Ministers, and other high-ranking members of the profession. Accommodation, registration, and paper submission information are provided on site. [MW]

Roland's Overview of Conferences and Meetings on Economic Theory
Roland Strausz of Berlin, Germany, maintains this list of upcoming conferences and meetings in economic theory. Links to conference homepages are listed by date, in addition to brief location, topic, and submission deadlines. Links to other economic conference lists such as Inomics (reviewed in the June 18, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics) are also given, and users may submit a conference URL for future inclusion. [MW]
[Note: Resource(s)/URL(s) mentioned above is no longer available.]

Ownership Transition for Architecture and Engineering Workshop
The Advanced Management Institute for Architecture and Engineering at Penn State will hold the Ownership Transition for Architecture and Engineering Workshop from September 13-15, 1998 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA. Business owners planning to sell, merge, or transfer management of their companies in the near future are invited to attend for an intensive education in strategic planning. Information on workshop instructors, topics, accommodations, and fee and registration information are provided on site. [MW]
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Job Openings from The Chronicle of Higher Education
Job Openings in Economics
Job Openings in Business and Management

A project of Action Without Borders, Idealist is a searchable directory of more than 14,000 US and international non-profit organizations in need of volunteers. Entries include location, contact, and mission information, in addition to email addresses and website links (when available). Entries may be browsed by geographical location, and a searchable database of nonprofit internships and jobs is also available. [MW]
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New Data
(For links to additional sources of new data see the Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Census Bureau
Dynamics of Economic Well-Being, Poverty 1993-94: Trap Door? Revolving Door? Or Both? [.pdf]
This new report by Mary Naifeh of the Department of Commerce's Census Bureau uses seven measures to examine the dynamics of US poverty from 1993 to 1994. The report concluded that poverty was primarily a transitory condition for thirty percent of the Nation's population, and a chronic condition for five percent. Episodic, chronic, and average monthly poverty measures also indicated that individuals living with a "female-householder" had the highest poverty rates of any demographic group, with 48.4 percent, 17.8 percent, and 39.8 percent, respectively. [MW]

Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3): June 1998 [.xls]
The Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3) survey provides broad-based, monthly statistical data on economic conditions in the domestic manufacturing sector. Preliminary highlights for June 1998 include a 0.1 percent increase of new orders for manufactured goods at $330.5 billion, a 0.3 percent increase in shipments at $334.6 billion, and an increase in inventories at $466.6 billion, up 0.3 percent. Graphical summaries of current data and historical time series from 1958 to present are also available on site (.xls format). [MW]
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Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
The Employment Situation: July 1998
Productivity and Costs: Second Quarter 1998
In their monthly statistical summary "The Employment Situation," the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Total Employment was essentially unchanged this July, at 131.1 million. Approximately 7.6 million people held more than one job (not seasonally adjusted), and these multiple jobholders comprise 5.8 percent of the labor force. The preliminary seasonally adjusted annual rates of productivity change in the second quarter 1998 were -0.6 percent in the business sector and -0.2 percent in the nonfarm business sector. In manufacturing, productivity changes of 3.3 percent were reported, with a 5.7 percent change in durable goods, and a 0.2 percent change in nondurable goods. [MW]
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Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Second Quarter 1998 GDP
Revised Personal Income and Outlays--June 1998
The US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, reported that the Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for US goods and services increased to an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 1998. The BEA attributes this deceleration to a sharp downturn in inventory investment and a slowing PDE. Revised estimates of Personal Income (PI) and Disposable Personal Income (DPI) for June indicate an increase of 0.2 percent for both, at $16.2 billion and $9.3 billion, respectively, compared to a 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent increase in May. This change could reflect the effects of the GM strike, which reduced wages and salaries in the motor vehicle industry by approximately $2.0 billion. [MW]
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA Reports Calendars: August 1998
USDA Agency Reports Calendar
ERS Calendar
NASS Calendar
USDA summarizes its report releases from various sources (the Economic Research Service (ERS), the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and the world Agricultural Outlook Board) at these three calendar sites. Notable data published this August include findings in the Vegetables and Specialties Yearbook for 1997. According to this ERS annual, US vegetable production declined 3 percent from the previous year to 1.3 billion hundredweight (cwt). Although output was stronger for fresh-market vegetables and melons (up 5 percent to a record high), dry edible beans (up 4 percent), and dry peas and lentils (up 109 percent), these gains were outweighed by 8 percent declines in processing of both vegetables and potatoes. [MW]
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Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Short-Term Energy Outlook: August 1998 [.pdf]
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released the August 1998 forecasts for US energy and world oil. Highlights include expected low oil prices throughout 1998 due to the dramatic fall in Asian demand, possible gasoline pump price increases next year of 2-4 cents per gallon, and an increase of US petroleum demand at a 1.1 percent rate in 1998, following a healthy rate of net additions to inventories this past May. [MW]
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In the News
Bell Atlantic and CWA Reach Agreement
1. Annual Survey of Communication Services--US Census Bureau
2. FCC Common Carrier Bureau Homepage
3. Telecommunications Industries Analysis Project (TIAP)--University of Florida [.pdf]
4. Statement by CWA President Bahr on the Strike at Bell Atlantic--CWA News
5. Bell Atlantic News: 'No Reason for CWA Strike'
6. Bell Atlantic Workers Strike--CNNfn Hot Stories
7. Telecoms Team Up--CNNfn Special Report
8. GTE in the News Archive
9. Competition at Issue in Telecom Mergers--Mercury Center 7/8/98
10. Scary Splice--TIME 10.html
This week's In the News examines the recent labor dispute between the Bell Atlantic Corporation and the Communications Workers of America (CWA). These ten resources provide background information on the telecommunications industry and press coverage of the August 9-11, 1998 strike as well as Bell Atlantic's corporate history. Adding a human dimension to typical technological and economic coverage of the telecommunications industry, 73,000 telephone workers paralyzed Bell Atlantic services in thirteen Eastern states on August 9, 1998. Union fear concerning Bell Atlantic's recent acquisition of GTE is cited as a major strike cause as job losses due to new Internet technologies became a reality following the merger. A tentative two-year agreement was reached on August 11, however, ending the conflict with the promise of "high-skill, good paying jobs" that allow workers to reap the benefits of information-age ventures as well as employers.

The most recent Annual Survey of Communications Services by the US Census Bureau (1) provides sector analysis of communication industries by SIC classification. Additional industry-specific statistics such as telephone subscriberships are accessible via the FCC Common Carrier Bureau home page (2) as well as links to federal communications regulations and recommendations. In-depth reports on both FCC policy and industry trends are also available from experts at the Telecommunications Industries Analysis Project (TIAP) at the University of Florida [.pdf] (3). Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Morton Bahr's August 9, 1998 press release is available from the CWA home site (4), and its response from Bell Atlantic heads entitled, "No Reason for CWA Strike," is available from Bell Atlantic News (5). Hyperlinked articles covering the August 9-11, 1998 strike are available from CNNfn's "Hot Story" archive (6) in addition to current company financials. CNNfn also provides information on the July 27, 1998 Bell Atlantic-GTE merger in the Special Report "Telecoms Team Up" (7). Information on the merger is also provided the "GTE in the News Archive" for July 1998 (8). Editorial views are expressed in "Competition at Issue in Telecom Mergers" by Stephen Buel of Mercury Center (9) and "Scary Splice," by Joshua Cooper Ramo of TIME magazine (10). [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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