The Scout Report for Business & Economics
October 8, 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.
Recently published by the International Monetary Fund, the World Economic Outlook (WEO) is a semi-annual examination of recent world economic developments and future prospects. Due to recent financial turbulence around the world, the report mainly addresses monetary policy issues in Asia, as well as development strategies in emerging market countries and Russia. The report also includes a statistical appendix with financial growth indicators by region.
To facilitate easier information access, the World Bank Group (reviewed in the ) recently relaunched their extensive website of development information according to a new, more integrated graphical structure. New menu option highlights include the arrangement of data publications by geographical location and topic, visitor "portals" into the site based on specific audience needs, and a Special Interest section that profiles important research and tools.
In preparation for the October 7-9, 1998 conference entitled "A Borderless World: Realising the Potential of Global Electronic Commerce," the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has gathered written commentary on electronic commerce issues at this e-commerce metapage. Sets of short articles on building consumer trust, enhancing the information infrastructure, and maximizing the benefits of e-commerce are provided in addition to the comprehensive report The Economic and Social Impacts of Electronic Commerce: Preliminary Findings and Research Agenda. Readers may also find a webibliography of other OECD publications on electronic commerce useful via a link entitled "Background Information."
Jon Haveman, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University, maintains this metasite of industry classification concordances and international data links for researchers pursuing empirical studies of international trade. Among Haveman's collection of Industry Concordances, ISIC, SITC, usSIC, HS, TSUSA, and NACE classifications are covered with detailed source and downloading information. Links to a variety of International Trade Data such as the Penn World Tables are also well-documented; recent additions to both resources are listed by month.
Sponsored by the Natural Resources Inventory and Analysis Institute, the Cost and Return Estimator (CARE) is a new crop budget website of interest to land and resource economists. Currently, links to separate state university and extension budgets for 35 states is provided, as well as links to crop and livestock costs and returns from the USDA-ERS (reviewed in the ). Encouragement for participation and full documentation of the CARE system, staff members, and the future project CARE2000 is also provided online.
Researching Companies on the Internet: A Tutorial, by Debbie Flanagan of Link Staffing Services in Houston, TX, presents a step-by-step process for finding free company and industry information on the World Wide Web. Topics of High-Level Company Information, International Business, Sales Prospects, Home Pages, Financial Information, and Public Opinion are covered. Web tips and techniques to aid users in their efforts to locate quality information complete the site.
The Foundation Center (reviewed in the ) provides this searchable bibliography of books, articles, and audiovisual materials on topics related to philanthropy. Currently, 16,247 full bibliographic citations exist in the collection and over half include descriptive abstracts.
Harvard Business School Research Associate Kirk Goldman created BizInfo 3 as a guide to conducting business research with Internet resources. Thirteen categorical divisions cover Company Profiles, General Business News, Investment Information, Patents, and Industry Information, among other topics, and lead students into a comprehensive, annotated webibliography. Although most sites are free, BizInfo annotations do include registration and fee information when required.
Researchers may gain insight into the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau occupational codes via the Occupational Classification System Manual (OCSM). A list of Major Occupation Group titles (MOGs) is provided as well as links to the Census Occupation Index--an alphabetical list of approximately 30,000 occupational titles. Further guidance in locating the proper occupation classification for research queries is outlined in the articles "Using the OCSM" and "Using the Census Index."
Swiss entrepreneur F.X. Micheloud diverges from standard energy economics texts in this treatise on John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company. Seven hyperlinked chapters cover nineteenth century oil industry technology, trusts and monopolies, Rockefeller commercial practices, and the development of the Standard Oil Company, among others. The text is available in French or English. Micheloud has enhanced the written information with a variety of archival images, chronologies, and graphs throughout.
Created by Just Ventures, Inc., justQuotes.com is a stock and mutual fund search engine that gathers quotes, news, research, and other data on one webpage. Readers may search by company name or ticker symbol and choose "comprehensive" or "justEnough" coverage from two hundred potential sources. Links to current world indices, currency rates, and financial news are also provided on site.
Find-A-Fund is a comprehensive resource on mutual funds. In addition to Top Performers--a weekly feature article on high performance funds, Find-A-Fund also provides data on recent trends by fund type in Category Spotlight. Features in the Mutual Fund Basics section include Hints to Evaluate Funds, FAQs, and a Glossary of terms.
A division of Kadep Technologies of Fort Worth, TX, DRIP Advisor provides information and advice on Dividend Reinvestment Programs or DRIPs. Publications on site include the weekly newsletter The Stock Spotlight, an alphabetical list of available DRIP programs by company, and "Essential Reading" from the DRIP Advisor staff. Interested parties may also look up current quotes and access the DRIP Calculator from a "Research Zone" menu.
Idea Cafe creator Francie Ward aims for a "fun approach to serious business" at this colorful small business resource site. Advice on financing a business, using new technologies, and communicating effectively with employees and clients is provided via a variety of on-site billboards and columns. Links to selected business sites are also included in the Idea Cafe Biz Web Guide.
(For links to additional current awareness on periodicals, journals, working papers, new books, etc., visit the Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage: ).
Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Finance and Economic Discussion Series (FEDS) [.pdf]
"Consumption and Asset Prices with Recursive Preferences"--FEDS1998-40
"Big Bang" Deregulation and Japanese Corporate Governance: A Survey of the Issues"--IFDP1998-624
"Fiscal Competition and Reality: A Time Series Approach"--WP9819
"The Effects of Subject Pool and Design Experience on Rationality in Experimental Asset Markets"--WP9818
"Uncertain Litigation Cost and Seller Behavior: Evidence from an Auditing Game"--WP9817
"The Federal Reserve as an Informed Foreign-Exchange Trader"--WP9815
"Earnings and Wealth Inequality and Income Taxation: Quantifying the "Trade-Offs of Switching to a Proportional Income Tax in the US"--WP9814
"Monetary Aggregates and Output"--WP9813
"Expectations, Credibility, and Time-Consistent Monetary Policy"--WP9812
"Simulating the Transmission of Wealth Inequality Via Bequests"--WP9811
"Optimal Employment of Scale Economies in the Federal Reserve's Currency Infrastructure"--WP9810
"Dynamic Games With Hidden Actions and Hidden States"--SR254
"Business Cycle Research: Methods and Problems"--WP590
"International Trade and American Wages in General Equilibrium, 1967-1995"--SR46
"Structural Change in the Mortgage Market and the Propensity to Refinance"--SR45
IMF Working Papers [.pdf]
"Perspectives on the Recent Currency Crisis Literature"--WP/98/130
"Increasing Dependency Ratios, Pensions, and Tax Smoothing"--WP/98/129
"The East Asian Crisis - Macroeconomic Developments and Policy Lessons"--WP/98/128
"Financial Crisis and Credit Crunch as a Result of Inefficient Financial Intermediation- with Reference to the Asian Financial Crisis"--WP/98/127
"Central Banking in Transition Countries"--WP/98/126
"Fixed Investment and Capital Flows: A Real Options Approach"--WP/98/125
"Self-Fulfilling Risk Predictions: An Application to Speculative Attacks"--WP/98/124
"Does the Long-Run PPP Hypothesis Hold for Africa? Evidence from Panel Co-Integration Study"--WP/98/123
"Tax Smoothing in a Financially Repressed Economy: Evidence from India"--WP/98/122
"Capital Structures and Portfolio Composition During Banking Crisis: Lessons from Argentina 1995"--WP/98/121
"The Demise of the Nation State?"--WP/98/120
"Search Unemployment with Advance Notice"--WP/98/119
"Macroeconomic Performance Under Alternative Exchange Rate Regimes: Does Wage Indexation Matter?"--WP/98/118
"Deviations from Uncovered Interest Parity - A Global Guide to Where the Action Is"--WP/98/117
"Impact of European Union Association Agreements on Mediterranean Countries"--WP/98/116
"Consequences of the Economic and Monetary Union for the Coordination of Tax Systems in the European Union: Lessons from the U.S. Experience"--WP/98/115
"The Transmission of Monetary Policy in Israel"--WP/98/114
C. Stockholm School of Economics--SSE
Working Paper Series in Economics & Finance (S-WoPEc) [.pdf]
No 264: Conflict Resolution Under Asymmetric Information
No 263: A nonlinear time series model of El Nio
No 262: Modelling asymmetries and moving equilibria in unemployment rates
No 261: Bank Lending Policy, Credit Scoring and the Survival of Loans
No 260: Bank Lending Policy, Credit Scoring and Value at Risk
No 259: Catching up with the Keynesians
No 258: International Health Expenditure and GDP: New Multivariate Cointegration Panel Data Results
Working Paper Series in Business Administration (S-WoBa) [.pdf]
No 3: Budgetary Participation in a Public Service Organization
"The Global Effects of the Japanese Crisis"--WP98-6
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Regional Review
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago FedLetter with Special Issue and FedPoints [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Current Issues in Economics and Finance & Economic Policy Review [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Letters
The latest edition of Regional Review from FRB Boston (Winter 1998) features an examination of the work week in "Working at Odd Hours," the convergence of regional incomes in "Leapfrog and Catch-up" and the sharp rise in bankruptcy filings since 1980 in "The Boom in Busts." This month's FedLetter from FRB Chicago provides "A New Paradigm for the US Economy" and includes the Special Issue "Payments Systems: Getting Ready for the 21st Century." Also from FRB Chicago, FedPoints is a monthly datasheet on Michigan economic trends. The September 1998 Current Issues in Economics and Finance from FRB NY addresses bank holding company capital ratios and shareholder payouts. Issues of capital regulation in the twenty-first century are addressed in Economic Policy Review (Vol 4 No 3) also from FRB New York. The two Economic Letters: "Mortgage Interest Rates, Valuation, and Prepayment Risk" (No 98-30) and "Income Inequality and Mortality Risk in the US: Is There a Link?" (No 98-29) are currently available from FRB San Francisco.
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research--AEI
Economic Outlook and Latin American Outlook
The October 1998 edition of Economic Outlook criticizes the IMF Russian loan package in "Interference with Free Markets Causes Global Crisis," by John H. Makin. In the October-November edition of Latin American Outlook, Mark Falcoff gives background information and opinion on the October 4 Brazilian presidential elections in "A Decisive Election in Brazil."
BIS Review [.pdf]
In the September 29, 1998 BIS Review Mr. Ferguson discusses the state of the US economy, Mr. Meyer reflects on recent developments in banking and financial markets, and Mr. Kelley reports on the Year 2000 progress of the banking and financial services sector in the United States.
The OECD Observer
OECD Focus Hot File
The Oct/Nov 1998 issue of the OECD Observer entitled "Germany: Reforming Federal Fiscal Relations" is now available in French or English. September 1998 Focus Hot File contents include information on the new Energy Law in Poland, the modernization of comptrollership in Canadian government, and a strategic plan for electronic commerce in the US.
IMF Annual Report 1998 [.pdf]
Released in September 1998, the IMF Annual Report covers world economic events to April 30, 1998 in 13 searchable files. The effects of key developments such as the Asian Financial Crisis on advanced, developing, and transition economies are discussed as well IMF reaction and structural change.
The abstracts and tables of contents for the following journals are now available online: Ecological Economics (Vol 26 No 2), European Economic Review (Vol 42 No 8), International Journal of Forecasting (Vol 14 No 3), Journal of Banking and Finance (Vol 22 Nos 6-8 and Call for Papers), Journal of Econometrics (Vol 87 No 2), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (Vol 6 No 1), Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control (Vol 22 No 10), Journal of Financial Economics (Vol 49 No 3), Research Policy (Vol 27 No 5).
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Business--October 1998
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Economics--October 1998
Baker & Taylor has made available a list of forthcoming business and economics books to be published in October.
The 55th Congress of the International Institute of Public Finance (IIPF), entitled "Public Finance and Transitions in Social Security," will be held in Moscow, Russia, August 23-26, 1999. Practitioners of public finance are encouraged to attend and prospective paper contributors must submit titles and abstracts before January 31, 1999. Full submission details, contact information, and links to the IIPF homepage are provided online.
The faculty of Economics and Management Sciences and the Centre for Theoretical and Applied Economics (BETA) at the University Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg is organizing an international conference on the scientific work of Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, November 6-7, 1998. Information on Georgescu-Roegen's life and work, a complete programme, contact information, and campus map are provided online.
The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, will host the conference on complex systems "Complexity Between the Ecos: from Ecology to Economics" November 30 - December 3, 1998. Contributed papers span issues of stock market behavior to complexity in nature, and complete registration and accommodation information is provided on site.
The information management company TFPL will host the third New York Business Information Conference (NYBIC) November 9-10, 1998 at The Essex House Hotel, NY for all users of business information. Central conference-wide sessions will explore how companies utilize knowledge and the role of web technologies. TFPL expects representatives from the information industry, corporations, and business schools to attend. Complete program, registration, and accommodation information is provided online.
Job Openings from The Chronicle of Higher Education
Job Openings in Economics
Job Openings in Business and Management
(For links to additional sources of new data see the Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage: ).
Measuring 50 Years of Economic Change Using the March Current Population Survey
Income, 1993 to 1994, Moving Up and Down the Income Ladder [.pdf]
Data released in the US Census Bureau Report Measuring 50 Years of Economic Change indicates that the an increase in the number of married women in the work force spurred a 150 percent increase in the real median income of married-couple families between 1947 and 1997. Other highlights of the report include declines in income for less-educated men, a decline in poverty for most races since 1959, and a decline in the number of married-couple families from 87 percent to 77 percent between 1947 and 1997. Data from Wilfred T. Masumura's report Income, 1993 to 1994 indicates that the state of the economy is a not the only determinate of economic well-being. Other factors include household size and composition. Over-all, Masumura found that more people experienced income increases than decreases, at 41 percent and 37 percent respectively.
Employment Situation, September 1998
Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment, August 1998
According to the most recent BLS Employment Situation, payroll employment rose slightly, and unemployment remained virtually unchanged in September 1998 at 4.6 percent. Nonfarm payroll employment was up by 69,000, the number of manufacturing and construction jobs declined, and growth in the services industry was weak for the second month in a row. BLS statistics on Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment for August 1998 recorded the lowest jobless rates in Rochester, MN, and Sioux Falls, SD (1.2 percent each), Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN. (1.3 percent), and Madison, WI (1.4 percent), and the highest jobless rates in Yuma, AZ (36.4 percent) and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX (17.5 percent). Over-all, most metropolitan areas experienced unemployment rates below 3.5 percent.
Gross Domestic Product, Second Quarter 1998
Personal Income, August 1998
Following an increase of $100.1 billion in the first quarter 1998, the real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 1.8 percent or $33.9 billion in the second quarter, according to revised estimates released by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures, producers' durable equipment, government spending, and residential structures were cited as major contributors. A $37.9 billion or 0.5 percent increase in personal income for August 1998 partly reflects a rebound from Summer motor vehicle strikes, according to the BEA.
USDA Reports Calendars--August 1998
USDA Agency Reports 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.
Electric Trade in the United States 1994 [.pdf]
According to the EIA release Electric Trade in the United States 1994, electricity purchases by investor-owned utilities increased by 70 percent between 1988 and 1994, and represented 55 percent of transactions in the bulk power market. Information on federal and cooperative utilities is also included in this 2 megabyte report.
International Petroleum Statistics Report [.pdf]
Russia: Energy Situation Update
The latest world oil market figures are available in the September 1998 International Petroleum Statistics Report by the US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration. This report includes the Oil Market Chronology for August 1998, monthly world oil production data through July 1998, and monthly OECD country oil demand, imports, and stocks data through May 1998. The special topic report "Russia: Energy Situation Update" provides up-to-date information on Russia's oil, natural gas, coal, and electricity industries in light of its continuing economic difficulties. Links to other Russia-related web sites are also provided.
1) The Nation: The Dark Side of Globalization & Saving the Global Economy
2) The Economist: Thinking About Globalization & Global Doom, Global Humor
3) The Atlantic Monthly: Economics
4) Market Meltdown and Market Selloff--CNNfn Special Reports
5) Table of Countries in Economic Crisis--CBS MarketWatch
6) UN Social Indicators
7) The World Bank Group Data
8) Economic Crisis Adds New Fears-- Washington Post Oct. 5, 1998
9) Calls for More Compassion, Less Discipline-- Christian Science Monitor Oct. 5, 1998
10) Dissention Erupts at Talks on World Financial Crisis-- New York Times Oct. 7, 1998 (registration required)
This week's In the News examines mounting concern for economic well-being around the world. These ten resources provide background information on the global economy, current international market news, and developments in US, IMF, and World Bank reform efforts. In order to curb economic crises in Asia, Russia, and Latin America (reviewed in the ), President Clinton called for international economic reform at the International Monetary Fund annual meeting, Tuesday, October 6, 1998. According to Clinton, "the global economy simply cannot live with the kinds of vast and systemic disruptions that have occurred in the past year." Disputes among IMF and World Bank officials, however, threaten to undermine relief efforts for struggling economies. Without the monetary support of these and other global lenders, many market watchers expect investor panic to grow world-wide.
Selected feature articles from The Nation (1), The Economist(2), and The Atlantic Monthly (3) archives discuss the meaning of globalization, social effects, and the possibility of world market collapse. The CNNfn Special Report's "Market Meltdown" and "Market Selloff" (4) chronicle market highs and lows world-wide and recent US investor panic. CBS MarketWatch maintains a Table of Countries in Economic Crisis (5) with IMF figures on "countries whose economies are expected to contract this year or are vulnerable to a downturn." The UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs Statistics Division provides recent world population, health, employment, and economic activity figures by country at their Social Indicators page (6). Additional international economic data such as debt and finance figures for over 150 nations is provided at the World Bank Group data page (7). The Oct. 5, 1998 Washington Post article "Economic Crisis Adds New Fears" discusses fear of economic crisis contagion by world leaders (8), the Oct. 5 Christian Science Monitor article "Calls for More Compassion, Less Discipline" examines the social dimensions of high debt costs (9), and the New York Times article "Dissention Erupts at Talks on World Financial Crisis" (10) reports on disagreements wagered at the October 6, 1998 IMF Annual Meeting.
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