The Scout Report for Business & Economics - November 5, 1998

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

November 5, 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
Bibliotheque Virtuelle du Centre d'Histoire de la Pensee Economique [Java, JavaScript]
Over 50 complete texts by historical economic figures are available at the Virtual Library of the Centre d'Histoire de la Pensee Economique, University of Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne (France). The site features authors ranging from Aristotle to Karl Marx and Thorstein Veblen, and selected texts are edited with original pagination. Readers particularly interested in eighteenth-century economic thought may view the archive of Paulette Taieb separately (entitled "Fonds Taieb") and enjoy French/English translation by AltaVista for most entries. [MW]
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Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) [.pdf]
Established in 1966 by the US Office of Economic Opportunity, the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP), University of Wisconsin-Madison, investigates the "causes and consequences of poverty and social inequality" in the United States. Often a source of in-depth information on welfare reform, IRP research is available in full text via the quarterly publication Focus (Fall 1994 to present), IRP Discussion Papers (1993 to present), and selected Special Reports (1997 only). A subject index to IRP publications is provided, and other resources on-site include a Consumer Price Index Calculator and an extensive metapage of poverty-related links to resources in a variety of areas, from activism to public policy. [MW]
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Business Forecasting [.zip]
Created by Fred Collopy, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, this site provides access to current research in business forecasting. The most up-to-date information is maintained in the News section, complete with links to up-coming conferences, competitions, and publications. Annotated links to major business forecasting associations, datasets, and software providers are also provided, in addition to a bibliography of print materials and M-Competition Data--time series from three forecasting competitions available for download on site. [MW]
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Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Division of Economic Analysis [.zip]
With the mission "to assure that futures markets operate competitively," the CFTC Division of Economic Analysis is a central source of commodity market surveillance, analysis, and research. Available publications include policy statements and reports on derivative markets, price differentials, agricultural trade options, and foreign competitiveness, among other topics. Weekly statistical data on open interest contracts is distributed on a bi-weekly basis via the Commitments of Traders (COT) Reports. Researchers may view the current compressed COT Report in "long" or "short" format and download historical data according to "Futures only" (1986 to present) or "Futures and Options Combined" (1995 to present) criteria. [MW]
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Currency Boards
A specialist in monetary policy and exchange-rate issues, Kurt Schuler provides information on the currency board system, dollarization, and related topics at his Currency Board homepage. Most texts are authored by Dr. Schuler, but a contribution from Juan Luis Moreno-Villalaz, PhD, Ministerio de Planificacion, Panama on the monetary experience of Panama and excerpts from the book La Segunda Muerte de Bolivar y el Renacer de Venezuela by Jose Cordeir (in Spanish) contribute additional view-points. A bibliography of further reading annotated with contact information and links to publishers and other monetary research locations completes the site. [MW]
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Learning Resources
Biz/ed Virtual Factory
Biz/ed (described in the September 20, 1996 Scout Report) has created the Virtual factory to give students an opportunity to apply their production, accounting, and marketing skills to real life business situations. Currently, students can "tour" and learn about the Cameron Balloons Virtual Factory with worksheets, photos, relevant studies, and explanations of each main business function. A general company history, product costs, and a glossary of technical terms are also provided to heighten learning, and instructors may benefit from a Teacher's Guide and offline copy available for download. [MW]
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Company Research
Lisa Lowe, Business Reference Librarian, Kent State University, developed this site as an explanatory guide to print and electronic business resources for the beginning researcher. The site is divided into three main parts: Company Research, Industry Research, and a general research, which includes helpful search strategies and basic definitions of business ownership and organization. Examples of business syllabi and library assignments should help students make the leap between course expectations and library research. [MW]
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American Business Jargon Homepage
Designed to illuminate the ever-changing vocabulary of American business people, the American Business Jargon homepage is the electronic home to Understanding American Business Jargon: A Dictionary by W. Davis Folsom (Greenwood Press 1997). Terms and phrases like "bang for the buck" and "voodoo economics" are defined in context with direct quotations taken from major US business publications. To aid in his research, Dr. Folsom invites readers to share their business jargon observations and add to his on-going list via email. [MW]
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State Venture Policy: Investing in Women Entrepreneurs
State of the States Indicators - Women: State of the States: Women and Entrepreneurship is an issue brief on women-owned businesses and the US economy by the Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Washington D.C. Four sections covering business start-up, training, access to opportunities, and leadership profile key public and private organizations making efforts to aid women entrepreneurs. Recent data comparing women-owned business to business growth at large is also provided in addition to a table entitled "State of the States" with rankings of women-owned businesses by state. [MW]
[Note: Site title has changed since the original Scout Report review. Site formerly referred to in the Scout Report as "State of the States: Women and Entrepreneurship."]
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Foreign Labor Statistics--BLS
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides access to foreign labor statistics in addition to frequently requested timeseries on labor economics in the US. The selected employment, unemployment, consumer price index, and manufacturing unit labor cost figures of seventeen countries are posted when available (1988-present), and data may be downloaded into Excel spreadsheets according to user-defined criteria. [MW]
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General Interest
TaxWeb is a comprehensive resource center of tax information at the federal, state, and local levels. Highlights include a twelve-month tax calendar with specific dates for those paying excise taxes, employers, and the general public; a list of tax publishers (software included), complete with links to company homepages; and information on where to file by mail, Internet, fax, or other medium. [MW]
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Internet Intelligence Index
Compiled by competitive intelligence firm Fuld & Company, the Internet Intelligence Index is a compilation of sites useful in gathering competitor and marketplace information on the Internet. All links are annotated and organized by subjects ranging from legal resources to patents and industry-specific information. Additional information on the field of competitive intelligence in general is available on site. [MW]
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Ask Annie
Each week, Fortune columnist Annie Fisher gives advice on work and career in Ask Annie (available from Time Warner's Pathfinder Network, first described in the November 11, 1994 Scout Report). Recent Annie columns touch on self-employment, proper interview dress, and coping with an unwanted promotion, to name a few topics, and readers are invited to submit their own "real-life" questions via email. [MW]
[Back to Contents] provides "whisper numbers" or estimates of upcoming earnings based on analysts' estimates, company past performance, recent news events, and rumors. Companies may be searched by ticker symbol or keyword, and results include current stock prices, 52-week highs, PE ratio, and twelve-month EPS, among other figures. whisper numbers are posted three to four weeks prior to report dates. [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 Chicago Academic Working Papers [.pdf]
WP 989: An Analysis of Women's Return-to-Work Decisions Following First Birth
WP 988: A Model Of Bimetallism
WP 983: Could Prometheus Be Bound Again? A Contribution to the Convergence Controversy
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Staff Reports and Working Papers [.pdf]
SR 256: Paths of Development for Early- and Late-Bloomers
SR 255: Complex Eigenvalues and Trend-Reverting Fluctuations
WP 591: Private Money Creation and the Suffolk Banking System
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Reports [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Papers [.pdf]
WP 9810: Securities Activities by Commercial Banking Firms' Section 20 Subsidiaries
WP 9805: Housing Prices and the (In)stability of Mortgage Prepayment Models
WP 9804: Optimal Taxation of Capital Income with Imperfectly Competitive Product Markets

B. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
Technical Papers [.pdf]
No 141: "Labour Market Aspects of State Enterprise Reform in China"

C. Stockholm School of Economics--SSE
Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance (S-WoPEc) [.pdf]
No 276: Testing linearity against smooth transition autoregression using a parametric bootstrap
No 275: Growth and Development: Is there a Difference between Developed and Developing Countries?
No 274: The Impact of Generic Competition on Brand Name Market Shares
No 273: Auctioned and Re-Auctioned Children in 19th Century Sweden
No 272: Endogenous Timing of Investments Yields Modified Stackelberg Outcomes
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A. Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Financial Update
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago FedLetter [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Economic Review [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Economic Review [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Second District Highlights [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Letters
The October-December 1998 issue of Financial Update from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta includes a cover story on evaluating credit union competition in bank merger applications. The most recent FedLetter from FED Chicago (November 1998) addresses emissions trading. New from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is the second quarter 1998 issue of Economic Review (Vol 34 No 2) on issues of bank diversification and regional variations in white-black earnings. The FED Dallas version of Economic Review (fourth quarter 1998) looks at increased product market competition in the US labor market, privatization and the transition to a market economy, and the economic implications of global warming policy. A regional supplement to the federal Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Second District Highlights for October 1998 from FRB NY, covers New York City's new-media boom. And in the latest Economic Letter from FRB San Francisco (No 98-33), an argument is made for the adoption of policies that garner participation from private investors to end financial crisis in Asia. [MW]

B. Other Institutions
Bank for International Settlements--BIS
BIS Review
Recently released articles and speeches from important central bankers in the BIS Review include the Bank of Japan's October report of recent economic developments, an address on reserve bank forecasting by Mr. Donald T. Brash, Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and a discussion of attitudes towards the euro by Mr. E.A.J. George, Governor of the Bank of England. [MW]

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation--FDIC
Bank Trends
The FDIC publication Bank Trends analyzes emerging risks in banking. The October 1998 issue, "Ranking the Risk of Overbuilding in Commercial Real Estate Markets," provides a map of commercial real estate markets in the US to watch for possible overbuilding and analyst opinion on "vulnerable" markets in Las Vegas, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Charlotte, Portland, and Phoenix. [MW]

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Books and Journals
Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Business--November 1998
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Economics--November 1998
Baker & Taylor has made available a list of forthcoming business and economics books to be published in November. [MW]

Harvard Business School Publishing What's New
Recent titles from Harvard Business School publishing include Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance by Larry Downes and Chunka Mui, Peter Drucker on the Profession of Management, Competing on the Edge by Shona L. Brown and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, and Wellsprings of Knowledge: Building and Sustaining the Sources of Innovation by Dorothy Leonard. [MW]

The abstracts and table of contents for the following journals are now available online: Economic Modelling (Vol 15 No 4), International Journal of Industrial Organization (Vol 16 No 6), Journal of Mathematical Economics (Vol 30 No 2), Journal of Public Economics (Vol 70 No 1), Regional Science and Urban Economics (Vol 28 No 5), Research Policy (Vol 27 No 6). [MW]
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MaPhySto Summer School on Empirical Processes
From Monday, August 9, 1999 to Friday, August 20, 1999, the Centre for Mathematical Physics and Stochastics (MaPhySto) at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Aarhus, Denmark will hold a summer school on Empirical Processes. Lectures will include R.M. Dudley (MIT), A.W. Van der Vaart (Amsterdam), J.A. Wellner (Seattle), and P. Ganssler (Munich), among others, and a complete registration form as well as contact information are available online. [MW]

Fourth Spring Meeting of Young Economists
In collaboration with Free University Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam, and Free University of Berlin, the fourth Spring Meeting of Young Economists will be held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, April 10-11, 1999. The meeting aims to provide PhD students and assistant professors a chance to meet and present and discuss their work in any area of economics. A call for papers has been issued and the deadline is November 16, 1998. [MW]

The Fourth Regional Science and Technology Policy Research Symposium
Hosted by the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Kenan-Flagler Business School, the Fourth Regional Science and Technology Policy Research Symposium will be held November 21-24, 1998 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Issues at the crossways of science and technology policy and regional economic development will be discussed. [MW]

Australian Macroeconomics Workshop
The Faculty of Economics & Commerce at the Australian National University will host the fourth annual Macroeconomics Workshop April 8-9, 1999 in Canberra, Australia. Conference features will include sixteen contributed papers, a roundtable discussion, and opportunities for feedback on research. The deadline for paper submission is February 1, 1999, and accommodation and registration information is 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
Job Openings for Economists (JOE)
European Job Openings for Economists (E-JOE)
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New Data
(For links to additional sources of new data see the Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Government Information Sharing Project
Regional Economic Information System database Update
Bureau of Economic Analysis data housed at the Regional Economic Information System database (described in the November 11, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics) has been updated with estimates of personal income and per capita personal income for 1969-1996. Previously, Data for 1969-1995 were available. [MW]
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Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
US Direct Investments Abroad, 1996
Selected Financial and Operating Data for Nonbank Foreign Affiliates of US Companies, by Country and by Industry of Affiliate, 1996 is now available from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Entries are arranged by country or industry and include figures for affiliates, total assets, sales, net incomes, and number of employees. In 1996, the number of nonbank foreign affiliates of US companies in all countries and industries totalled 21,901 with a net income of $135,108 million. [MW]
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Census Bureau
Housing Vacancies and Homeownership, Third Quarter 1998
Monthly Wholesale Trade, Sales and Inventories, August 1998 [.pdf]
According to the US Commerce Department's Census Bureau, no significant changes in national vacancy rates were recorded for the third quarter 1998 at 8.2 percent for rental housing and 1.7 percent for homeowner housing, respectively. An increase of 0.9 percent was reported for August 1998 total inventories of merchant wholesalers, although sales dropped by 1.5 percent. [MW]
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Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Employment Cost Index, September 1998
Regional and State Employment and Unemployment, September 1998
Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment, September 1998
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Employment Cost Index (ECI) reached 139.0 this September, an increase of 3.7 percent from 1997 figures from the same month. Regional and State Employment and Unemployment remained relatively unchanged for September 1998 with the lowest unemployment rate recorded in Nebraska at 2.1 percent and high unemployment rates recorded in the District of Columbia (8.9 percent), New Mexico (6.5 percent), and West Virginia (6.4 percent). Metropolitan areas with high unemployment rates this September included Riverside-San Bernardino, CA (6.8 percent), New York, NY (6.7 percent), Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA (6.5 percent), and Miami, FL (6.4 percent). Low metropolitan unemployment rates included Indianapolis, IN (2.3 percent), Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, NC, and Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI (both 2.4 percent). [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, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and the world Agricultural Outlook Board) at these three calendar sites. [MW]
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Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Electric Power Annual 1997, Volume II (140 p.) [.pdf]
Released in two volumes, Electric Power Annual summarizes electric power industry statistics at the national, regional, and state levels. According to Volume II of the Electric Power Annual for 1997, revenue from retail sales increased 1.2 percent to $215 billion in 1997, and the national average revenue per kWh decreased from 6.86 in 1996 to 6.85 1997. [MW]
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In the News
A G7 Plan for Financial Reform
1) A Plea to End "Drift" In World Economy--International Herald Tribune 10-14-98
2) UN Warning over World's Poorest--BBC News10-15-98
3) Clinton Contacts G7 Leaders on Reform 10-29-98
4) G7 Unveils New Measures--CNNfn 10-30-98
5) G7 Outlines Action Plan--BBC News 10-31-98
6) Stocks Continue Rally, Bonds Fall Amid New 11-02-98
7) The Global Fix--The New Republic 11-02-98
8) G22 Reports on the International Financial Architecture [.pdf]
9) IMF Fiscal Transparency [.pdf]
10) G8 Information Centre
This week's In the News chronicles October 1998 Group of Seven (G7) action to remedy world financial crises. These ten resources offer news, opinion, and policy responses from major world financial institutions. Following international criticism of IMF and World Bank measures to aid economies in crisis (described in the October 8, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics), the G7, or Group of Seven wealthiest nations of the world, met on October 30, 1998 to secure additional funding for lending institutions. After the meeting, finance ministers from the US, Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy, France, and Britain approved plans to increase International Monetary Fund reserves by $90 billion and solicited a new emergency lending fund by the World Bank, the IMF's sister institution. Possible private sector involvement in G7 financial bolstering activities has not been disclosed, although G7 leaders called for increased regulation of high risk transactions, particularly hedge funds.

An international call for increased aid to troubled economies and stringent investment regulation is reported in the October 14, 1998 International Herald Tribune article, A Plea to End "Drift" In World Economy (1). A more emotional appeal for change is made by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNTD) via BBC News in UN Warning over World's Poorest (2). Reports on President Clinton's recommendations to G7 officials (3) as well as actual outcomes of the meeting (4-5) are available from, CNNfn, and BBC News archives. also provides Wall Street reaction to the G7 meeting in the November 2, 1998 article, Stocks Continue Rally, Bonds Fall Amid New Supply (6). Opinion on "setting ground rules for the world economy" is available from Professor Dani Rodrik, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, in the November 2, 1998 The New Republic article, The Global Fix (7). IMF and World Bank attempts to "fix" the global economy are documented in the reports G22 Reports on the International Financial Architecture (8) and IMF Fiscal Transparency (9). For additional information on G7 governance, news, and history, the G8 Information Centre at the University of Toronto is a scholarly resource. [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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Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-1998. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the Scout Report for Business & Economics provided the copyright notice and this paragraph is preserved on all copies. The Internet Scout Project provides information about the Internet to the US research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material.

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