The Scout Report for Business & Economics - November 19, 1998

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

November 19, 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


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News


Regional Trade Agreements and US Agriculture -- USDA ERS (6,360 kb, 150 p.) [.pdf]
Edited by Mary E. Burfisher and Elizabeth A. Jones, US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (described in the July 2, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics), the report Regional Trade Agreements and US Agriculture analyzes the "trade-creating" and "trade-diverting" impacts of US participation in regional trade agreements (RTAs). Twelve chapters cover the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement, among other RTAs. Arguments are made that increased US participation benefits US agriculture but could hurt non-member trade participants. [MW]
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Poverty Reduction Project -- GTZ [.pdf]
A German Technical Cooperation (GTZ: Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit) initiative, the Poverty Reduction Project aims to bring the needs of poor people to the forefront of economic development agendas worldwide through an Internet forum. The site describes current projects with financial intermediaries in El Salvador and food security in China and is home to a library of full-text papers, project reports, and country profiles (in German and English). [MW]
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Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHR) Working Papers [.pdf]
In partnership with AT&T, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, and PepsiCo, among other companies, the Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHR), School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University investigates critical issues in human resources management. A bibliography of over two-hundred center working papers (1987-present) is available for viewing, with recent selections available in full text (1994-present). Users may view titles by date of publication only, but topics such as work design, employee attitudes, intellectual capital measures, and cases in global HR are highlighted by indexing codes to aid research. [MW]
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Center for Labour Market and Social Research (CLS) [.pdf, Java]
Affiliated with the Department of Economics and the Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus, Aurhus, Denmark, the Center for Labour Market and Social Research (CLS) conducts empirical research on international labor markets and social behavior. Publications on-site include an annotated bibliography of working papers (1994-present, in English) with over 50 titles in full text (1996-1998). Other CLS texts are listed under the heading "Publications," and links to new research on topics such as child labor, unemployment, and statistical models at the homepage keep viewers up-to-date. [MW]
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Sustainable Development/Economics Homepage
Tradable Permits Bibliography
Compiled by Tom Tietenberg, Professor of Economics, Colby College, this page offers an extensive bibliography of works on ecological economics and sustainable development. Bibliography headings includes Economic Incentives Policies, Population, Energy and Global Warming, and Biodiversity and Wildlife Management, among others. Student case study assignments are also available with references to additional texts, and a list of sustainable development links completes the site. Interested parties may also view Professor Tietenberg's Tradable Permits Bibliography at a separate address for review and comment. [MW]
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Learning Resources

Great Ideas for Teaching Marketing
Provided by South-Western College Publishing, Great Ideas for Teaching Marketing is an extensive metapage of instructional resources written and tested by teachers at the high school and college level. Topics range from promotion, pricing, and selling to product design and consumer behavior. The site features a wide variety of document types such as teaching tips, games, and research. [MW]
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FIN 6842: Research Methods in Finance
Pamela Peterson, Department of Finance, Florida State University, provides an introduction to financial databases and statistical packages in empirical financial research at this site, designed for her FIN 6842 class. A list of database assignments utilize University of Chicago's Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) (described in the July 2, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics) and Standard & Poor's Compustat data, among others, to teach students elements of database management and use. Those interested in issues and problems related to financial portfolio compilation and management will enjoy the comprehensive reading list. [MW]
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Advertising Expert Rolodex
Members of the non-profit film and video distribution center California Newsreel identify key advertising critics, scholars, and watchdog groups in the Advertising Expert Rolodex. Topics range from Children, Schools, and Advertizing to Internet Advertising and Alcohol and Tobacco Advertizing. Entries include a detailed annotation, street address, email contacts, and Web address (when available). [MW]
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ECON 131: Social Science Reasoning Using Statistics
Jack Chizmar, Department of Economics, Illinois State University, outlines how to describe, produce, and draw conclusions from data at ECON 131: Social Science Reasoning Using Statistics. Chizmar provides an engaging introduction to using statistics in addition to sample exams, readings, and the opportunity to comment on the course design. [MW]
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CRES Glossary
Hosted by the Indiana University Center for Real Estate Studies (CRES), the CRES Glossary defines over 1,500 terms derived from the Real Estate Education company publication The Language of Real Estate Appraisal in an "easy to understand" language. Users may search by glossary term or by keyword in definition, and results may be magnified for easier reading. [MW]
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General Interest

Web100: Big Business on the Web
This site indexes only "the largest American and international companies on the Web," with links to homepages, five-year income profiles, stock quotes, Hoover company capsules, and reviews from the Dow Jones Business Directory. Top businesses may be searched via the Web100 database or viewed by industry, region, or revenue ranking, and a newswire keeps users abreast of the latest big business headlines. [MW]
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JP Morgan and the Carson Group Inc. offer this comprehensive resource on American depository receipts (ADRs), or non-US companies that trade in the US stock market. The site provides general information on ADRs, and searches by company, country, industry, or exchange yield news, analysis, and individual company performance figures, among other financial data. Note: users must accept terms outlined by JP Morgan and Carson, prior to entering the site. [MW]
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The E-Commerce Times
The E-Commerce Times is a colorful source of independent, up-to-date news on electronic commerce issues for sales professionals, internet service providers, and entrepreneurs. Features include daily headlines, new product information, and special reports on Internet marketing, security, and start-up costs. A small business advisor is also provided in addition to "success stories" -- interviews with "e-business" CEOs. [MW]
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Spun from the idea that "people make financial decisions like monkeys throwing darts," DataChimp provides guidance for the beginning investor. A clear and concise homepage offers advice on understanding the Roth IRA, finding fundamentals in financial statements, and investment risks such as return fluctuations. Interactive diagrams on cash flow, bonds and stock valuation are also available, and a pop-up glossary and calculator add to the educational value of the site. [MW]
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Left Business Observer
Edited by Wall Street author Doug Henwood, the Left Business Observer site features selected articles from the print journal by the same name (1992-present). The site provides special reports on current political issues, in addition to a discussion forum and US labor statistics with commentary from a "left" perspective. [MW]
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Current Awareness
(For links to additional current awareness on tables of contents, abstracts, preprints, new books, data, conferences, etc., visit the Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Working Papers

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Working Papers [.pdf]
No 14: Evaluating Inflation Forecasts
No 13: Expectations and the Effects of Monetary Policy

Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE) Working Papers
No 125: The External Sector, the State and Development in Eastern Europe
No 124: Trade Patterns, FDI, and Industrial Restructuring of Central and Eastern Europe

Stockholm School of Economics (S-WoPEc) Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
No 281: Clever agents in Young's Evolutionary Bargaining Model
No. 279: Stochastic Dominance Amongst Swedish Income Distributions

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Working Papers [.pdf]
The November 1998 working paper, "The Importance of Bank Seniority for Relationship Lending," by Stanley D. Longhofer and Joao A. C. Santos, is available from the Bank for International Settlements. This paper synthesizes two seemingly unrelated branches of bank/borrower literature: the relative priority of bank debt and the role of banks as "relationship lenders." Specifically, the authors examine how bank seniority influences a related firm's ex ante value. [MW]

International Monetary Fund (IMF) 1998 Working Paper Series
Recent working papers available in full text from the International Monetary Fund include "European Trade and Foreign Direct Investment U-Shaping Industrial Output in Central and Eastern Europe: Theory and Evidence" (No 150), "Time Series Analysis of Export Demand Equations: A Cross-Country Analysis" (No 149), "Purchasing Power Parities in Five East African Countries: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda" (No 148), and "Real Exchange Rate Volatility - Does the Nominal Exchange Rate Regime Matter?" (No 147). Other titles explore optimal fiscal policy and the environment (No 146), the recent behavior of US inflation and unemployment (No 145), and Islamic government debt management (No 144). [MW]
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A. Federal Reserve System

Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Beige Book
On November 4th, the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors released the seventh Beige Book, or Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District (described in the January 24, 1997 Scout Report). Trends across the eleven Federal Reserve districts include slowing retail sales growth rates, continued strong residential building and sales, and mixed business lending activity. Agricultural conditions varied across districts due to increased production in Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis, and Minneapolis, but a lower demand over-seas. The eighth Beige Book will be released on December 9. [MW]

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Economic Perspectives [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Economic Trends [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Houston Business [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Business Review [.pdf]
The third quarter 1998 Economic Perspectives from Fed Chicago examines the importance of retailers' inventories, how government purchases affect the economy, the federal funds futures market, and systemic risk as coordination failure in the Asian financial crisis. Articles from the November edition of Economic Trends from Fed Cleveland look at interest rates, monetary policy, age and earnings, and the Japanese economy, among other issues. Fed Dallas takes a regional look at the effects of the US economic slowdown in Texas in the November edition of Houston Business. And November/December titles from the Fed Philadelphia Business Review question the Federal Reserve system's hold on monetary control and Europe's formation of a single monetary union. [MW]

B. Other Institutions

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
Economic Outlook
Russian Outlook
Entitled "The Fed Confronts Financial Panic," this month's Economic Outlook from the American Enterprise Institute comments on Federal Reserve Action to counter crises in Asia, Russia, and Latin America. The Fall 1998 edition of Russian Outlook, also from the AEI, looks at three economic policy scenarios for the new Russia from a historical perspective. [MW]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include a look at the importance of the euro for Hong Kong by Mr. David Carse, Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and comments on the need for greater financial flexibility by Dr. Chris Stals, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank. [MW]

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Focus Hot File
The November 1998 Focus Hot File reports on guidelines for globalization in Finland, a database for public administration human resources in Portugal, and a "total government workforce control system" in Korea, among other public management initiatives in OECD countries. [MW]

World Bank
Prioritization through Participation: Agricultural Investments in Cameroon
Lessons from Africa's Social Funds and Public Works and Employment Projects
Recent newsletters on World Bank economic and sector work in Africa include Findings No 123, entitled "Prioritization through Participation: Agricultural Investments in Cameroon," and No 122, entitled "Lessons from Africa's Social Funds and Public Works and Employment Projects." [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 lists business and economics books published in November. [MW]

Econbase -- Elsevier
The abstracts and tables of contents for the following journals are now available online: Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy (Vol 48 No 1), Japan and the World Economy (Vol 10 No 4), Journal of Development Economics (Vol 57 No 1), Journal of Empirical Finance (Vol 5 No 4 and Call for Papers), Journal of Financial Markets (Vol 1 Nos 3-4), Journal of International Economics (Vol 46 No 1), Journal of Mathematical Economics (Vol 30 No 3), Research Policy (Vol 27 No 7), and Journal of Multinational Financial Management (Vol 8 Nos 2-3). [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)

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1999 International Atlantic Economic Conference
University and government economists are invited to participate in the 48th International Atlantic Economic Conference in Montreal, Quebec, October 7-10, 1999. Discussion topics will vary from investment, banking, and monetary policy to labor, health reform, and environmental challenges. Key note speakers include Professor Michael Boskin of Stanford University and IAES President, Gordon Tullock. Complete registration, accommodation, and paper submission information is available online. [MW]

Computational Finance CF99
Sponsored by the New York University Salomon Center, the Center for Research on Information Systems, and the Department of Statistics and Operations Research, the sixth international Computational Finance (CF99) conference will be held at NYU's Leonard N. Stern School of Business, January 6-8, 1998. Keynote speakers include H. Gifford Fong, President of Gifford Fong Associates and David E. Shaw, PhD, Chairman and CEO of D. E. Shaw & Co., Inc., and four tutorials covering forecasting volatility, hedge fund styles, neuro-dynamic programming, and data snooping will be held on January 6. [MW]

1999 Annual Symposium of the Society for Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics
The seventh Annual Symposium of the Society for Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics will be held in New York, March 18-19, 1999. Topics include both theoretical and empirical studies on the derivation of nonlinear techniques to model, characterize, or forecast dynamic economic phenomena, and papers presented may appear in the MIT Press journal, Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics. The deadline for paper submission is December 15, 1998. [MW]

Joint Center on Poverty Research (JCPR) Conferences
Up-coming conferences on poverty issues such as welfare reform, taxation, and labor markets are listed at the Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research (JCPR) conference page. The complete schedule, and registration and contact information is typically available on-site, and current listings include a symposium on December 15, 1998 in Chicago on Illinois welfare reform. [MW]
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New Data

United Nations
Revision of the World Population Estimates and Projections
The Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs has finalized the 1998 Revision of the official United Nations world population estimates and projections. Highlights of the findings include a world population growth rate of 1.33 percent per year, with global average fertility levels at 2.7 births per woman -- a declining average world-wide. The number of centenarians is projected to increase sixteen-fold by the year 2050, at 2.2 million persons, but HIV/AIDS continues to demonstrate a high mortality toll in hard-hit countries such as Botswana. [MW]
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Census Bureau
C20 Housing Starts, September 1998 & Supplement on New Mobile Home Placements [.pdf]
Monthly data detailing housing starts by unit and region are available from the C20 Housing Starts report for September 1998 as well as annual data from 1988 to 1997. New privately owned housing starts in September 1998 remained above the September 1997 rate of 1,501,000 but below the revised August level of 1,616,000 at 1,576,000. A supplementary Survey of New Mobile Home Placements is also provided in the September C20, with quarterly and annual data on mobile homes placed, average sales prices, and dealers' inventories. During the second quarter of 1998, the Census Bureau estimates that 85,800 new mobile homes were placed for residential use at an average sales price of $42,600 -- a slight increase from second quarter 1997 totals. [MW]
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Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Productivity and Costs, Third Quarter 1998
Producer Price Indexes, October 1998
Consumer Price Index, October 1998
Real Earnings, October 1998
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, third quarter 1998 productivity in the business and nonfarm sectors surpassed second quarter figures at 2.4 percent and 2.3 percent annual rates respectively. The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods increased 0.2 percent in October, following a rise of 0.3 percent in September and a decline of 0.4 percent in August. The index for finished goods other than foods and energy rose slightly at 0.1 percent last month, and prices received by producers of intermediate goods declined 0.2 percent, mirroring September rates. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.2 percent in October, before seasonal adjustment, to a level of 164.0, and real average weekly earnings increased by 0.4 percent from September to October, offset by a 0.3 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). [MW]
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA Reports Calendars -- November 1998
USDA Agency Reports Calendar
ERS Calendar
NASS Calendar
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) [.pdf]
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 November 1998 include the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, with supply and demand projections for commodities such as wheat, rice, sugar, and red meat. [MW]
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Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Annual Energy Outlook 1999 (early release)
An early release of the Annual Energy Outlook for 1999 is available from the EIA. Key projections include an estimated rebound in world oil demand at 114.7 million barrels a day by 2020. A complete analysis of energy issues, production, consumption, and prices will become available December 17, 1998. [MW]
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In The News

Tobacco Companies, State Attorneys Reach Settlement
(1) The Tobacco Resolution Home Page
(2) National Association of Attorneys General: Tobacco
(3) $206B Tobacco Deal Unveiled -- CNNfn
(4) The Tobacco Debate -- NY Times (registration required)
(5) Tobacco Deal Gets Differing Reactions
(6) Tobacco in Transition -- Greensboro, NC News & Record [java]
(7) Tobacco Briefing Room: Tobacco Leaf and Products Statistics and Analysis -- USDA ERS
(8) The Costs of Smoking
(9) The Ghostship Archive
(10) Celebrity Pictures
(11) Tobacco -- American Council on Science and Health (ACSH)
(12) State Facts on Tobacco and Cancer -- NCADI
This week's In the News examines the November 16, 1998 $206 billion settlement reached between tobacco industry leaders and eight US states. These twelve resources provide press releases, opinion, and background information on the economics of tobacco production and consumption in the US. Following increasing pressure from anti-tobacco activists at the state level, Philip Morris Incorporated, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, and the Lorillard Tobacco Company settled pending lawsuits with New York, California, and Wisconsin, among other states. The agreement requires the companies to pay the potential medical costs of sick smokers based on a formula that factors state-by-state population, tobacco use, and previous Medicaid cost. The agreement also provides for a $1.5 billion anti-smoking campaign fund and bans billboard and transit ads in addition to "branded" merchandising -- the sale and distribution of items bearing tobacco brands' names or logos. Although these provisions give anti-smoking organizations much needed funding for educational resources, critics fear that the settlement protects the tobacco industry more than it hinders it. According to Gary Black, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., the settlement "removes the remaining threat of bankruptcy from the stocks and reduces the litigation discount that has plagued tobacco companies since 1994." With little risk of future lawsuits according to Black, "we're back to business as usual."

Complete settlement documents and press releases are available at The Tobacco Resolution Home Page (1). More useful documents, such as a breakdown of state dollars, can be found at the National Association of Attorneys General tobacco site (2). CNNfn also reports on the financials of the agreement at $206B Tobacco Deal Unveiled (3), with industry analyst comments and links to related articles. An archived view of national tobacco issues dating back to May 1998 is available at the NY Times Tobacco Debate page (4). Regional effects may be gauged at the LA Times (5) and at the Greensboro, NC News & Record (6). The latter site offers slideshows of tobacco fields and factories. The USDA ERS Tobacco Briefing Room gathers government analysis of the tobacco industry (7), complete with information on US government tobacco price support and tobacco use, production, and trade statistics. Industry data is also available at Knight Ridder's The Costs of Smoking site (8), with sections on cigarette trends, prices and use statistics. The Ghostship Archive (9) and Celebrity Pictures (10) invite users to view the power of tobacco ad campaigns via image files, and health statistics are available at the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) site (11), as well as the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) page (12), with state-by-state mortality rate break-downs. [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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