The Scout Report for Business & Economics - January 28, 1999

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

January 28, 1999

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


World Bank Development Forum
An electronic venue for "dialogue and knowledge sharing" among international development community members, the World Bank's Development Forum includes ongoing Development Dialogues, or discussion groups, geared to share "high-value information" on key development issues. Each dialogue is open to the public but varies in content, format, and duration. Currently, dialogues on violence against women, rural communications in Africa, foreign direct investment, and social capital are active, with archives maintained at the Join the Discussion page. Complete registration is available online. Note: the World Bank invites the public to join the following upcoming dialogues by February 1, 1999: Knowledge and Information for Development (IKD), Gender and Law (GENDER-LAW), Les Consequences de la Maternite Precoce sur l'Education des Filles en Afrique (EDUC-FILLES), and Attacking Poverty (WDR2001), the first public forum on the World Development Report for 2000/02. [MW]

To join any of the dialogues, send email to:
In the body of the message, type:
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The information management services company Fontal (UK) aims to provide "leading sources" of business management information on the Internet at Bnet. Guides, directories, and case studies on business administration, business regulations, intellectual property, innovation, manufacturing, and quality, among many other topics, are available from a searchable database. Although use of the database is subscription-based, free access is available to full- and part-time students, academics, and librarians following registration and acceptance of the Bnet User Agreement. [MW]
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Commodity Market Review -- UN FAO (506 kb) [.pdf]
The Commodity Market Review (CMR) is the "leading annual publication on world commodities and trade" from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO). Part I synthesizes important developments in the global economy, commodity prices, and exports earnings, among other developments affecting international trade and agriculture, and includes recent studies on commodities, trade, and the activities of the FAO Intergovernmental Commodity Groups. Part II reviews the current world market situation with detailed short-term outlooks for 21 commodity groups from beverages, sugar, and fruits to raw materials. This year's CMR (1997-98) stresses the consequences of the Asian financial turmoil on global commodity markets and highlights the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture as well intra-trade and agriculture among African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries. The 1996-1997 edition is also available on-site. [MW]
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International Business Global Resources Working Papers -- NYU [.pdf]
Bibliographical information on working papers and cases studies produced by New York University's Stern School of Business departments and centers are available from the new International Business Global Business portal. Recent titles are listed for the Department of Accounting/ Vincent C. Ross Institute Working Paper series (1996-present) and the Information Systems Department CRIS Working Paper List (1980-1995), with the selected abstracts available for the Department of Finance (1998-present) and the Salomon Center for Research in Financial Institutions and Markets (1991-present). Each departmental page includes specific information on ordering titles, and selected full-text papers from the Stern School of Business Economics Department (1991-present) are available for download on-site. [MW]
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Netnomics 1 (1999)
Netnomics is a new journal by Baltzer Science Publishers and a new name for the opportunities in economic research made possible by electronic networking technology. Topics soon to be addressed by the journal include pricing schemes for electronic services, digicash, electronic trading systems, data mining, and real time forecasting, among others. Complete editorial board, aim, scope, and submission information is available at the homepage. Although future issues will be offered by subscription only, Netnomics 1 (1999) is available to the public at the above address, with articles on game theory, e-money, policing the information highway, and the Internet labor market. [MW]
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Learning Resources

BakerBooks -- Harvard University
New Books at Baker Library
New Books from HBS Press
Faculty Books in Print
The Baker Library at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Adminstration has recently released this new replacement to the print publication Baker Library Recent Additions. The BakerBook section New Books at Baker Library features a monthly listing of new acquisitions by subject (September 1998-present) and New Books from HBS Press offers the latest titles from the Harvard Business School Press. The Faculty Books in Print section, an in-depth bibliography, is a "continuously updated" list of in-print books published by Harvard Business School faculty. Edited books containing articles or chapters by HBS faculty are also included for additional access to current research (1990-present). [MW]
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The Financial Fiction Genre
Roy S. Davies, author of A Comparative Chronology of Money from Ancient Times to the Present Day (reviewed in the May 16, 1998 Scout Report), attempts to establish "financial fiction" as a literary genre at this new Financial Fiction Genre site. Davies creates a canon of classic financial texts by Charles Dickens, Emile Zola, Upton Sinclair, and Tom Wolfe, among others, in a variety of essays spanning the Dawn of the American Century to the Rise of the Yuppie. The "motivating force" of money in other genres such as science fiction, legal fiction, mysteries, and spy thrillers is also discussed, and links to related topics from other Roy Davies' works are highlighted throughout the site. [MW]
[Back to Contents] is a clearly written educational guide to financial concepts by Mark McCracken. Contents span the time value of money, annuities, perpetuities, interest rates, probability, and stock valuation, among others, and a question and answer section allows students to test their knowledge or share comments and questions by email. [MW]
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Marketing Management
Instructor Edwin Tang helps students assess marketing successes and failures at this Chinese University of Hong Kong course site. Tang emphasizes the use of the Internet for business research and links to online case studies, related resources on case analysis, and a detailed syllabus. [MW]
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Bookmark Central: Cost of Living
Database magazine editor Marydee Ojala collects sites with "good statistical data" on the cost of living in the US at this Bookmark Central page (first reviewed in the December 17, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics). Ojala lists nationwide and state-specific resources with helpful annotations and includes some solid pointers to finding international consumer price index (CPI) numbers. [MW]
[Note: Resource(s)/URL(s) mentioned above is no longer available.]
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General Interest

Dun and Bradstreet UK
World business information provider Dun & Bradstreet has created this new site with direct marketing, business information, and collection services. Online ordering facilities for CDs, publications, business information, and country reports are provided, but the publicly available Direct Marketing Database is a highlight with 2,000,000 entries searchable by business type, or turnover or number of employees (registration required). [MW]
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A Worldly Information Network, Inc. endeavor, is a new financial publication edited by veteran financial journalists and devoted to keeping readers informed on how global financial markets might affect their investment decisions. Key content areas include financial data on major foreign markets (with selected emerging markets), daily prices, performance rankings, and ADR profiles, as well as how-to articles on investment strategies and risk. Sample portfolios are also available in addition to a free investment portfolio service for readers (registration required). [MW]
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Gallery of Obscure Patents
This gallery of the "strange and intriguing" among patents is the result of viewer responses to contents in the Intellectual Property Network database by IBM (reviewed in the November 11, 1998 Scout Report). Items such as a jet-powered surfboard, a combined earthquake sensor and nightlight, and a method for remembering to retrieve an umbrella before leaving the house are all archived here with illustrations, abstracts, and links to related patents for further examples of unusual inventions. [MW]
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Council on Economic Priorities: Corporate Report Card
The Council on Economic Priorities (CEP) prefers to evaluate companies on issues of environmental stewardship, diversity, charitable giving, working conditions, and community involvement, among others instead of by sales alone at the Corporate Report Card site. This database of over 320 companies is searchable by name, industry, or ticker symbol and displays a concise report card with an easy-to-understand grading system. The additional subjects of military contacts and animal testing are available for most entries, and a glossary of key CEP issues helps clarify company performance. [MW]
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Max's Investment World
Named for a three-legged cat, Max's Investment World is a "friendly, fun, one-stop shop" for investment tools and advice. Introductory information on investment strategies is available from the Max Basics section, and a Research Library helps readers investigate mutual funds, stocks, IPOs, and the economy via the Internet. Guidance on discovering "undervalued stocks" and "bolstering your returns" may be located in Max's $Idea Library and the Investment Picks section, Max's current list of the "best and worst investments out there." [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 Board of Governors:
International Finance Discussion Papers (IFDPs)
No 632: The Implications of Risk Management Information Systems for the Organization of Financial Firms

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston Working Papers [.pdf]
No 98-9: Determinants of the Japan Premium: Actions Speak Louder than Words
FRB Minneapolis Research Archive Staff Reports [.pdf]
No 257: Malthus to Solow
FRB San Francisco Working Papers [.pdf]
98-12: Optimal Redistributive Capital Taxation in a Neoclassical Growth Model

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Working Papers [.pdf]
No 61: Foreign Direct Investment and Employment in the Industrial Countries

Wharton Financial Institutions Center 1999 Working Paper Series [.pdf]
No 9906: Modeling Liquidity Risk, With Implications for Traditional Market Risk Measurement and Management
No 9905: Real-Time Multivariate Density Forecast Evaluation and Calibration
No 9904: The Dollars and Sense of Bank Consolidation
No 9903: Deposits and Relationship Lending
No 9902: Checking Accounts and Bank Monitoring
No 9901: Why Are Mutual Fund Flow and Market Returns Related? Evidence from High-Frequency Data

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Working Papers [.pdf]
No 182: The Dynamic Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Policy in an Overlapping Generations Model
No 181: Why Do Countries Use Capital Controls?
No 180: The Intragenerational Redistributive Effects of Unfunded Pension Programs
No 179: Correlations Between Real Interest Rates and Output in a Dynamic International Model-Evidence from G-7 Countries
No 178: Fundamental Determinants of Inequality and the Role of Government
No 177: Terms of Trade Shocks and the Current Account
No 176: Will Fiscal Policy Be Effective Under EMU?
No 175: Export Credit Agencies, Trade Finance and South East Asia

Stockholm School of Economics:
Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance (S-WoPEc) [.pdf]
No 294: Why Agency Costs Explain Diversification Discounts
No. 293: Estimating the Effects of Vocational Rehabilitation Programs in Sweden
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Federal Reserve System:
Federal Reserve Board of Governors:
Beige Book [.pdf]
On January 20, the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors released the first 1999 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 solid economic growth overall, stable or declining prices for both producers and consumers (with exceptions in Dallas and Boston), and labor market tightness, with Atlanta, Chicago, and Richmond recording heightened wage pressures and St. Louis citing increased worker "poaching." The next Beige Book will be released March 17. [MW]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Cleveland Economic Trends (1,202K) [.pdf]
FRB Dallas Economic Review and Houston Business [.pdf]
FRB Philadelphia Business Review [.pdf]
FRB San Francisco Economic Letters
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's January 1999 issue of Economic Trends puts "the economy in perspective" with articles on monetary policy, interest rates, inflation and prices, labor markets, and workweek changes, as well as regional and banking conditions, among other topics. The first quarter 1999 Economic Review from FRB Dallas compares the European System of Central Banks to the US Federal Reserve System in order to shed light on monetary policy in Europe under monetary union. Issues related to the role of government in primary and secondary education are also explored. Additionally from Fed Dallas, the January issue of Houston Business looks at the prospects for Houston's economic activity overall in 1999. In the January/ February 1999 Business Review from FRB Philadelphia, Loretta Mester looks at the implications of banking industry consolidation for small business, and Satyajit Chatterjee discusses how changes in productivity, rather than monetary and financial disturbances, are more likely to cause business cycle changes. Recent Economic Letters from FRB San Francisco cover the goals of US monetary policy (No 99-04) and small business lending patterns in California (No 99-03). [MW]

United States International Trade Commission (USITC)
International Economic Review [.pdf]
Industry, Trade, and Technology Review [.pdf]
Articles from the November/ December 1999 International Economic Review by the USITC discuss disputes between the US and Mexico over sugar and high fructose corn syrup and the US-European Union dispute about bananas (also discussed in the January 14, 1999 Scout Report for Business & Economics). Articles in the December 1998 USITC Industry, Trade, and Technology Review look at restructuring efforts in the Russian minerals and metals sector, the growth of nonstore retailing, and competitive strategies in the US apparel industry. [MW]

International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Finance & Development
The December 1998 issue of Finance & Development is now available from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Issues related to the European Economic and Monetary Union and capital account liberalization are discussed in addition to other articles on financial crises in emerging markets, monetary policy in Russia, and currency boards. [MW]

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
The January 1999 issue of the OECD Observer examines taxation as a main theme and questions whether or not economic policies should be coordinated for EMU, among other international issues (in English and French). [MW]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include remarks by FRB New York President William McDonough to the Bond Market Association on the importance of risk management techniques and market discipline and statements on the importance of the Y2K problem and the responsibility of central banks from South African Reserve Bank Governor Dr. Chris Stals. [MW]

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
Economic Outlook
This January, John H. Makin recommends "active monetary easing" rather than tax cuts in the US to avoid inflation, in the Economic Outlook article "The Deflationary Fear of Inflation." The deflationary measures of the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank (ECB) are also examined. [MW]
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Books and Journals

Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Business -- January 1999
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Economics -- January 1999
Baker & Taylor lists business and economics books published in January. [MW]

Econbase -- Elsevier
The abstracts and tables of contents for the following journals are now available online: Agricultural Economics (Vol 20 No 1), Energy Economics (Vol 20 Nos 5-6), European Economic Review (Vol 43 No 1), European Journal of Political Economy (Vol 14 No 4), International Journal of Industrial Organization (Vol 17 No 2), Japan and the World Economy (Vol 11 No 1), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (Vol 37 No 4), Journal of International Economics (Vol 46 No, Vol 47 No 1), Regional Science and Urban Economics (Vol 29 No 1), Research Policy (Vol 27 Nos 8-9). [MW]
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Inomics Conference Calls:
Email Conference Alert
Conference Search
The economics research service Inomics (described in the June 18, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics) includes a conference alert service. Interested parties may specify their interests and receive email notifications of up-coming events, or the Inomics conference database may be searched by date, geographic location, or JEL classification. [MW]

Technology for Enhancement of Business Education -- CTI AFM
Based at the School of Management, University of East Anglia, UK, the Computing Teaching Initiative Centre for Accounting Finance and Management (CTI AFM) "exists to support business academics in making use of computers to enhance teaching and learning in Higher Education." The annual conference entitled Technology for Enhancement of Business Education will be held April 8-9, 1999 in Brighton, UK, and a provisional program, list of papers, and registration information are available online. Academics in accounting and finance, business studies, marketing, and management are invited to attend whether they are "novice or expert" users of information technology in the classroom. [MW]

New Directions in Value/Price Theory
The International Working Group on Value Theory (IWGVT) invites participants for the sixth New Directions in Value/ Price Theory mini-conference. The conference theme is Deepening the Dialogues, and discussions will be held as part of the Eastern Economic Association (EEA) conference March 12-14, 1999 in Boston, MA. Complete paper, author, session, and registration information are available online. [MW]
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Job Openings from The Chronicle of Higher Education
Job Openings in Economics
Job Openings in Business and Management

Job Openings for Economists (JOE)
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New Data

Census Bureau
Annual Survey of Communication Services [.pdf]
According to this recent US Census Bureau release, the US communications industries revenues rose by eight percent in 1997 to $348 billion. Highlights for selected industry groups for 1996 to 1997 include a fourteen percent increase in subscriptions for basic television cable services and continued growth among telephone communication businesses. [MW]
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Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Consumer Price Index, December 1998
Producer Price Index, December 1998
US Import and Export Price Indexes, December 1998
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.1 percent, and the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was unchanged in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods rose 0.4 percent last month, while the Import Price Index decreased 0.7 percent. This drop was again attributable to a large decline in petroleum prices. Prices for nonpetroleum imports were unchanged, and export prices edged down 0.1 percent, following a 0.2 increase in November.
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA Reports Calendars -- January 1999
USDA Agency Reports Calendar
ERS 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 two calendar sites. [MW]
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Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Financial Statistics of Major U.S. Publicly Owned Electric Utilities 1997 (4 MB) [.pdf]
The EIA report Financial Statistics of Major U.S. Publicly Owned Electric Utilities 1997 presents four years of summary financial data on the major publicly owned electric utilities from 1993 to 1996. More detailed data is available for 1997, and highlights include an average sales for resale revenue per kilowatthour at 3.2 cent in 1997 and an average ultimate consumers revenue per kilowatthour at 6.8 cents. Strong economic growth and "close to normal" average heating and cooling degree days were cited as important factors. [MW]
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In The News

SEC, Nasdaq Change the Rules of Online Trading
(1) Day Trading 101
(2) "Online Trading Woes Ruffle All Sides in Deals"
(3) SEC Oks New Rules for Electronic Trading Systems
(4) Regulation of Exchanges and Alternative Trading Systems -- SEC Final Rules
(5) Statement by Chairman Arthur Levitt Concerning On-Line Trading
(6) Booming Business
(7) Warnings of Nasdaq Volatility
(8) SEC Grants New Nasdaq IPO Trading Rules
(9) NasdaqTrader
This week's In the News reports on regulatory developments in online investing. On January 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved a request from Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. to expand the time period that market makers must post pre-trading prices for IPO shares on the NASDAQ stock market from five minutes to fifteen minutes. This new rule followed the adoption of general SEC guidelines on the capacity, integrity, and security standards of electronic trading systems in December. While some view these decisions as important regulatory measures meant to curb "day trading," investment strategies that bet on the narrowest spreads in stock prices in order to gain quick profits before the margin evaporates, others see the new rules as a powerful message from Wall Street insiders meant to discourage a growing number of lesser-known electronic traders. Many agree, however, that electronic trading systems will become over-burdened by increased transactions in the future and action must taken now to ensure their reliability as virtual exchange floors. The following nine resources provide SEC documents, news, and background information on the phenomenon of day trading as well as the "volatile" but popular electronic market -- the NASDAQ.

In-depth information on the methods, gains, losses and regulation of day trading is available from the CNNfn special, Day Trading 101 (1). Other perspectives on the process of online investing are covered in the New York Times article "Online Trading Woes Ruffle All Sides in Deals" with links to past reports (2). Information on the December 2, 1998 SEC guidelines on the regulation of electronic exchanges is available from the CNN article SEC Oks New Trade Rules (3), and the complete regulatory document (No 34-40760) is available from the SEC site (4). SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt's press release following the first day of fifteen-minute IPO trading is also posted at this site (5). Booming Business, from the PBS Online NewsHour, covers the basic structure of the NASDAQ stock exchange, with comments by John Coffee of Columbia Law School and Reena Aggarwal from the Georgetown School of Business (6). Issues of "turbulent market conditions" and the potential for change are outlined in the January 27 ABC News business report Warnings of Nasdaq Volatility (7) and the CNNfn short article SEC Sets New IPO Rules (8). An additional summary of the SEC IPO statement is available from the NasdaqTrader news section of the Nasdaq site (9). [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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