The Scout Report for Business & Economics - February 25, 1999

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

February 25, 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


Year 2000 Reports Database -- SEC
Important Information:
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently released this searchable database of Y2K readiness reports in order to disclose the preparatory efforts of the securities industry. The database contains more than 13,000 reports from the broker-dealers, transfer agents, investment advisors, and mutual funds required to file with the SEC. Reports include descriptions of the company's, agent's, or fund's state of Y2K readiness, costs to address the Y2K problem, Y2K risks, and contingency plans. Complete database documentation, search instructions, and contact information are provided at the Important Information page. [MW]
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Statistics on Payment Systems in the Group of Ten Countries -- BIS [.pdf]
This annual publication from the Bank for International Settlements updates the print publication Payment Systems in the Group of Ten Countries_ and provides data on payments and payment systems in the G-10 countries of Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US. Specific information, such as the volume of transactions using debit/ credit cards and ATMs, is available for individual countries (1993-1997), and similarities and differences among G-10 systems are clarified in thirteen comparative tables. [MW]
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Latin America Research Group -- Atlanta Fed
Part of the Macropolicy group at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Latin America Research Group (LARG) monitors financial systems and provides general assessments of macroeconomic conditions in Latin America and the Caribbean. Recent staff papers and economic analyses are posted on-site in addition to speeches and presentations. A well-organized Internet resource page also offers links to Latin American government, media, and stock exchange sites as well as multilateral institutions and research organizations. [MW]
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European Central Bank [.pdf ]
Together with the national central banks of the European Union, the European Central Bank (ECB) collects statistical information and governs the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). Legal texts about the ECB, the ESCB, and the European Monetary Union (EMI) are provided in addition to press releases, speeches, euro area statistics and selected publications of the EMI (in eleven European languages). [MW]
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An Introductory Reading List in Social and Environmental Accounting
The Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (UK) provides this bibliography to help readers "get started" on social and environmental accounting teaching and research. A number of recommended bibliographies are listed, but the majority of citations fall under categories of social accounting and reporting, environmentalism, "new economics," environmental management, and basic accounting theory. [MW]
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Learning Resources

Virtual Economy
Launched February 26, 1999, Virtual Economy (VE) is an Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), Biz/ed, and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC-UK) learning tool based on the UK governmental model for economic forecasting and planning. This elaborate site contains a "floor plan" for constructing a functional budget and is complete with teacher and student guides, case studies, and model details. [MW]
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The Pensions Institute Directory
The University of London Department of Economics presents this searchable directory of pensions specialists from around the world. Users may specify an area of specialization, and a job or organization type from a detailed search form and receive email addresses as well as institutional contact information. [MW]
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Marketing in the Modern Era
Marketing in the Modern Era: Trade Catalogs and the Rise of 19th-Century American Advertising is a current exhibit at Harvard University's Baker Library. Selected bibliographies of primary and secondary sources are provided with contact information, and a detailed introduction presents photos and features on nineteenth-century industrial growth, leisure activities, and consumer and household goods. [MW]
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Economic Reporting Review -- FAIR
The Economic Reporting Review is a new money and economics news analysis service accessible from Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) (reviewed in the January 12, 1999 Scout Report for Social Sciences). The review consists of weekly explorations of error and bias by the Preamble Center's Dean Baker, with coverage limited to the nationally influential New York Times and Washington Post.[MW]
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PhilosophyFirst Business Ethics
Designed by Ron Yezzi, Minnesota State University, Mankato, this introductory business ethics course is taught entirely via the Internet. Visitors may view course objectives and requirements in addition to detailed pages on moral framework, case study, and "fair profit scenario" assignments. [MW]
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General Interest

Dow Jones Internet Index
Dow Jones Indexes has created the Dow Jones Internet Index (DJII) to bring "an ordered perspective" to "the seeming chaos of Internet stocks." The new index includes companies that generate a minimum of 50 percent of their revenues from the Internet. Complete documentation of DJII components, data, historical values, and news are provided on-site. [MW]
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InfoTech TrendsComputer Industry Forecasts Free Market Search [.xls]
Selected market information on computers, peripherals, software, storage, Internet, and communications equipment is available from this free search section of the Computer Industry Forecasts site by the Data Analysis Group. All data is taken from over 60 trade journals and may be downloaded in Excel file format. [MW]
[Note: Site title has changed since the original Scout Report review. Site formerly referred to in the Scout Report as "Computer Industry Forecasts Free Market Search."]
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Advertised as "fast, free, and guaranteed," allows homeowners to sell their mortgages to registered lenders in competitive, real-time bidding (registration required). Complete lender and privacy information is provided for those who wish to register, and a mortgage dictionary, financial tools, and a list of general mortgage rates by city is available to all. [MW]
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Basic Tax Rules for Distributions
The legal and financial publisher Nolo Press provides this chapter entitled "Basic Tax Rules from Distributions" from their new retirement planning book IRAs, 401(k)s & Other Retirement Plans: Taking Your Money Out. The chapter covers the fundamental tax rules applicable to retirement plans, with specific attention to planning, special income tax rules, and tax rules for IRAs. [MW]
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Information for Entrepreneurs
A product of the Small Business Development Center National Research Center (SBDC), Information for Entrepreneurs is a metalist list of SBDC Internet favorites of interest to small business owners. The annotated list spans topics of grants, legal information, and consumer protection as well as tax information, international trade, and industry research. A nice feature is the selection of virtual publications that puts key online entrepreneurial journals on one page. [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 System:
FRB Kansas City Research Working Papers [.pdf]
Term Structure Views of Monetary Policy

FRB Minneapolis Discussion Papers [.pdf]
Private Money and Reserve Management in a Random-Matching Model

FRB New York Staff Reports [.pdf]
Fluctuations in Confidence and Asymmetric Business Cycles
Nonlinear Impulse Response Functions
US Wages in General Equilibrium: prices, technology, and factor supplies, 1963-1991
Exchange Rates and Local Labor Markets
Banks' Payments-Driven Revenues
Nonlinear Risk

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Basle Committee on Banking Supervision [.pdf]
Supervision of Financial Conglomerates
Sound Practices for Banks' Interactions with Highly Leveraged Institutions
Banks' Interactions with Highly Leveraged Institutions

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Country Reports [.pdf]
Mongolia: Selected Issues

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Working Papers [.pdf]
The Recent Experience with Capital Flows to Emerging Markets
Foreign Portfolio Investors Before and During a Crisis
Towards More Efficient Government: Reforming Federal Fiscal Relations in Germany

Stockholm School of Economics:
Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance (S-WoPEc) [.pdf]
Bootstrapping Error Component Models
A long memory panel unit root test: PPP revisited
Testing for Independence in Multivariate Duration Models
Patterns of Productivity Growth in the Norwegian Salmon Farming Industry
A Simple Linear Time Series Model with Misleading Nonlinear Properties

Wharton Financial Institutions Center Working Papers [.pdf]
Expense Shifting: An Empirical Study of Agency Costs in the Mutual Fund Industry
The Distribution of Exchange Rate Volatility
Extensions of Modified DEA

Institute for International Economics (IIE) 1999 Working Papers [.pdf]
Competition Policy and FDI: A Solution in Search of a Problem?
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors:
List of Foreign Margin Stocks
Published semiannually, the List of Foreign Margin Stocks consists of foreign equity securities that are eligible for margin treatment at brokers and dealers on the same basis as domestic margin securities. The March 1, 1999 list is now available.

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Chicago AgLetter [.pdf]
FRB Cleveland Economic Trends [.pdf]
FRB St. Louis Regional Economist
FRB San Francisco Economic Letters
This month's AgLetter from FRB Chicago looks at changes in farmland values across the Seventh Federal Reserve District and includes credit conditions in agricultural banks (1995-present). The February 1999 issue of Economic Trends from FRB Cleveland presents articles on household financial conditions, trade deficits, and Brazil in addition to monetary policy and interest rates. The latest Regional Economist from FRB St. Louis outlines elements of the Asian Financial Crises as well as differences between the national and district economies. Recent Economic Letters from FRB San Francisco look at the frequency of bank examinations (No 99-07) and the distribution and employment impacts of raising the minimum wage (No 99-06). [MW]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include Bank of England E.A.J. George's closing speech at the Euromoney International Bond Congress and US Federal Reserve Board of Governors member Roger Ferguson's 20-year overview of economic developments in Latin America at the Florida International Bankers Association meeting. [MW]

World Bank Infobriefs and Findings
The latest Findings (No 130) treats issues of improved primary education in Nigeria. The most recent Infobriefs (No 37) from the World Bank explores social funds, public works, and employment projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. [MW]

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
Economic Outlook
John H. Makin evaluates Brazil as the "latest victim" of global financial crisis and also examines recent events in Japan, China, and the US in this month's Economic Outlook.[MW]
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Books and Journals

Econbase -- Elsevier
The abstracts and tables of contents for the following journals are now available online: European Economic Review (Vol 43 No 2), International Journal of Industrial Organization (Vol 17 No 3), Journal of Accounting and Economics (Vol 25 Nos 2-3), Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control (Vol 23 No 3), Journal of Monetary Economics (Vol 43 No 1), Journal of Public Economics (Vol 71 No 1), Regional Science and Urban Economics (Vol 29 No 2), Research Policy (Vol 28 No 1). [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 they can search the Inomics conference database by date, geographic location, or JEL classification. [MW]

Stony Brook Summer Conference on Game Theory
The tenth Stony Brook Summer Conference on Game Theory will be held July 19-23, 1999 in Stony Brook, NY. The deadline for paper submissions is March 1999, and the contact information needed for program information is provided online. [MW]

Seminar on Environmental and Resource Economics
The third Seminar on Environmental and Resource Economics will be held in Girona, Spain, May 24-25, 1999. The deadline for paper submissions on "issues of the economics of water, environmental regulations and mechanism design, tourism and the environment, and adaption and diffusion of environmental friendly technology" is March 31, 1999. Information about the program, invited speakers, and accommodations is provided 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

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
US International Trade in Goods and Services, December 1998
The BEA announced that in December 1997 the United States ran a goods and services deficit of $13.8 billion, $1.5 billion less than the $15.3 billion in November, due to December exports of $78.5 billion and imports of $92.3 billion. [MW]
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Census Bureau
"Rust Belt" Rebounds [.pdf]
This recent Census Brief (CENBR/98-7) looks at nonfarm business establishments, unemployment, crime, and new job generation in so-called "rust belt" metropolitan areas such as Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, MI and Cleveland-Akron, OH. The report notes an economic and demographic rebound, deemed a "statistical reversal of fortune," with some exceptions outside of the Midwest. [MW]
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Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Work Stoppages, 1998
The US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 34 major work stoppages idled 387,000 workers in 1998, up from 29 stoppages and 339,000 idle workers in 1997. This annual publication also lists begin and end dates, with the estimated number of idle days in 1998 by employer, location, and union. [MW]
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA Reports Calendars -- March 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)
Price Changes in the Gasoline Market [.pdf]
This report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) examines why retail gasoline prices seem to rise more quickly than they fall especially during times of high price volatility. Following a review of past studies and an analysis of regional price differences, the EIA found retail price pattern asymmetry due to normal lagged retail market responses in some Midwestern states.
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In The News

Proposed Federal Ergonomics Standards in the Work-Place
(1) Ergonomics -- OSHA
(2) OSHA Announces Draft for National Ergonomics Program -- CNN
(3) New Effort is Unveiled for Ergonomics Rules --
(4) OSHA Set to Propose Ergonomics Standards --
(5) Workplace Safety is a Growing Concern -- New York Times
(6) Ridding Production Work of Strain & Pain -- Fortune
(7) National Coalition on Ergonomics -- NCE
(8) Ergonomics -- AFL-CIO
(9) UCLA Ergonomics Home Page
(10) Office Ergonomics Training
This week's In the News looks at the work-place issues related to proposed national ergonomics standards announced by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) February 19, 1999. Federal proponents of work-place ergonomic standards, defined by OSHA as "the science of fitting the job to the worker," seek to end the more than 647,000 work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) reported by Americans each year due to repetitive work with machines designed without human limitations in mind. Although WMSDs such as carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, muscle strains, sciatica, and tendonitis are reported in virtually every industry in the US, at first the OSHA plan may affect only those manufacturing sectors with high incidence rates of WMSD-caused lost work days, with other industries to follow in years to come. Some business leaders and members of Congress question, however, whether or not the OSHA plan can truly apply to all work situations and at little cost to employers. OSHA officials maintain that the costs of national regulation far outweigh the losses of $15-20 billion accrued annually in workers' compensation as well as the emotional and physical costs experienced by employees. The following ten resources provide news coverage of the initial OSHA plan, organizational contacts, and research in ergonomics.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Ergonomics page (1) contains the Draft Proposed Ergonomics Program Standard with highlights, press releases, factsheets, and reports. CNN (2), (3) and (4) all include current news on the proposed OSHA plan with links to related articles and sites. The New York Times compilation, Workplace Safety is a Growing Concern (5), is an Internet guide to work safety issues from April 6, 1998, and the Fortune article "Ridding Production Work of Strain & Pain" (6) dated July 6, 1996 also presents past view-points. The National Coalition on Ergonomics (7) is an "alliance of associations and businesses representing large and small employers across the United States" in support of the OSHA plan. The NCE site includes breaking news, factsheets, and expert opinions. The AFL-CIO (8) and UCLA Ergonomics (9) also provide news, opinion, and background information on ergonomics, and health guides are available from Office Ergonomics Training (10) by Chris Grant, PhD. [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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