The Scout Report for Business & Economics - March 11, 1999

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

March 11, 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


Social Protection and Poverty Conference Papers -- IADB [.pdf, .rtf]
These papers were presented at the Conference on Social Protection and Poverty hosted February 4-5, 1999 by the Inter-American Development Bank (reviewed in the February 19, 1999 Scout Report). Here researchers, policy-makers, representatives of civil society organizations, and the international development community offer diverse ideas on the design of "safety nets" for the poorest sectors of Latin American and Caribbean societies, giving special attention to the effects of recent economic crises and natural disaster (in English and Spanish). [MW]
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Intellectual Property Rights and Biodiversity: The Economic Myths
This briefing, issue no. 3 in the Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN) series Global Trade and Biodiversity in Conflict, examines the economic costs and benefits of Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights, or TRIPs, established by the World Trade Organization. The authors focus on the cost/ benefit of TRIPs for developing nations and challenge three myths about intellectual property rights: the technology transfer myth, the innovation myth, and the investment myth. [MW]
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Agricultural Trade Briefing Room -- USDA ERS [.pdf]
This new briefing room from the US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (reviewed in the July 2, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics) provides general information and data on US agricultural trade with all of the countries and regions of the world. Data publications such as the US Agricultural Trade (FATUS), Agricultural Outlook, and US Agricultural Trade Balance are gathered here on a monthly or yearly basis with export and import values by commodity and country. Users will also find FATUS reference tools as well as special ERS articles covering topics such as agricultural export figures by state and the US agricultural trade's effect on the overall economy. [MW]
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The ILO and Business
This recent addition to the International Labour Organization (ILO) site aims to merge the labor standards goals of the ILO with successful business goals in the global market place. Selected working papers on business management, employment and training, and gender issues are available from the ILO and Business Publications page with links to International Institute for Labour Studies (IILS) publications and ILO Governing Body documents. [MW]
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finance-and-physics mailing list
This new electronic discussion list, created by Gabriele Susinno and Giulia Iori, seeks to increase communication among physicists and economists interested in the emerging field of econophysics. The forum will explore relationships between economics and the physical sciences with special attention to the application of statistical physics and non-linear dynamics to macroeconomic modelling and financial market analysis. [MW]
To subscribe, send a message to:
In the body of the message, type: join finance-and-physics firstname(s) lastname
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Learning Resources

Library of the Workplace [QuickTime, .pdf]
Sponsored by the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD), the Library of the Workplace relates work experience to academic research in a "storehouse of information about the working world." Students may download or print a variety of skill-building activities, and the prevalence of full-motion audio-visual clips in each database enhances organizational communication concepts with real-life testimony. [MW]
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A Brief History of Deposit Insurance -- FDIC [.pdf]
Published by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for the September 1998 International Conference on Deposit Insurance, A Brief History of Depository Insurance focuses on the insurance function of the FDIC. Over 60 pages cover the antecedents of Federal Deposit Insurance and the establishment of the FDIC as well as the Banking Act of 1935, the effects of WWII, and current bank industry issues such as the Year 2000 date change. In addition, three appendices chronicle bank insurance fund failures and losses, 1934-1997, insured deposits and the Bank Insurance Fund, 1934-1997, and income and expenses of the Bank Insurance Fund, 1933-1997. [MW]
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Equilibria Chat -- FRB Richmond
Equilibria Chat is a Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond site where "economics teachers can ask questions, give answers, share ideas, spread news, and turn for help." Postings range from economic concepts to curriculum ideas, and a list of user biographies provides institutional affiliations with email contact information. [MW]
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Collective Bargaining Agreements -- BLS
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) maintains and analyzes data on "virtually all agreements in both private industry and state and local government covering 1,000 workers or more" at the Collective Bargaining Agreements homepage. The site provides statistics on major work stoppages (1947-1998) in addition to the quarterly BLS publication Compensation and Working Conditions. Also available is the Collective Bargaining Agreements File with a detailed list of agreements available to researchers for a fee by mail. [MW]
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Georgetown University Library's NAICS Clearinghouse
Georgetown University Reference Librarian Jennifer Boettcher provides this "unofficial" clearinghouse of North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) information for economists, regulators, marketers, publishers, and "anyone else who uses industry based data." Boettcher provides links to official US, Canadian, and Mexican government Internet resources in addition to a NAICS and Standard Industry Code (SIC) bibliography with selected articles in full-text. [MW]
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General Interest

Investor Insight
Investor Insight is a new service with an Eastern European focus from the European Internet Network (EIN). Business news from Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, among other emerging markets, is presented daily on-site in addition to stock quotes, exchange rates, and feature articles on socio-political issues. [MW]
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Fortune's Best Mutual Funds 1999
Fortune magazine's online component, Fortune Investor, ranks top mutual funds at this Mutual Funds Report 1999 page. A simple search engine allows readers to build their own charts according to user-defined performance rankings. Additional resources for mutual fund research include links to corporate snapshots as well as in-depth articles. [MW]
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Gen X Guide to Finance
The Gen X Guide to Finance is a collection of USNews Online financial articles for a "disdainful" generation. The site features advice on credit debt, investing, and retirement all in a casual writing style. In one of the more interesting articles, "The New Anti-Ad," Joshua Wolf Shenk analyzes the reverse psychology of Generation X-geared advertising. [MW]
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Created in 1998 by Jay Falk, serves "the investment needs of socially responsible investors." The site hosts a variety of educational guides on community investing and philanthropy as well as analysts' recommendations and company profiles. [MW]
[Back to Contents] is a large metasite of investment resources from CyberFinancialNet, Inc. The searchable list spans topics of stocks and bonds, online investment services, and international government sites. Services on-site include a company data search engine and investment portfolio (registration required). [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:
Finance and Economics Discussion Series (FEDS)
Why Does the Change in Shares Predict Stock Returns
Evidence of Excess Returns on Firms That Issue or Repurchase Equity
Workers' Knowledge of their Pension Coverage: A Reevaluation [.pdf, .ps]
On The Finite-Sample Accuracy of Nonparametric Resampling Algorithms for Economic Time Series [.pdf, .ps]
Models of Sectoral Reallocation [.pdf, .ps]
Stock Prices, Expected Returns, and Inflation [.pdf]
Partial Adjustment and Staggered Price Setting [.ps]
International Finance Discussion Papers (IFDPs) [.pdf]
Why Has China Survived the Asian Crisis So Well? What Risks Remain?

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston Working Papers [.pdf]
The Impact of Greater Bank Disclosure Amidst a Banking Crisis
FRB Cleveland Working Paper Series [.pdf]
Maximum Likelihood in the Frequency Domain: A Time to Build Example
FRB Kansas City Research Working Papers [.pdf]
Financial Fragility with Rational and Irrational Exuberance
Choosing Information Variables for Transition Probabilities in a Time-Varying Transition Probability Markov Switching Model
Credit Spreads and Interest Rates: A Cointegration Approach
FRB Minneapolis Staff Reports [.pdf]
Sequential Equilibria in a Ramsey Tax Model
FRB Philadelphia Working Papers [.pdf]
What Explains the Dramatic Changes in Cost and Profit Performance of the US Banking Industry?
FRB St. Louis Working Papers
Foreign Direct Investment in China: A Spatial Econometric Study
Do High Interest Rates Stem Capital Outflows?

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Basle Committee on Banking Supervision [.pdf]
Recommendations for Public Disclosure of Trading and Derivatives Activities of Banks and Securities Firms

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Working Papers[.pdf]
Offshore Banking-An Analysis of Micro- and Macro-Prudential Issues
Central Bank Autonomy, and Inflation and Output Performance in the Baltic States, Russia, and Other Countries of the Former Soviet Union, 1995-97
In Search of Capital Crunch: Supply Factors Behind the Credit Slowdown in Japan
Credibility of Central Bank Independence Revisited
China's Trade Flows-Changing Price Sensitivities and the Reform Process

Stockholm School of Economics:
Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance (S-WoPEc) [.pdf, .ps, .zip]
Testing for the Lucas Critique: A Quantitative Investigation
A Normality Test for the Mean Estimator
Should Central Banks Be More Aggressive?
Monetary Policy with Uncertain Parameters
Predicting Monetary Policy Using Federal Funds Futures Prices
Swedish Export Price Determination: Pricing to Market Shares?
European Integration and Geographical Concentration of Swedish Multinationals

Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE) Working Papers
Coming to Terms with a Larger Europe: Options for Economic Integration
Social Capital and Capital Gains, or Virtual Bowling in Silicon Valley
The Internationalization of the Baltic Economics
"Implicit" Development Strategies in Central East Europe and Cross-National Production Networks
Globalization of Production in the Textile and Clothing Industries: The Case of Italian Foreign Direct Investment and Outward Processing in Eastern Europe
What Future for the Integration of the European Union and the Central and Eastern European Countries?
Building Production Networks in Central Europe: The Case of the Electronics Industry

Wharton Financial Institutions Center Working Papers [.pdf]
Why Focus? A Study of Intra-Industry Focus Effects
Customer Loyalty and Supplier Strategies for Quality Competition
Customer Learning and Loyalty When Quality is Uncertain
Expense Shifting: An Empirical Study of Agency Costs in the Mutual Fund Industry

Institute for International Economics (IIE) 1999 Working Papers [.pdf]
The Continuing Asian Financial Crisis: Global Adjustment and Trade
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors:
Humphrey-Hawkins Report
Federal Reserve Bulletin [.pdf]
In the February 23, 1999 Humphrey-Hawkins report to Congress, FRB BOG Chairman Alan Greenspan declared that the US economy performed "admirably" the past year despite "severe economic downturns" overseas. Other economic and financial developments during late 1998 and early 1999 are reported in this semi-annual publication. The February 1999 Federal Reserve Bulletin examines the relationship between consolidation among banking organizations in local markets and changes in home purchase lending between 1993 and 1997 with special attention to lending institutions affected by the Community Reinvestment Act. [MW]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Chicago Economic Perspectives [.pdf]
FRB Dallas Financial Industry Issues [.pdf]
FRB Kansas City Economic Review [.pdf]
FRB New York Economic Policy Review [.pdf]
FRB San Francisco Economic Letters
FRB Chicago's Economic Perspectives for the first quarter of 1999 appraises methodologies in competitive analysis among banks and looks at agglomeration in the US auto supplier industry as well as the "new view" of growth and business cycles. In the Fourth Quarter 1998 Financial Industry Issues from FRB Dallas, authors Robert V. Bubel and Edward C. Skelton explore Mexican bank industry reform. The First Quarter 1999 edition of Economic Review from FRB Kansas City includes a 1998 inflation report and articles on US oil production, consolidation in US agriculture, and a district-wide look at labor shortages and "overseas problems." Forthcoming articles to be included in the 1999 FRB New York Economic Policy Review include "Supervisory Information and the Frequency of Bank Examinations," "Macro Markets and Financial Security," and "Exchange Rates and Profit Margins: The Case of Japanese Exporters." Recent Economic Letters from FRB San Francisco review methods of predicting inflation (No 99-09) and key assumptions in 1998 forecasting No 99-08). [MW]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
Quarterly Review: International Banking and Financial Market Developments
BIS Review [.pdf]
The BIS Quarterly Review: International Banking and Financial Market Developments analyzes volatile financial market conditions in Brazil and Russia during the fourth quarter of 1998 and includes a 93-page statistical annex. Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include Urban Backstrom's comments to the Swedish Economics Association on financial system stability and remarks by FRB BOG member Roger W. Ferguson on the evolution of financial institutions and markets. [MW]

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Focus Hot File
This March, the OECD looks at public management reform in the Czech Republic and the use of competition in Norway's public sector, among other international issues, in the Focus Hot File.[MW]

World Bank Infobriefs and Findings
The latest Findings (No 132) from the World Bank treats issues of African privatization, and the latest Infobriefs (No 38) explores anti-corruption initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa. [MW]

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
Latin American Outlook
The March 1999 Latin American Outlook from the AEI focuses on Venezuela's newly elected president Colonel Hugo Chavez Frias and compares his leadership to the young Fidel Castro. [MW]
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Books and Journals

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

Econbase -- Elsevier
The abstracts and tables of contents for the following journals are now available online: European Economic Review (Vol 43 No 3), International Journal of Forecasting (Vol 15 No 1), Journal of Development Economics (Vol 58 No 1), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (Vol 38 No 1), Journal of Financial Economics (Vol 51 No 2), Journal of Health Economics (Vol 18 No 2), Journal of Mathematical Economics (Vol 31 No 2), Journal of Multinational Financial Management (Vol 9 No 2), Journal of Public Economics (Vol 71 No 2), Mathematical Social Sciences (Vol 37 No 2). [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 may search the Inomics conference database by date, geographic location, or JEL classification. [MW]

Technology Communities Competing in the New Millennium
Technology Communities: Competing in the New Millennium is the theme of this year's annual conference for the southwest region of the Economic Development Administration of the US Department of Commerce to be held June 2-4, 1999 in Dallas, TX. Issues of technology-based economic development in distressed communities and disadvantaged populations will be discussed. Interested parties may register online. [MW]

New Qualitative Research Approaches for the Digital Economy
The Association for Information Systems (AIS) will present the Fifth Americas Conference on Information Systems in Milwaukee, WI, August 13-15, 1999 with a mini-track entitled, New Qualitative Research Approaches for the Digital Economy. Solutions for coping with the emerging digital economy will be discussed. A complete conference description and paper submission 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)

Inomics: Job Openings for Economists
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New Data

New Census Bureau Business Reports [.pdf]
Annual Survey of Communication Services: 1997
Service Annual Survey: 1997
Transportation Annual Survey: 1996
These three annual business reports are new to the Census Bureau Business Report page. The Annual Survey of Communication Services covers all US employer firms with one or more establishments that are primarily engaged in point-to-point communication services such as cellular and other radio telephone services, electronic mail, facsimile transmission services, telex, radio and television broadcasting stations, radar station operations, and satellite communications, among others. The Service Annual Survey provides annual estimates of the dollar volume of receipts for selected personal, business, social, health, and professional services at the US level with separate estimates of tax-exempt firms for selected industries. The Transportation Annual Survey represents all employer firms with one or more establishments engaged in commercial motor freight transportation and public warehousing services, with detailed estimates of operating revenues, expenses, and inventories. [MW]
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Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Regional and State Employment and Unemployment, January 1999
The Employment Situation, February 1999
Overall, regional and state unemployment rates were stable in January with all four regions reporting little change over the month and 45 states and the District of Columbia reporting shifts of 0.3 percentage points or less. Nonfarm payroll employment rose in 31 states from December to January with Alaska, Colorado and Idaho reporting the largest percentage increases at 0.6 percent each. [MW]
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA Reports Calendars -- March 1999
USDA Agency Reports Calendar
ERS Calendar
Aquaculture Outlook
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. Notable data for early March 1999 includes the biannual Aquaculture Outlook with US aquaculture industry production, inventory, sales, prices, inputs, and trade figures. [MW]
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Energy Information Administration (EIA)
OPEC Fact Sheet
Short-Term Energy Outlook, March 1999
The EIA reported a basket price average of only $10.02 per barrel this past February in the latest OPEC Fact Sheet. The Short-Term Energy Outlook for March 1999 presents projections for energy demand, supply, and price for major energy markets through the year 2000. [MW]
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In The News

Strikes and a State of Emergency in Ecuador
(1) Ecuador Declares Emergency, Calls Out Military -- CNN
(2) Ecuador Faces Shutdown -- BBC News
(3) Workers Struggles: Latin America -- WSWS America
(4) Superintendency of Banks, Quito-Ecuador
(5) Country Economic Assessments: Ecuador -- IDB
(6) Ecuador: A Country Study -- LOC
(7) LANIC: Ecuador
This week's In the News looks at government response to nationwide strikes in Ecuador. Ecuadoran President Jamil Mahuad declared a 60-day state of emergency on March 9, 1999 due to work stoppages fueled by economic crisis. According to Minister of the Interior Vladimiro Alvarez, calls for strikes among Ecuador's unions have a "serious destablilizing effect" in a nation struggling with currency devaluation, El Nino-caused natural disaster, and falling prices of its main export, oil. Government officials are particularly threatened by political action among Ecuador's Popular Front, a powerful organization of unions and Indian groups opposed to the austere economic policies and privatization plans imposed by the recently elected President Mahuad. Under Mahuad's state of emergency decree, the government may use military force to protect oil and electricity installations, limit public meetings and movement as well as order strikers back to work. It is not yet clear if a nation-wide 48-hour strike will take place next Wednesday since police and soldiers went on alert for "any demonstration that threatens public order" March 9th. The following news sources report on President Mahuad's military action and union discontent. Four additional resources provide socio-economic data.
The CNN article, Ecuador Declares Emergency, Calls Out Military (1), includes photos, links to related articles, and recent data on Ecuador's financial status. BBC News reports on bank closings and Muhuad's military decree with links to relevant stories on work stoppages (2). News from the worker's perspective is available from the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) daily report Workers Struggles: Latin America (3). The Superintendency of Banks, Quito-Ecuador (4) is "legally and constitutionally in charge . . . of the financial institutions and insurance companies of Ecuador." This site includes financial bulletins and links to banks in Ecuador (in English and Spanish). The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) provides a statistical profile of Ecuador's economy (5) with GDP, exchange rates, and balance of payments, among other data, from 1989-present (in Spanish). Information on Ecuador's social, political, and geographical make-up is available from the Library of Congress (6). Additional academic, government, and news resources are available from the University of Texas Latin American Network Information Center (LANIC) (7). [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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