The Scout Report for Business & Economics - May 6, 1999

The Scout Report for Business & Economics

May 6, 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


Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Symposium Proceedings [.pdf]
Income Inequality: Issues & Policy Options
Since 1978, prominent central bankers, finance ministers, and academics have gathered at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas to discuss an "important economic issue facing the US and world economies," and selected proceedings from these symposiums are published at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City site (1995-present). The 1998 symposium Income Inequality: Issues & Policy Options is the most recent addition to this ongoing compilation with papers, commentary, and discussion by Federal Reserve Board of Governors Chairman Alan Greenspan, World Bank Senior Vice President Joseph E. Stiglitz, and National Bureau of Economic Research President Martin Feldstein, among others. [MW]
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Forthcoming Papers from The Journal of Finance [.pdf]
The official publication of the American Finance Association (AFA), The Journal of Finance, is "devoted to the study and promotion of knowledge about financial economics," and provides full-text previews of accepted papers at the Forthcoming Papers page. Other site services include "editor's tips" for paper submission, browseable abstracts of past papers, and AFA membership information. [MW]
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Food Consumption, Prices, and Expenditures, 1970-97 -- USDA ERS [.pdf]
This report from the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, USDA ERS (described in the July 2, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics) provides "historical data on food consumption, prices, expenditures, and US income and population" for the years 1970-1997. According to the ERS, Americans now consume more total food, snacks, calories, and larger portions than they did 27 years ago, and 8 chapters and 107 statistical tables divulge hundreds of other food facts by product and income level. [MW]
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University of Texas Inequality Project [.pdf]
The University of Texas Inequality Project (UTIP) is a small research group concerned with "measuring and explaining movements of inequality in wages and earnings and patterns of industrial changes around the world." The group applies cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, and Theil's T statistic to data from the US government, the Organisation for Co-operation & Development (OECD), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and posts world-wide measures of inequality on-site. UTIP working papers are also available (1998-present) in addition to Inequality Watch -- a current awareness report on inequality in the US, Mexico, and Canada. [MW]
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Using Market-Based Instruments in the Developing World: The Case of Pollution Charges in Colombia -- NIPR [RealPlayer]
A New Ideas in Pollution Regulation (NIPR) publication (reviewed in the January 24, 1997 Scout Report), Using Market-Based Instruments in the Developing World: The Case of Pollution Charges in Colombia is a slide presentation that summarizes efforts by Colombia's environmental authorities to reduce pollution at a low cost. The presentation covers Colombia's economic and environmental status as well as viewpoints from major industry and community stakeholders, and users may listen to narration and view images in free streaming video format with RealPlayer. [MW]
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Learning Resources

OFFSTATS: Official Statistics on the Web
Created by International Commerce & Statistics Librarian Rainer Wolcke at the University of Aukland Library, OFFSTATS: Official Statistics on the Web offers "free and easily accessible social, economic and general data from official sources." The site lists international statistical centers by country or topic with detailed navigation and downloading instructions. [MW]
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Stock Market Lab [.pdf]
Stock Market Lab is a new financial data center from Dr. Ed Yardeni's Economics Network (reviewed in the November 20, 1997 Scout Report for Business & Economics). The lab places a number of valuation tools on one page from recent global market forecasts to industry index data and company earnings. Note: selected sections require registration and password. [MW]
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BLS Career Information
BLS Career Information is a US Department of Labor Educational Resource Site with career guidance information for K-12 students. The site integrates Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) information with a colorful format that "attracts the interest of children with a wide variety of talents" and includes a Teacher's Guide to occupational possibilities from accountant to rock star. [MW]
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Industry Resources
Although this guide to industry research by Dennis Smith and Kim Chrobak describes resources at the University of Pittsburgh library, it should be useful for any student interested in US industry trends and data. The guide mainly describes print resources and helps readers locate companies within an industry, market share, and financial ratios, among other industry topics. [MW]
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Environmental Economics Glossary
Kenneth Acks, publisher of the Environmental Damage Valuation Cost Benefit News, authors this glossary of environmental economics terms. In addition to concise definitions, the site also includes links to other glossaries and learning sites of interest to resource economists. [MW]
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General Interest

The Inner City 100: 1999,,CID777_REG6,00.html
In conjunction with the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), Inc. Online (described in the June 21, 1996 Scout Report ) spotlights America's top urban businesses in the Inner City 100. The Indianapolis enterprise Pac-Van Inc. tops the 1999 list, and a searchable database retrieves feature stories on all 100 winners from Los Angeles to New York City. [MW]
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Synergistic Media Network Inc. publishes this "global hub site" for investors interested in the bioscience industry. The site hosts a calendar of events, email newsletter, and glossary of terms, but a wealth of searchable company information and industry news makes content-rich. A Career Center also includes employment listings by region, category, and company for interested job seekers. [MW]
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Family Money
Family Money is an investment center from Better Homes and Gardens Online. A wide variety of columns advise readers on home finance issues, and additional site tools include savings, loan, and car lease calculators for financial planning purposes. [MW]
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Consulting Today Discussion Group
Created by World Business Network Inc., the Consulting Today Discussion Group aims to "encourage dialogue, networking and the exchange of information between consultants and clients." Typical discussion topics include starting a consulting business, networking, marketing tips, and pricing services. Commercial postings to the list are strictly prohibited. [MW]

To subscribe, send a message to:
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Patent Cafe
With the goal to "educate, inform, protect and promote innovators worldwide," the Patent Cafe is a gateway to invention news, feature articles, and advice. The site includes detailed information on the patent process, and messages posted on the Patent Cafe discussion board explore marketing a new product, Websites for kids and teachers, and fraud, among other topics. [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 The Scout Report for Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Working Papers

Federal Reserve Board of Governors:
Finance and Economics Discussion Series (FEDS) [.pdf, .ps]
Net Migration and State Labor Market Dynamics
Unemployment Risk and Precautionary Wealth: Evidence from Households' Balance Sheets

International Finance Discussion Papers (IFDPs) [.pdf]
What Triggers Market Jitters? A Chronicle of the Asian Crisis

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Minneapolis Working Papers [.pdf, .ps]
Sharing the Risk of Settlement Failure

FRB San Francisco Working Papers [.pdf]
Evaluating Credit Risk Models
Is the Fed Too Timid: Monetary Policy in an Uncertain World

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Working Papers [.pdf]
Seasonal Production Smoothing
The End of Moderate Inflation in Three Transition Economies?

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Working Papers [.pdf]
Evolving International Financial Markets: Some Implications for Central Banks
Higher Profits and Lower Capital Prices: Is Factor Allocation Optimal?

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Working Papers [.pdf]
Government Employment and Wages and Labor Market Performance
Deposit Insurance: A Survey of Actual and Best Practices
Can Currency Demand be Stable Under a Financial Crisis? The Case of Mexico
A Review of Capital Account Restrictions in Chile in the 1990s
Adjustment and Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa
Long-Run Exchange Rate Dynamics: A Panel Data Study
Algeria: The Real Exchange Rate, Export Diversification, and Trade Protection
The Egyptian Stock Market: Efficiency Tests and Volatility Effects
Exchange Rate Pass-Through and Dynamic Oligopoly: An Empirical Investigation
Political Instability and Economic Vulnerability
Japan's Stagnant Nineties: A Vector Autoregression Retrospective
Nonrenewable Resources: A Case for Persistent Fiscal Surpluses

Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) Working Papers [.pdf]
Poverty Dynamics in Four OECD Countries

Stockholm School of Economics:
Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance (S-WoPEc) [.pdf, .ps, .zip]
Delegation in First-Price All-Pay Auctions
Higher-Order Dependence in the General Power ARCH Process and a Special Case

Wharton Financial Institutions Center Working Paper Series [.pdf]
Overcoming the Inherent Dependency of DEA Efficiency Scores: A Bootstrap Approach
The Role of Real Annuities and Indexed Bonds in an Individual Accounts Retirement Program
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Federal Reserve System:
FRB Chicago Fed Letter [.pdf]
FRB Cleveland Economic Trends [.pdf]
FRB New York Current Issues in Economics and Finance [.pdf]
FRB Richmond Region Focus
FRB San Francisco Economic Letter
The May 1999 issue of Fed Letter from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ponders whether or not the personal saving rate is a meaningful measure and argues that saving can take many forms. FRB Cleveland's latest Economic Trends contains articles on US labor markets, interest rates, and regional conditions. The April 1999 Current Issues in Economics and Finance compares real estate assets to corporate equity holdings in the current investment environment. FRB Richmond's Spring 1999 edition of Region Focus looks at the music business in Appalachia as well as lotteries and Native-American gaming ventures, and issues of employment and wages in California's financial services sector are explored in the latest Economic Letter from FRB San Francisco. [MW]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include reports on recent monetary and economic conditions in Japan by Japanese Central Bank Governor Masaru Hayami and a speech on Y2K issues by Swiss National Bank member Bruno Gehrig. [MW]

American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
Economic Outlook
Latin American Outlook
Russian Outlook
New editions of Economic Outlook,Latin American Outlook, and Russian Outlook are available from the AEI with opinion on economic recovery in Japan, dollarization in Argentina, and political instability in Moscow. [MW]
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Books and Journals

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

The abstracts and tables of contents for the following journals are now available online: Agricultural Economics (Vol 20 No 2), Ecological Economics (Vol 28 No 3), Economic Modelling (Vol 16 No 2), Insurance: Mathematics and Economics (Vol 23 No 3), International Journal of Forecasting (Vol 15 No 2), Journal of Econometrics (Vol 90 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]

Conferences with Econometric Interest
The Royal Economics Society's Econometrics Journal site lists conferences in econometrics at this Econometric Links section. Forthcoming international conferences currently listed include the Young Economists' Conference 2000 to be held March 27-28, 2000 at Oxford University. [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

Census Bureau
Consolidated Federal Funds Report, Fiscal Year 1998 [.pdf]
According to the latest US Census Bureau's Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR), federal domestic spending reached $1.5 trillion in 1998, up 3.7 percent from 1997, and social security increased by 3.9 percent at $403 billion. Census Bureau staff cite payments for disability and retirement as well as grants and procurement contracts as the main reasons for the increases. [MW]
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Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Gross Domestic Product, First Quarter 1999 (advance)
US International Trade in Goods and Services, February 1999
According to the BEA, a $0.5 billion fall in US exports and a $2.1 billion increase in imports resulted in a goods and services deficit of $194.4 billion in February 1999, up $2.6 billion from January figures. Even with this increase, the gross domestic product continued to rise by 4.5 percent in the First Quarter of 1999. Fourth quarter 1998 GDP growth rose at a much sharper pace, however, at 6 percent. [MW]
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA Reports Calendars -- May 1999
USDA Agency Reports Calendar
ERS Calendar
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates
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 May 1999 is the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE-BB) report with US and world supply-use balances forecasts for major grains, soybeans, and cotton. [MW]
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Energy Information Administration (EIA) [.pdf, .xls]
Personal Computers and Computer Terminals in Commercial Buildings
International Energy Annual: 1997
According to the latest EIA Consumption Brief on computer products, an estimated 43.0 million PCs and computer terminals were used in commercial buildings in 1995, and more than half of the 4.8 million buildings in the US had at least one PC or computer terminal. The latest International Energy Annual from the EIA may be downloaded into spreadsheets and covers energy production and consumption worldwide from 1988 to 1997. [MW]
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In The News

Economic Recovery in Asia?
(1) Asia's Markets Rise, Ignoring Dow's Slide
(2) Asia on the Mend
(3) Asian Economies Report
(4) Dangerously Hot
(5) BBC Asian Analyst [RealPlayer]
(6) Asia's Economic Crisis
(7) Nouriel Roubini's Asian and Global Crisis Homepage
This week's In the News looks at recent developments in Asian markets. These seven resources provide a general overview of the region with links to financial news from individual countries. Following improved forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in April, stock indexes across Asia continue to show increases this May, suggesting that an economic upturn may be in store for the region. Analysts also point to American investment as a major source of new capital, although the Dow fell 128.58 points May 4, 1999 following a record close of 11,014.69 on May 3. Despite the Dow's slide, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 26.52 points, or 2 percent, on May 4, Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange's Composite Index ended up 12.31 points, or 1.76 percent, at 710.59, Indonesia's Jakarta Stock Exchange's Composite Index rose 15.599 points, or 2.8 percent, to 563.840, and Thailand's Set index led the region with a 53 point or 11.5 percent rise to 511.94. Other markets remained mixed, however, with point losses in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Taiwan. Japan's markets were closed the first week of May due to a national holiday.

CNNfn's special report on Asian markets (1) tracks the region's stock performance over time and reports on US influences. Asia on the Mend (2) is an on-going compilation of Asian financial news stories from the Business Times Singapore Online.'s Asian Economies Report (3) is also an on-going news compilation with links to Asian stock market indexes and breaking headlines. Asiaweek author Alejandro Reyes analyzes reasons for optimism and reasons for doubt in the in-depth article Dangerously Hot (4), and additional opinion is available daily from the BBC News Asia Analyst audio report (5). For historical information on Asian economic crisis causes and cures, the Out There News megastory Asia's Economic Crisis (6) presents a socio-political perspective and Professor Nouriel Roubini's Asian Global Crisis Homepage (7) takes an economic look with a vast array of news, opinion, and research links. [MW]
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The Scout Report for Business & Economics
Brought to You by the Internet Scout Project

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.

Susan Calcari
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Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin - Madison or the National Science Foundation.

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