The Scout Report for Business & Economics - July 15, 1999

July 15, 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


Foreign Aid, Democratisation and Civil Society in Africa: A Study of South Africa, Ghana and Uganda [.pdf]
This 28-page report, authored by Julie Hearn and produced by the Institute of Development Studies, UK, examines how foreign donors, including the United States, Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands, as well as the World Bank, have "developed civil society initiatives in Ghana, Uganda, and South Africa." The two sections of the paper discuss the different approaches and the objectives of these foreign donors, and the study concludes that the donor countries are involved in "influencing economic policy and defining the content of democracy." [EM]
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National Survey of Small Business Finances [.pdf]
The Federal Reserve Board has compiled information on American small businesses, defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees. The National Survey of Small Business Finances (NSSBF) includes such information as financial characteristics, firm size, use of financial services, and income and balance sheets. Users can access the full publication data, working papers, methodology reports, and codebooks from the 1993 and 1987 surveys. NSSBF has also posted recent changes to surveys, abstracts of research using the 1993 and 1987 data, and an FAQ about the past two surveys. [EM]
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Disability and the Workplace: An Internet Primer
Catherwood Library, located at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, offers an extensive guide to Internet Resources dealing with several levels of physical and mental disability and the workplace. Detailed annotations of indexed sites cover topics including the Americans With Disabilities Act, government sites, worker's compensation, and job hunting. The Getting Started section lists resources for those with disabilities. [EM]
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Luxembourg Employment Study [.pdf]
Funded, in part, by the Human Capital and Mobility Programme of the European Commission and the Norwegian Research Council, the Luxembourg Employment Study (LES) is a searchable databank consisting of information collected in the early 1990s by the Labour Force Surveys. Countries in North America and Europe with different labor market strategies were surveyed about areas of information including "job search, employment characteristics, comparable occupations, investment in education, migration, etc." Users may search the databank by country name, as well as by an extensive list of standardized variables. LES has also included detailed user instructions, working papers, a newsletter, and links to statistical information from the countries surveyed. [EM]
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Learning Resources

The Economist Special Collections: Business, Finance, and Economics
The Economist's archive of selected articles about business, economics, and finance date from 1997 until the present. These full-text articles cover a wide range of popular issues from the future of business on the Internet to Japan's economy. Each selection includes charts, graphs, and graphics. [EM]
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Business English Online
This wide and varying index covers all matters of business language. Business English Online links to sites that help users with their language in business presentations, multi-lingual assistance, and business writing. Resources range from glossaries of accounting definitions to vocabulary quizzes of real estate terms. [EM]
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EYI -- Global Economy: Why Brazil Devalued the Real
Economists at the Dallas Federal Reserve, William C. Gruben and Sherry Kiser, discuss the reasons why Brazil started a financial crisis in January 1999 when it devalued the real (see the February 11, 1999 Scout Report for Business and Economics). This short article, complete with charts, is complimented by related articles and resources and links to "quick facts." [EM]
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InvestQuest [RealPlayer]
InvestQuest is a company that "designs and hosts comprehensive investor presentations and provides financial documents for over 10,000 public companies to users in more than 145 countries." The site hosts a database of 10K reports, 10Q reports, and proxy statements for over 10,000 companies, accessible by company, ticker, or by searching the pop-down menu of industries. InvestQuest also has daily news about the companies it tracks, annual reports, Direct Stock Purchase and Dividend Reinvestment plans for several companies, and streaming audio that allows users to listen in on analyst conference calls. [EM]
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General Interest

Investment Research Via the Internet
Investment Research Via the Internet is a guide to economic resources on the Web hosted by Ibbotson Associates. Designed to help new users find financial information, this large annotated index includes Web addresses for financial news sources, working papers, glossaries, forums, and email lists. [EM]
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The Crash [RealPlayer]
This extensive online report, by PBS television's Frontline, chronicles the global financial crisis of 1998. A five-minute video follows Thailand's crash and its role in beginning the Asian financial crisis. Also included are a timeline of the events, Time Magazine reporter Andrew Meier's report on the impact of the crash on Russia's economy, and interviews with leading economists and financial journalists including Jeffrey E. Garten, Stanley E. Fischer, and Joseph E. Stiglitz. [EM]
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Fundamental Facts about US Money
The Federal Reserve in Atlanta has created a page devoted to basic information about American currency. Detailed descriptions of coins and bills are given as well as graphics and diagrams which illustrate design and security features. Tables present a historical look at the amount of American cash per capita. This site also teaches how bills circulate and gives tips for spotting counterfeit cash. [EM]
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Working Today
Working Today is a non-profit organization, based in New York City, that promotes independent workers including independent contractors, temps, part-timers, and contingent workers. Working Today strives to "provide access to group-rate health insurance for individuals, free legal and financial advice, tax information, referrals to useful resources for independent workers, and a voice in the political debate about issues of concern." This site contains a resource directory for independent workers, tax information, and information about Working Today's new and ongoing programs. [EM]
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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 (FRB BOG)
Finance and Economics Discussion Series [.pdf]
No 9928:Why Are Bank Profits So Persistent? The Roles of Product Market Competition, Informational Opacity, and Regional/Macroeconomic Shocks
No 9927: Investment Behavior, Observable Expectations, and Internal Funds
No 9926: An Analysis of Government Spending in the Frequency Domain
No 9925: Competition, Small Business Financing, and Discrimination: Evidence from a New Survey
No 9924: Consumption Smoothing Among Working-Class American Families Before Social Insurance
No 9923: Corporate Payout Policy and Managerial Stock Incentives

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Cleveland 1999 Working Papers [.pdf]
No 9904: More on Marriage, Fertility, and the Distribution of Income
No: 9903: A Method for Taking Models to the Data

FRB Kansas City 1999 Research Working Papers [.pdf]
No: 99-02 The Evolution of Cash Transactions: Some Implications for Monetary Policy

FRB New York Staff Reports [.pdf]
Heat Waves, Meteor Showers, and Trading Volume: An Analysis of Volatility Spillovers in the U.S. Treasury Market

FRB Richmond Working Paper Series [.pdf]
Firm-Specific Learning and the Investment Behavior of Large and Small Firms

Other Institutions:
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Working Papers
No 216: Estimating prudent budgetary margins for 11 EU countries: A simulated SVAR model approach$FILE/06E97177.ENG

World Bank Policy Research Working Papers [.pdf]
No 2135: Hungary's Integration into European Union Markets: Production and Trade Restructuring
No 2100: Decentralization in Regional Fiscal Systems in Russia: Trends and Links to Economic Performance
No 2095: Ten Years of Post-Socialist Transition Lessons for Policy Reform
No 2087: Male-Female Differences in Labor Market Outcomes during the Early Transition to Market: The Case of Estonia and Slovenia

International Monetary Fund (IMF):
Working Papers [.pdf]
No 9974: Estimating Trade Equations from Aggregate Bilateral Data
No 9973: The Evolution of Output in Transition Economies - Explaining the Differences
No 9972: Sticky Prices - An Empirical Assessment of Alternative Models
No 9971: Excess Volatility and the Asset-Pricing Exchange Rate Model with Unobservable Fundamentals

Wharton Financial Institutions Center Working Paper Series [.pdf]
No 9926: A Cat Bond Premium Puzzle?
No 9925: The Supply of Catastrophe Insurance Under Regulatory Constraints
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Federal Reserve System:
FRB Kansas City Regional Economic Digest [.pdf]
FRB Minneapolis Quarterly Review [.pdf]
FRB St. Louis Regional Digest
The latest issue of the Kansas City FRB's Regional Economic Digest includes the articles "The State of Tenth District Manufacturing" and "Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions." The Spring 1999 Quarterly Review from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis consists of two articles, "Nobel Laureate Robert E. Lucas, Jr.: Architect of Modern Macroeconomics" and "Money and Debt in the Structure of Payments." "Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble: Asset Prices and Market Speculation" is the lead article in The Regional Economist from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. [EM]

US International Trade Commission [.pdf]
Industry, Trade, and Technology Review
The June 1999 Industry, Trade, and Technology Review from the US International Trade Commission includes articles on energy services, marketing trends, and health care services. [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include the June 17, 1999 testimony of Alan Greenspan before the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress and the comments of Murray Sherwin on "New Zealand's inflation targeting regime." [EM]
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Books and Journals

BakerBooks -- Harvard Business School
The latest issues of New Books at Baker Library and New Books from HBS Press are now available from Harvard University's BakerBooks site. These updates are posted by the fifteenth of each month and cover new additions for the preceding month. [EM]

Econbase -- Elsevier
The abstracts and tables of contents for the following journals are now available online: European Economic Review (Vol 43, No 7), Journal of Empirical Finance (Vol 6, No 2), and International Journal of Forecasting (Vol 15, No 2). [EM]
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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. [EM]

Conferences with Econometric Interest
COMPSTAT 2000, August 21-25, 2000, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Thirteenth International Conference on Input-Output Techniques, August 21-25, 2000, Macerata, Italy
Society for Computational Economics Annual conference, July 6-8, 2000, Barcelona (Spain)
The Royal Economics Society's Econometrics Journal site lists conferences in econometrics in the Econometric Links section. Forthcoming international conferences announced on-site include the above-listed. [EM]
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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

Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB BOG)
Charge-Off and Delinquency Rates on Loans at Commercial Banks
Data from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Consolidated measure the 100 largest banks in the US by consolidated foreign and domestic assets. [EM]
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Census Bureau
Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations
According to data collected from the quarterly financial reports of 492 corporations, sales are down 8.8% from last quarter, but up 9.0% from the first quarter reports a year ago. [EM]
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Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO)-- July 1999 [.pdf]
The Energy Information Administration has published its updated Short-Term Energy Outlook: US Energy and World Oil Forecasts Through 2000. This indexed report follows the prices, supplies, and demands of energy resources including petroleum, electricity, and natural gas. Previous STEO forecasts are also available in .pdf format. [EM]
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA Reports Calendars -- July 1999
USDA Agency Reports Calendar
ERS Calendar
NASS Publications 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 three calendar sites. Notable data for July 1999 include Cotton and Wool Outlook (CWS-0599), which finds little change in the demand for these products. [EM]
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In The News

Internet Stock Options
1) Option Prophet
2) Materials on Employee Stock Options and Related Plans -- National Center for Employee Ownership
3) Stock Options
4) "Play Money" -- Salon
5) "Motherhood, Apple Pie & Stock Options" -- INC
6) Stock Options -- National Public Radio [RealPlayer]
7) Waking Up Wealthy -- CNNfn
Recently, in Red Herring, Charles Conn, CEO of Ticketmaster Online-City-Search explained the difficulties of hiring people in San Francisco: "Everyone seems to know someone whose company just got bought for millions of dollars," and according to Conn, job seekers in the Internet industry put stock options high on their list of benefits and incentives. This week's In The News examines stock options as they affect high-tech companies and their employees. On July 1, 1999, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that 42 local companies, mainly Internet start-ups, had gone public in the preceding six months with the astounding gain of 138 percent. Throughout the Silicon Valley, employees of computer companies are hedging their bets, hoping that the companies they work for will be the next eBay or Amazon. However, the chances of striking it rich through Internet stock options are slim. High-tech employees move from company to company looking for better options at promising start-ups, while computer companies improve their option packages in order to entice their workers to stay. The following seven resources provide news, articles, and background information on the lures and pitfalls of Internet stock options.

The Option Prophet is an excellent resource for general knowledge about how stock options work (1). The National Center for Employee Ownership's index of online resources for understanding how to use stock options (2) and (3) also help explain stock options, their values, and their uses. Salon Magazine's "Play Money" (4) is an in-depth look at the advantages and disadvantages of stock options for Internet employees. According to "Motherhood, Apple Pie & Stock Options," an article from INC Magazine (5), stock options may not make good business sense either. Many employees and managers are unclear as to how stock options work, and so INC has also included a beginner's guide to understanding stock options. A news brief filed by National Public Radio's All Things Considered (6) reports that Internet companies are "sweetening their stock option deals" in order to keep their employees from leaving in search of more promising stock options elsewhere. Even with the risks involved, many maintain dreams of striking it rich. CNNfn's Waking Up Wealthy (7) explains the difficulties that some young Internet professionals face when their successful stock options vest and they become instantly wealthy. [EM]
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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.

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From The Scout Report for Business & Economics, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-1999.

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Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-1999. The Internet Scout Project (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

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