The Scout Report for Business & Economics - August 26, 1999

August 26, 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


Debt Initiative for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries -- IMF
A joint project from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the Debt Initiative for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) consists of an outline for adjustment and reform programs sponsored by these two organizations. The Website contains the framework for the project, which targets the 41 most heavily indebted poor countries, and gives examples as to how the initiative will work. Also included are archived documents about the HIPCs dating from 1998 to present, publications on debt relief, and information on the HIPCs from the World Bank. [EM]
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New Cultures and Economies
Created by Don Slater from Goldsmith College at the University of London, this attractively designed Website guides readers through a comprehensive collection of views and resources dealing with economics and several emerging cultures. The Website is divided into four sections: consumer culture, market society, sociology of the Internet, and Trinidad and the Internet. Each part includes a page-long description of each of these topics; an extensive, indexed bibliography; and relevant course syllabi from academic institutions around the world. Slater also provides generous annotated links to organizations, conferences, electronic mailing lists, and online resources. [EM]
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ATLAS: Information System on Labour Administrations in the World -- ILO
The International Labour Organization's ATLAS is a fully searchable database consisting of current analytical data on worldwide labor organizations and how these organizations function. ATLAS strives to answer labor administration questions. Information is divided into five sections, each containing short articles, statistics, and organizational charts. Along with information supplied by ATLAS, the site also lists Websites related to labor organization in different countries. [EM]
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CAP@Columbia [.pdf]
Created by professors Paul Johnson and Michael Mauboussin of The Graduate School of Business at Columbia University, CAP@Columbia features resources from Columbia's securities analysis and investment courses. The authors have divided securities analysis into four sections: Capital Market Theory, Business Economics and Competitive Advantage, Valuation, and Rational Decision Making. Within each section, there is a short definition of each term and links leading to related articles written by Johnson and Mauboussin. While some of the reports and articles date as far back as 1997, the site is updated frequently, with new information highlighted on the homepage. [EM]
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Learning Resources

Keys to Latin America and the Caribbean -- International Development Network
Keys to Latin America and the Caribbean, supported by the Latin American Economic System (SELA), is a summary of the economic situation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Information in this study ranges from population and land area to more specific data about the economy of this region. While this information tends to be very broad-based, the site provides extensive charts and graphs and offers a good general overview of the economy of Caribbean and Latin American countries. [EM]
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E-commerce Tutorial -- HotWired
In just "five easy lessons," Kevin Hakman of eMergingMedia Inc., an online direct marketing and e-commerce solutions agency, teaches readers how to market their products on the World Wide Web. According to Hakman, one should be able to successfully follow his lesson plans in about six weeks. Each of the five sections contains about five pages, which are filled with links to related HotWired articles. Starting with the initial development of an e-commerce product, this tutorial will see readers's businesses to their final up-and-running stages. [EM]
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Ranking the Banks -- American Banker
Ranking the Banks, sponsored by American Banker, does just what the title suggests: ranks banks, worldwide. Five catagories of banks -- World Banks, Thrifts, Industry, Bank Holding Companies, and Commercial banks -- are subdivided into a number of different subcatagories including Top 100 Banking Companies in Assets, Top 100 World Banking Companies in Deposits, and Top 25 Lead Legal Advisers. Each compilation of data is ranked and tabled and the current ranking is displayed against the last. All tables are clearly dated, and those exclusive to American Banker online are highlighted with an icon. [EM]
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Food Security Assessment: Why Countries Are At Risk [.pdf, 167K]
Published by the Economic Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture, this study examines the two main food gaps, the status quo gap and the nutritional gap, to measure food insecurity in order to study the ways in which these two food gaps are affecting different regions of the world population. The report found Sub-Saharan Africa to be the most vulnerable in respect to food security, mainly due to population growth, and Northern Africa was the only region studied that has been able to meet the nutritional needs of its population. [EM]
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General Interest

Minnesota Labor Interpretive Center
An organization dedicated to "celebrating the nature of work and its contributions to Minnesota's past, present, and future," the Minnesota Labor Interpretive Center offers an online tour of its museum exhibits. Photographs and artwork presenting aspects of labor throughout Minnesota's history are accompanied by thought-provoking text. Geared toward the general public, this site also includes work-related editorials, a bibliography of sources used in the exhibits, Minnesota government and history resources, and links to sites dealing with organized labor. [EM]
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In Plain English - Making Sense of the Federal Reserve
Provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, this introduction to the Federal Reserve System includes easy-to-understand text and interactive illustrations. As readers pass their cursors over the pictures, descriptions of different facets the Federal Reserve are revealed. The tour explains the FRB's composition, responsibilities, regional structure, and more. A list of resources and a short quiz cap off the site. [EM]
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Euro: Everything you need to know about the Euro
Featuring a Euro calculator, investor guide, and basic information, Euro has been created by UBS, a leading European financial institution. In the section entitled Basics, users can view such resources as an extensive glossary of words and terms related to the Euro, the Euro timetable, and participants. This helpful guide also includes FAQs, publications, and links to central banks, governments, economic associations, and press agencies as well as other UBS publications. This site is available in English, French, Dutch, and Italian. [EM]
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Great Economists and Their Times
From the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Great Economists and Their Times is a basic history of economic thought from 1730 to 1990. A complete timeline charts schools of thought as well as significant moments in the economy including John Kay patenting the flying shuttle and Marie Curie discovering radium. There is a short paragraph about each economist which links to his era on the timeline, as well as a six paragraph summary of the economic theories of the past 250 years. After studying this site, users are invited to play a pirate-inspired quiz about the history of economics. This site is ideal for those just beginning to learn about economic theory. [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 Economic Discussion Series [.pdf]
Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity: Evidence from the Employment Cost Index
Intra-Household Allocation and the Mental Health of Children: Structural Estimation Analysis
A Coherent Framework for Stress-Testing

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Dallas: Financial Industry Studies Working Papers [.pdf]
The Determinants of the Wealth Effects of Banks' Expanded Securities Powers

FRB Dallas: Economic Research Working Papers [.pdf]
Financial Repression, Financial Development, and Economic Growth

FRB San Francisco: Economic Research Working Papers [.pdf]
Hidden Cost Reductions in Bank Mergers: Accounting for More Productive Banks

Other Institutions:
World Bank: Policy Research International Economics Working Papers [.pdf]
Quantifying the Fiscal Effects of Trade Reform
Will the Real "Natural Trading Partner" Please Stand Up?
How Regional Blocs Affect Excluded Countries: The Price Effects of MERCOSUR
How Has Regionalism in the 1990s Affected Trade?
Lending Booms, Reserves, and the Sustainability of Short-Term Debt: Inferences from the Pricing of Syndicated Bank Loans
Developing Country Goals and Strategies for the Millennium Round
Adjusting to Trade Policy Reform
Multilateral Disciplines for Investment-Related Policies
Globalization and National Development at the End of the 20th Century: Tensions and Challenges
A Regime-Switching Approach to Studying Speculative Attacks: A Focus on European Monetary System Crises
Deep Integration, Nondiscrimination, and Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade
Developing Country Agriculture and the New Trade Agenda
Can Africa Export Manufactures? The Role of Endowment, Exchange Rates, and Transaction Costs
Developing Countries and the Next Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations
On the Size and Number of Regional Integration Arrangements: A Political Economy Model
Foreign Investment and Productivity Growth in Czech Enterprises
Approaches to Liberalizing Services
What Triggers Market Jitters? A Chronicle of the Asian Crisis
What Does Aid to Africa Finance?
Reforming Cote d'Ivoire's Cocoa Marketing and Pricing System
The Search for the Key: Aid, Investment, and Policies in Africa
Multinational Firms and Technology Transfer

Bank of International Settlements (BIS): Working Papers [.pdf]
The Taylor rule and interest rates in the EMU area: a note
Reserve currency allocation: an alternative methodology

International Monetary Fund (IMF): Working Papers [.pdf]
Public Debt Management and Bailouts
Rachet Effects in Currency Substitution - An Application to the Kyrgyz Republic
We Just Averaged over Two Trillion Cross-Country Growth Regressions
Global Moral Hazard, Capital Account Liberalization and the Overlending Syndrome
Adjustment Costs, Irreversibility, and Investment Patterns in African Manufacturing
The Rise and Fall of the Pyramid Schemes in Albania
A Dynamic Model of Inflation for Kenya, 1974-1996
Measures of Potential Output - An Application to Israel
The Structural Budget Balance - The IMF's Methodology
Managerial Entrenchment and the Choice of Debt Financing
Coordinating Tariff Reduction and Domestic Tax Reform
Central Banking Without Central Bank Money
Institutionalized Corruption and the Kleptocratic State
Determinants of Angola's Parallel Market Real Exchange Rate
Trade in Financial Services and Capital Movements

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Technical Papers [.pdf]
The Role of Capital Accumulation, Adjustment and Structural Change for Economic Take-off: Empirical Evidence from African Growth Episodes
Economic Opening and the Demand for Skills in Developing Countries: a Review of Theory and Evidence
Boom and Bust and Sovereign Ratings
China's Unfinished Open-Economy Reforms: Liberalisation of Services

Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM): Finance and Development Working Papers
Progress, Constraints and Limitations of Financial Sector Reforms in the Least Developed Countries

Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM): Public Policy and Management Working Papers
Measuring Public Sector Capacity
'An Exocet in a Red Box': Competing Avenues of Accountability in the Sandline Affair

Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE): Working Papers
Defending the Internet Revolution in the Broadband Era: Why Open Policy Has Been Essential, Why Reversing That Policy Will Be Risky

Institute for International Economics: Working Papers [.pdf]
Sovereign Liquidity Crisis: The Strategic Case for A Payments Standstill
Modeling Korean Unification
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB BOG): The Beige Book
The Beige Book (Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions) summarizes Federal Reserve Bank district reports by district and sector. The August 11, 1999 edition reports that the data collected from the regional FRBs "indicate continued strength in economic activity, though there are widespread reports of supply constraints." [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Atlanta: Economic Review
FRB Cleveland: Economic Trends [.pdf]
FRB Dallas: Houston Business [.pdf]
FRB Philadelphia: Survey of Professional Forecasters [.pdf]
FRB Richmond: Region Focus
FRB San Francisco: Economic Letter
FRB St. Louis: National Economic Trends [.pdf]
The second quarterly installment of FRB Atlanta's Economic Review includes the articles "Are Money Growth and Inflation Still Related?," "Understanding Recent Crises in Emerging Markets," and "Unions and the Wage-Productivity Gap." The August 1999 issue of Economic Trends from FRB Cleveland includes articles on the current state of the US economy, interest rates, and labor markets. Featuring an article about the online resources of the Federal Reserve System, the August 1999 issue of FRB Dallas's Houston Business is available. The second quarter report of the Survey of Professional Forecasters shows that the 37 forecasters surveyed estimate up to 3.9 percent growth in 1999. The Summer 1999 issue of FRB Richmond's Regional Focus examines the growth of the economy in beachfront communities along the mid-Atlantic. Economic Letter from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco focuses on cost savings in bank mergers. FRB St. Louis's National Economic Trends of August 1999 includes short updates on inflation and prices, consumer spending, and international spending. [EM]

United States International Trade Commission (USITC): International Economic Review
The May/ June issue of International Economic Review from the United States International Trade Commission includes the articles "European Union Hormone Ban: WTO Autorizes US Retaliation," "Update on the U.S.-EU Third Generation Mobile Phone Technology Debate: Who's Calling the Shots on Standards?," and "Trade Disputes: Canadian Conference Examines the Role of the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism." [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS): Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include an August 9, 1999 speech on international financial stability given by Urban Backstrom, Governor of the Sveriges Riksbank at the South African Reserve Bank in Pretoria. The transcripts of retiring Governor Dr. Chris Stal's remarks on central banking given at the Gala Dinner of the South African Reserve Bank on August 7, 1999 are also presented, as is the August 7, 1999 inaugural statement of Tito Mboweni, the new Governor of the Reserve Bank of South Africa. [EM]

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI): Economic Outlook
The August 1999 edition of the AEI's Economic Outlook looks at perceived rising tensions in the financial markets of the US and world. Special interest is given to the effects of Japan's rising economy on the United States. [EM]
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Books and Journals

BakerBooks -- Harvard Business School (HBS)
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: Accounting, Organizations and Society (Vol 24, No 56), Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy (Vol 50, No 1), Economics of Education Review (Vol 18, No 4), European Journal of Political Economy (Vol 15, No 2), Information Economics and Policy (Vol 11, No 2), Food Policy (Vol 24, No 4), Japan and the World Economy (Vol 11, 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 can search the Inomics conference site by date, geographic location, or JEL classification. [EM]

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 Thirteenth International Conference on Input-Output Techniques, August 21-25, 2000, Macerata, Italy, and the Annual Conference of Royal Economic Society, July 10-13, 2000, St Andrews, England. [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

Census Bureau
1997 Economic Census of Outlying Areas: Guam Construction Industries, Manufactures, Wholesale Trade, Retail Trade and Service Industries [.pdf]
This 42-page document reports that Guam's economy is booming. Tourism has helped boost the retail economy, with trade retail industries in 1997 up 65 percent from 1992, and service industry receipts increased from $656.4 million to $1.2 billion, showing an 81 percent increase. [EM]
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB BOG)
Foreign Exchange Rates
According to the August update of this monthly report, based against the dollar, the Brazilian real is down .5239 from May 1999 to July 1999, while Mexico's peso increased .496 during the same timespan. [EM]
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Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
US International Trade in Goods and Services
The June 1999 installment of US International Trade in Goods and Services announced a goods and services deficit of 24.6 billion ($3.5 billion more than the $21.2 billion in May 1999). Services imports and exports, however, increased slightly during the same timeframe. [EM]
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA Reports Calendars -- August 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 August 1999 include the 1999 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.[EM]
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In The News

South African Public Workers Strike
1) CNN -- "South Africa faces biggest labor unrest since apartheid"
2) Panafrican News Agency -- "Public Sector Workers Go On Strike Over Pay"
3) Africa News Online -- "SA braced for biggest strike"
4) Woza -- "Govt 'has seen nothing yet', say unions"
5) BBC -- "South African strikers win more talks" [RealPlayer]
6) Congress of South African Trade Unions -- "Public Sector Workers Fight for a Living Wage!"
7) South African Government Online
8) African National Congress
9) Suntimes -- "The Thabo Mbeki Story"
Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of South African public workers held a one-day strike, demanding wage increases. The strike left many public offices and schools with minimal staffing and forced others to close. Participating in the largest labor protest in South Africa since the end of apartheid, workers marched in cities across the country including Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg. Twelve unions, representing over one million teachers, police and prison workers, hospital personnel, and other public workers, held the strike after seven months of negotiations between the unions and government led to no agreement on pay increases. The unions had demanded a 7.3 percent increase in wages, in line with inflation. Due to difficulties in the economy, however, the government was only able to offer an increase of 6.3 percent. The unions consider the strike successful because the government promised to return to the negotiating table within the next several days. This week's In the News looks at the strike and the economy of South Africa under the leadership of President Thabo Mbeki, who was inaugurated just two months ago. The following ten sources provide background on the South African government as well as news and information about the strike.

CNN's coverage of the strike (1) gives a good basic overview of what happened during the actual demonstration and links to sites that contain more information. Pan African News (2) details the mood and attitudes found at marches across South Africa, as well as interviews the spokesperson of the South African Democratic Teachers Union. Africa News Organization's short article, "SA braced for biggest strike," (3) briefs readers on the impact that yesterday's strike had on schools in South Africa. The willingness of both the unions and the government to go back into negotiations is followed in the article "Govt 'has seen nothing yet', say unions" (4) from Woza, a South African portal. The BBC's "South African strikers win more talks" (5) has a similar focus and also includes RealAudio clips of Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSTATU) President Willie Madisha and BBC South Africa correspondent Jeremy Vine. Background information as well as current updates on the public workers's quest for a 7.3 percent wage increase are detailed on the official Website of COSTATU (6). For more information about South Africa's government, users may go to the official South African Government Website (7), which includes information about the government system, an overview of South Africa, and current political news. The African National Congress is the majority political party in South Africa; its official Website (8) includes news and services, and links to sites from the ANC Women's League and President Thabo Mbeki among others. The South African newspaper Suntimes offers a six-part feature about President Thabo Mbeki (9), detailing his life from childhood, through his political rebellion in the 1960s, to his rise to the presidency in 1999.
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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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