The Scout Report for Business & Economics - September 9, 1999

September 9, 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


Decent Work and Protection for All: Priority of the Americas
.pdf version (1277K)
This 137-page report by Juan Somavia, the director general of the International Labor Organization (ILO), was presented at the American Regional meeting in Lima, Peru in August 1999. The report is divided into three sections. The first analyzes "the main challenges faced by the labour markets in the regions, in view of the globalization process." These challenges include "The Evolution of the Labour Market and Social Progress in the Nineties," "The Process of Transformation and the Challenges of Employment and Vocational Training," and "Labour Relations and Worker Protection in the New Structural Context." The second section looks at the activities the ILO carried out from 1994 to 1999 in order to combat the problems described in the first section. The final part looks at the steps the ILO plans to take in the next ten years in Latin America and the Caribbean. Also included are tables of data about Latin America and the Caribbean and a bibliography. [EM]
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Urban Institute [.pdf]
The Urban Institute is a Washington DC-based, nonprofit organization devoted to economic and social policy research. Its Website holds a wealth of information featuring in-depth reports on social and economic issues facing the US and abroad. These reports are updated frequently and focus on such issues as American health care reform, child support, and social security. The Research section contains a huge database of Urban Institute reports and can be searched by topic, author, and date. The site also links to Urban Institute special programs including the National Center for Charitable Statistics and The Retirement Project. [EM]
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Trade Liberalisation and Women
A special report from the United Nations Development Fund for Women's (UNIFEM) program on Women and International Trade, Trade Liberalisation and Women seeks to explain how trade liberalisation, defined as the "process of systematically reducing and eventually eliminating all tariff and non-tariff barriers between countries as trading partners," is affecting the women of the world. The site explains how, as economies compete with each other, global liberalisation will drive down the working wages and working conditions of countries, thus affecting female workers. As well as this situational analysis, the site also includes extensive databases of related links, research, and books; UNIFEM's research into the subject of women and trade; and a list of organizations users can contact if they are interested in persuing issues related to women and trade liberalisation. [EM]
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Institute of Development Studies
Located in Sussex, England, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is an international authority on development. IDS serves as a center for research and education on development and offers conferences and workshops, as well as a host of online information about research and publications. Full-text working and discussion papers are available online, as are several special research reports and descriptions of projects on such subjects as Globalization, Governance and Civil Society, and Environment. [EM]
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Electronic Commerce Research Center
The Electronic Commerce Research Center, created by CIO magazine, "examines the current state and future directions of conducting commerce on the Net." The report consists of full-text articles dealing with aspects of ecommerce from the pages of CIO magazine. Dating from 1995 to the present, articles are annotated and indexed by subjects such as Case Studies, Business to Business, and Electronic Data Interchange. Also included are links to online resources that also deal with the same subjects. [EM]
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Learning Resources

Internet Resources for Job Searching
The newest Internet resource guide from Cornell University's Catherwood Library deals with job searching. This carefully annotated index of job hunting resources includes sites covering such topics as salary information, researching companies, and researching nonprofit corporations, as well as sites to find general job listings and specialized job databases. [EM]
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Federation of International Trade Association [RealPlayer]
Featuring an annotated index of more than 2,500 world trade Websites, the Federation of International Trade Association (FITA) homepage houses a wealth of resources for members and non-members of this organization. The FITA Website hosts a marketing database consisting of Export and Protocol reviews of over 80 countries, job postings, and a searchable database of international trade-related conferences and seminars. In conjunction with the "international trade webcast network" How to Conquer the World, FITA also includes a wide array of indexed and annotated interviews with leading international trade professionals, available in RealAudio format. [EM]
[Back to Contents], launched earlier this week, consists of a remarkable database of holidays that extend over the next 30 years. Although this service is granted by subscription, there is a fourteen-day free trial, and a number of services are provided free of charge. Under the "Free Stuff" menu, users will find lists of centers worldwide that will have a work holiday on either December 31, 1999 or January 1, 2000, as well as an explanation that the coming New Year falls on a Saturday. Among other free services, FinancialCalendar also provides a daily list of centers presently on holiday, a nifty calculator which tallies the percentage of people across the globe who will be at work on any given day in the next 30 years, and an international comparison of the number of workers's vacation days. [EM]
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For teachers and students of economics, Tutor2U, from the UK, provides "high quality learning resources and online community." Student resources include online forums about economics and study guides for academic success. If students complete the free registration, they may submit questions to the Tutor2U tutors. Previous student questions and answers are archived and available to all users. Also included are a searchable index of case studies, British economic news and information, economic links, and online presentations on a range of topics. [EM]
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With this site, the European Union offers a database of questions and answers about the euro and the European Monetary Union. Quest seeks to answer citizens's questions in a clear and concise manner. Along with shorter answers to basic questions, Quest also includes longer articles addressing the coming of the Euro. The site is fully searchable by keyword and includes an alphabetical index and table of contents to help users find information more efficiently. [EM]
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General Interest is geared towards promoting the career and lifestyle of the independent professional, as defined by consultants, freelancers, and moonlighters. A wealth of inspirational support and resources, the Website intends to develop an online community and offers information and advice from experts on such topics as health insurance tips, tax information, Website design, and profiles of successful independent professionals. A newly launched Web company, promises many forthcoming features including an employment database, business management tools, and product information and deals. [EM]
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Savings Bonds Value Calculator
From the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, this site computes the redemption value of users's US savings bonds. Easy-to-use pull-down menus allow visitors to enter information such as the date of issue and face value of their Series E bonds, Series EE bonds, and Series S bonds. After entering the information, the Calculator will then show a chart of issue dates and denominations and actual worth of the bonds, if cashed within a set period of time. [EM]
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Memphis: We Remember
Commemorating the 1968 Memphis, TN sanitation workers's strike, Memphis: We Remember is a historical look at this tumultous, but ultimately successful, American strike. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I've Been to the Mountain Top" speech in support of the strike, just a day before his assassination. This Website, created by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, includes a detailed timeline of events leading up to and during the strike, news articles and photographs covering the two month strike, and coverage and the transcripts of King's moving speech. A special report, written by J. Edwin Stanfield in 1968, is reproduced in full, and the site also features recent analysis and commentary on the strike's place in history. [EM]
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The Small Business Journal
The Small Business Journal (TSMJ) site offers full-text articles from this monthly publication, as well special, weekly-updated articles for its online product. Focusing on issues facing small businesses, the Website also includes an indexed collection of over 300 online resources, a searchable archive of TSMJ articles, and a search engine page that features general and area-specific Internet search engines. For a more interactive experience, users may read and contribute to forums on such topics as Sales & Marketing, Customer Service, and Ethics in Business. [EM]
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The lighter side of the Dismal Science, JokEc is a collection of economics jokes. Ranging from one-liners to economics poetry, JokEc aims for non-offensive economic humor. Although he promises that he has tried to edit out all "personal or dirty jokes," Finnish creator Pasi Kuoppamaki has included a disclaimer, cautioning against possible offense. JokEc is a section of WebEc (reviewed in the January 10, 1997 Scout Report) and is mirrored in Finland, Japan, and the UK. [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) International Finance Discussion Papers [.pdf]
Violating the Law of One Price: Should We Make a Federal Case Out of It?
Trade Prices and Volumes in East Asia through The Crisis
From Indoctrination to the Culture of Change: Technological Progress, Adaptive Skills, and the Creativity of Nations
Monetary Policy and Price Stability
Optimal Monetary Policy with Staggered Wage and Price Contracts

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Kansas City Research Working Papers [.pdf]
International Transmission of Anticipated Inflation Under Alternative Exchange-Rate Regimes
FRB New York Staff Reports [.pdf]
What Was Behind the M2 Breakdown?

FRB Philadelphia Working Papers [.pdf]
Financial Contracts and the Legal Treatment of Informed Investors
A Bayesian VAR Forecasting Model for the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area

FRB Richmond Working Papers [.pdf]
The Role of a Regional Bank in a System of Central Banks

FRB St. Louis Working Papers [.pdf]
Government Mandated Private Pensions: A Dependable Foundation for Retirement Security?
Feeding the National Accounts
Controlling for Heterogeneity in Gravity Models of Trade
What Makes a Region Entrepreneurial? Evidence from Britain
Gender Differences in Self-Employment: Panel Evidence from the Former West Germany
Measuring Relative Quality of Life from a Cross-Migration Regression, With an Application to Canadian Provinces
Voting with Your Feet in the United Kingdom: Using Cross-Migration Rates to Estimate Relative Living Standards

Other Institutions:
World Bank Policy Research Working Papers
The Russian City in Transition: The First Six Years in Ten Volga Capitals

Bank of International Settlements Working Papers
A note on the Gordon growth model with nonstationary dividend growth
The Dollar - Mark axis

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Working Papers [.pdf]
The IMF Approach to Economic Stabilization

Wharton Financial Institutions Center Working Papers
Customizing Reinsurance and Cat Bonds for Natural Hazard Risks
Financial Contracts and the Legal Treatment of Informed Investors
A Two-Factor Hazard-Rate Model for Pricing Risky Debt and the Term Structure of Credit Spreads
Demand Curves and the Pricing of Money Management
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB BOG)
Federal Reserve Bulletin [.pdf 198K]
Federal Reserve Bulletin is a monthly publication written and compiled by staff members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, reporting and analyzing economic developments, data, and bank regulatory issues. The August 1999 issue features "Monetary Policy Report to the Congress." [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Atlanta Financial Update
FRB Chicago Chicago Fed Letter [.pdf]
FRB Kansas City The Economic Review [.pdf]
FRB Philadelphia Survey of Personal Forecasters
FRB San Francisco Economic Letter
FRB St. Louis The Regional Economist
The featured article in FRB Atlanta's Financial Update is "Fed Makes Y2K Cash Plans, Encourages Banks to Plan." The September issue of Chicago Fed Letter, from FRB Chicago, contains Part I of the article "Mergers and the Changing Landscape of Commercial Banking." The third quarterly installment of FRB Kansas City's The Economic Review includes the articles "Financial Industry Megamergers and Policy Challenges" and "Do Consumers Really Want Credit Card Reform?" Survey of Personal Forecasters, a quarterly publication from FRB Philadelphia, reports that forecasters expect economic growth in the second half of 1999. This week's Economic Letter examines the recovery of California's economy. The Regional Economist, FRB St. Louis's quarterly publication, features the article "Paradise Found? Why the U.S. Economy Stands Apart." [EM]

United States International Trade Commission (USITC)
Industry, Trade, and Technology Review [.pdf]
Featured articles from the June 1999 edition of USITC's Industry, Trade, and Technology Review include "Energy Services: Recent trends and future prospects" and "Market trends affecting the US Environmental Services Sector." [EM]

Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD)
The Summer 1999 Observer from the Organization for Economic Cooperation focuses on the issues facing the world economy as we approach the 21st century. These articles include "The future comes soon enough," "Population growth: facing the challenge," and "Feeding Tomorrow's World." [EM]
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Books and Journals

Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Business -- September 1999
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Economics -- September 1999
Baker & Taylor lists business and economics books published in September 1999. [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
The Royal Economics Society's Econometrics Journal site lists conferences in econometrics at this Econometric Links section. [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
Divided into Seasonally Adjusted (SA) and Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA), this quarterly report from the FRB BOG consists of data compiled from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income. Charge-off rates and Delinquency rates for commercial banks are given for all banks, the 100 largest banks, and other. [EM]
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Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Consumer Spending on Travelling for Pleasure [.pdf]
From Issues in Labor Statistics, this report details consumer spending for vacation traveling. According to this study based on data gathered in 1997, Americans take more expensive trips in the summer months than during the winter, spending, on average, $776 during the summer and $692 during the winter. Vacationers also spend more on food and alcohol during the summer. Pleasure trips have increased 23 percent since 1990, totalling 443 million trips in 1997. [EM]
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Census Bureau
Tobacco Stemming and Redrying [.pdf]
From the 1997 Economic Census Manufacturing Industry Series, this 34-page report includes tables and appendixes on employment, product class shipments, and geographic notes. [EM]
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Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Personal Income and Outlays
According to the July 1999 survey of American personal income, personal income has increased 0.2 percent in July. Personal expenditures, however, have also increased $25.3 billion, or 0.4 percent. [EM]
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA Reports Calendars -- March 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 September 1999 include a report on dairy products with data from July 1999. Surveys show that American cheese production showed an increase of 8.2 percent from last year, representing 301 million pounds of cheese. Butter production stood at 78.3 million pounds, a $22.8 increase from June 1999, but 8.9 percent less than July 1998. [EM]
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In The News

The Largest Media Merger in History
1) "Media giants in $80bn merger" -- BBC [RealPlayer]
2) "CBS says deal with Viacom could deliver younger audience" -- CNN
3) Viacom/CBS -- All Things Considered
4) "Net Effect of CBS-Viacom Merger" --,2960,30576-101990907,00.html
5) "The CBS-Viacom Merger" -- Salon
6) Viacom Website
7) CBS Website
8) Biggest Media Mergers -- CNNfn
Tuesday, Viacom and CBS announced their plans to merge, creating the largest media merger in history. The new entertainment company, which will retain the name Viacom, is valued at $80 billion. Along with newly acquired CBS, Viacom already owns several cable networks including MTV, Nickelodeon, and VH1; Paramount Pictures movie studio; and theme parks and holds major stock in the networks UPN and Showtime as well as the Blockbuster video store chain. CBS brings access to the radio company Infinity Broadcasting Corporation and Outdoor Systems Inc., a large billboard company. This new multimedia entertainment empire will rival Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc. These eight resources provide news, analysis, and company information on the new Viacom-CBS merger.

"Media Giants in $80bn merger" (1) is the BBC's coverage of the merger, including a RealAudio file of Sumner Redstone, president of Viacom, and links to related articles and Websites. CNN's report (2) on the deal examines the demographic impact the merger would bring to Viacom. National Public Radio's All Things Considered(3) interviews The New Yorker's Ken Auletta, who explains that CBS viewers will probably not notice a difference in the network, but the merger will affect the business side of CBS.'s "Net Effects of CBS-Viacom Merger" (4) looks at the impact of the merger on Viacom's Internet presence. Salon(5) assesses the overall impact that the merger will have on these two companies in the cynical commentary "The CBS-Viacom Merger." Both the Viacom (6) and CBS (7) official Websites give company background, as well as their own coverage of the new Viacom company. Finally, CNNfn (8) offers a brief look back at the ten largest media mergers, which have all taken place since 1991. [EM]
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The Scout Report for Business & Economics
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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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