The Scout Report for Business & Economics - October 21, 1999

October 21, 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


Living Standards Measurement Study -- World Bank Group
The Living Standards Measurements Study (LSMS) Website, from the World Bank Group, serves as a resource for researchers, worldwide, with data sets and methodological lessons taken from LSMS's household surveys. This site guides users through an introduction to LSMS and includes a five-step process to determine if data will be helpful for users's needs. In addition to the actual data, the site features a huge bibliography of several hundred research reports based on LSMS information and studies and activities that have used this information. [EM]
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Millennium Program -- World Bank Group
Running from September 1999 to September 2000, the World Bank's Millennium Program is a year-long project focusing on global poverty. This series of conferences, new publications, and special events aims to spark discussions on the ending of world poverty. This Website serves as a metapage for all of the Millennium Project's goings-on, dividing them into the sections Millennium Activities, Monthly Highlights, and Spotlight on Development. Each section links to a variety of activities, Websites, and publications. [EM]
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Connectedness in Manufacturing: Results of a Survey on Standards Adoption in Canada [.pdf, 206K]
The Connectedness in Manufacturing Project, sponsored by Industry Canada and the Integrated Manufacturing Technologies Institute of the National Research Council Canada, provides "awareness and guidance with respect to the adoption of connectedness standards by Canadian manufacturing companies." This 63-page report from the project reviews and analyzes the results of a May 1999 survey of more than 400 Canadian manufacturers about how they plan to use electronic means of communications to share business and technical data. The survey found that four out of five companies had some experience with electronic collaboration and industry sector had a great effect on whether or not the companies collaborated electronically. Industries such as automotive, aerospace and defense, and information technologies were most likely to share data. [EM]
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"Core Principles Methodology" [.pdf, 200K]
This newly published document from the Bank of International Settlements considers the methodology used in determining The Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision, "a global standard for prudential regulation and supervision," which has been endorsed by many countries worldwide. There are three sections to the report. The first chapter looks at the background for the core principles and "the preconditions for effective banking supervision." The second chapter "raises a few basic considerations regarding the conduct of an assessment and the compilation and presentation of the results," and the last chapter discusses each core principle individually. The 56-page document is available in .pdf format. A thumbnail map of each page, shown on the left, is the best way to navigate the report. [EM]
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World Development Indicators [.pdf]
Published by the World Bank Group, World Development Indicators is an annual report containing statistical data on global topics such as people, environment, the economy, and states and markets. The Website for World Development Indicators provides all of the text of the report, but it only contains a small selection of the tables offered in the actual report, which is available on CD ROM for purchasing. [EM]
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Learning Resources

The Information Economy
The Information Economy, maintained by Professor Hal R. Varian, Dean of the School of Information Management and Systems at the University of California, Berkeley, includes online information about "the Economics of the Internet, Information Goods, Intellectual Property and Related Issues." This directory includes a vast number of Websites dealing with topics including electronic publishing; intellectual property; network economics; and security, encryption, and privacy. Each section of the directory is divided into subtopics and includes succinct annotations and reviews of the sites. [EM]
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A guide to regional economic activity on the Internet, EconData promises more than 350 links to socioeconomic data. The database of links is searchable by subject and by provider, and can be accessed through easy-to-use pull-down menus. The Ten Best Sites section directs users to Websites proven reliable for up-to-the-minute information, as well as the best sites for federal statistical data, sites that compile data from a variety of sources, and data directories. Clicking on Quick Links packs all of EconData's links into a single page, organized by subject. [EM]
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How Unions Can Use the Internet
The latest Internet guide from the Catherwood Library at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations examines the ways in which unions and union members can utilize the Internet. The guide gives an introduction to unions on the Web, explains the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web, and offers online resources that would be of use to unions. A large section explaining the benefits of having a union Website, which includes examples of well-designed union Websites and guidelines for creating union sites, is included as is an article on the pitfalls of using company email to organize. [EM]
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Touted as "The World's Financial Search Engine," GoProfit's busy homepage is a one-stop informational source including world business news, stock information, commentary, interactive polls, and bits of trivia. The search feature allows users to search both the Internet as well as GoProfit's current catalog. Users may also create a portfolio which allows them to follow businesses and stocks of their choosing. [EM]
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On24.Com [RealPlayer]
On24 is a "source of original and syndicated broadcast news and opinion for the individual investor." Streaming financial news is available in RealAudio format and contains top stories, interviews with analysts and experts, events, and announcements. Users can click onto channels to follow specific topics including CEOs, IPOs, and Analysts. [EM]
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General Interest

Financial Disclosure Statements of the Fed Governors -- FMC [.pdf]
The Financial Markets Center (FMC) has published the financial disclosure forms of five Federal Reserve Governors: Roger Ferguson, Alan Greenspan, Edward Gramlick, Edward Kelley, Jr., and Laurence Meyer. Every year, the Fed governors are required to file financial disclosure statements listing "income-producing assets exceeding $1000 and all non-salary income over $200 received during the calendar year. They must also include assets held by spouses and dependent children and other sources of income including royalties and honoraria. The disclosures do not include salaries and non-income-producing assets. The Public Financial Disclosure Forms are individually available in .pdf format. [EM]
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Women's Business Center
Combining the resources of the US Small Business Administration (SBA), several major corporate sponsorships, including IBM and GTE, and more than 60 SBA-affiliated women's resource centers nation-wide, the Women's Business Center strives to help female entrepreneurs succeed in the realm of business. The Learning about Business section contains a large tutorial about the rudimentary aspects of business. Running Your Business is another large section devoted to day-to-day aspects of business including sections on management, finance, marketing, technology, and procurement. Information Exchange contains discussions, events, and advice. Resources includes a large database of business-related sites, searchable by topic and US state, as well as links to Women's Business Centers, the Service Corps of Retired Executives, Small Business Development Centers, and Business Information Centers. [EM]
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The online publication of Intelligent Life Corporation, strives to provide online consumers with up-to-date information on "financial data, research, and editorial information on non-investment financial products." Along with current news and daily financial features, contains an archive of stories on subjects including auto loans, credit cards, personal loans, and mortgages. A How-to section teaches users to calculate payments, check their banks, and watch market rates. Get Involved consists of interactive sections including Buyer's Blvd., where users can comparison shop for financial needs such as car insurance and mortgage loans; "rate alerts," an email current awareness service for mortgage rates, credit card deals, and the like; an advice column; and message boards. [EM]
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IPO Maven
For users interested in tracking Initial Public Offerings (IPO) of companies in the United States, IPO Maven provides up-to-the-minute news in its sections Market News, IPO News, and IPO This Week, as well interviews with the nation's top CEOs. IPO Maven also offers earning reviews, a sector watch, and annual reviews of IPOs dating from 1995 to the present. On the top of each page, IPOs are tracked and rated by filings, pricing, earning, and top IPOs. Users may also register to receive free email alerts. [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 Finance and Economic Discussion Series Working Papers [.pdf]
Errors in the Measurement of the Output Gap and the Design of Monetary Policy
Three Lessons for Monetary Policy in a Low Inflation Era
Oil and the Macroeconomy Revisited
Optimal Discretion
The Dynamics of Market Entry: The Effects of Mergers and Acquisitions on De Novo Entry and Small Business Lending in the Banking Industry
Conglomeration Versus Strategic Focus: Evidence from the Insurance Industry
Interest-Rate Smoothing and Optimal Monetary Policy: A Review of Recent Empirical Evidence
The Reliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time

Federal Reserve System [.pdf]:
FRB Atlanta Working Papers
Prior Parameter Uncertainty: Some Implications for Forecasting and Policy Analysis with VAR Models

FRB Boston Working Papers
Capital Account Liberalization, Financial Depth, and Economic Growth
Network Externalities and Technology Adoption: Lessons from Electronic Payments

FRB Dallas Working Papers
What Was Behind the M2 Breakdown?

FRB Kansas City Research Working Papers
Do the Spreads Between the E/P Ratio and Interest Rates Contain Information on Future Equity Market Movements?

FRB Minneapolis Working Papers
Calibration and Bayesian Learning
Optimal Monetary Impulse-Response Functions in a Matching Model

FRB Philadelphia Working Papers
Growth and Risk-Sharing with Private Information
Financial Development and Economic Growth
Note: These papers exhibited some display errors when downloaded.

FRB San Francisco Working Papers
The Role of Relative Performance in Bank Closure Decisions

FRB St. Louis Economics Working Papers
Corporate Governance And Corporate Performance
Endogenous Export Subsidies and Welfare Under Domestic Cost Heterogeneity
Intraday Technical Trading in the Foreign Exchange Market
Using Genetic Algorithms to Find Technical Trading Rules: A Comment on Risk Adjustment
Effects of Federal Reserve Services on the Efficiency of the System for Collecting Checks in the United States: 1915-30
Income Inequality and Minimum Consumption: Implications for Growth

Other Institutions:
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Papers
The economic effects of employment-conditional income support schemes for the low-paid: an illustration from a CGE model applied to four OECD countries$FILE/10E91167.ENG

World Bank Policy Research Working Papers in International Economics [.pdf]
Who Determines Mexican Trade Policy?
Contagion, Bank Lending Spreads, and Output Fluctuations
Financial Sector Inefficiencies and Coordination Failures: Implications for Crisis Management
Financial Services and the World Trade Organization: Liberalization Commitments of the Developing and Transition Economies
The Integration of Transition Economies into the World Trading System
The East Asian Crisis: Investigating Causes and Policy Responses
Productivity Growth and Convergence in Agriculture and Manufacturing

Bank of International Settlements Working Papers [.pdf]
The price of risk at year-end: evidence from interbank lending

International Monetary Fund Working Papers [.pdf]
Bank Bailouts: Moral Hazard vs. Value Effect

National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers [.pdf]
Occupational Gender Composition and Wages in Canada: 1987-1988

Earnings Dynamics and Inequality among Canadian Men, 1976-1992: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Records

Environmental Compliance Costs and Foreign Direct Investment Inflows to U.S. States

What People Don't Know About Their Pensions and Social Security: An Analysis Using Linked Data From The Health and Retirement Study

The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Income: A Panel Study of 'Bracket Creep'

Do Taxpayers Bunch at Kink Points?

The Future of EMU: What Does the History of Monetary Unions Tell Us?

Short-Term Capital Flows

Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers

Social Security's Treatment of Postwar Americans: How Bad Can It Get?

Banks, the IMF, and the Asian Crisis

Estate Taxes, Life Insurance, and Small Business

The Diffusion of Science-Driven Drug Discovery: Organizational Change in Pharmaceutical Research

Marshall's Economies

Foreign Production by U.S. Firms and Parent Firm Employment

Competition and the Cost of Capital Revisited: Special Authorities and Underwriters in the Market for Tax-exempt Hospital Bonds

The Cost of Recessions Revisited: A Reverse-Liquidationist View

On the Measurement of the International Propagation of Shocks

Welfare Dynamics under Time Limits

Productivity Gains From Unemployment Insurance

Causes of the Long Stagnation of Japan during the 1990s: Financial or Real?

The Morning After: Explaining the Slowdown in Japanese Growth in the 1990s

Educational Production

The Wealth of the Unemployed: Adequacy and Implications for Unemployment Insurance

How Wide Is the Scope of Hold-Up-Based Theories? Contractual Form and Market Thickness in Trucking

Stock and Bond Pricing in an Affine Economy

Institute for International Economics Working Papers [.pdf]
The Globalization of Services: What Has Happened? What Are the Implications?
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB BOG)
Federal Reserve Bulletin [.pdf, 77K]
The lead article in the October 1999 issue of the Federal Reserve Bulletin is "The Launch of the Euro," which looks at the formation of the single European currency from its beginning stages, examines the challenges of forming a central bank, and discusses the new payment system. [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Atlanta Econ South
FRB Boston Regional Review
FRB Chicago Fed Letter [.pdf, 93K]
FRB Dallas Southwest Economy [.pdf]
FRB Minneapolis Quarterly Report [.pdf, 116K]
FRB New York Economic Policy Review
FRB Richmond Equilibria
FRB San Francisco Western Economic Development [.pdf, 113K]
FRB St. Louis National Economic Trends [.pdf, 3357K]
The third issue of the quarterly publication EconSouth from FRB Atlanta includes the cover story, "Downtown Revitalization: Cities Search for Solutions." Regional Review from FRB Boston contains articles about working families, the economics of sports, and depressions. FRB Chicago's Fed Letter examines the currency areas of the United States in its October 1999 issue. Southwest Economy, a bi-monthly publication from FRB Dallas, contains the article, "The Economics of Prosperity: A Texas Tale." The Summer 1999 issue of FRB Minneapolis's Quarterly Report is entitled "Taxing Capital Income: A Bad Idea." From FRB New York, forthcoming articles from 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." Equalibria, a publication from FRB Richmond, features articles aimed at making economics entertaining and approachable. FRB San Francisco's Western Economic Development outlines the vast economic growth in the Twelfth District including non-farm employment, which grew by 2.8 percent between March 1999 and August 1999. The October 1999 issue of the monthly publication National Economic Trends from FRB St. Louis includes reports on topics such as consumer spending; government revenues, spending, and debt; and labor markets. [EM]

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Banking Review
The FDIC's monthly publication Banking Review includes the article "Financially Distressed Banks: How Effective Are Enforcement Actions in the Supervision Process?" which looks at some effects of bank examinations. [EM]

International Monetary Fund (IMF)
IMF Staff Papers [.pdf]
The June 1999 issue of IMF Staff Papers, a quarterly compilation of working papers from the staff of the IMF, includes the papers, "Are Currency Crises Predictable? A Test," "East Asian Growth Before and After the Crisis," "Financial Market Contagion in the Asian Crisis," and "Interest Spreads in Banking in Colombia, 1974-96." [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include a speech about the European banking industry given by Dr. A H E M Wellink, President of De Nederlandsche Bank, at the first meeting of the Netherlands Society of Investment Professionals on October 6, 1999, and an address on "Asia's economic recovery and its implications for the African Renaissance," by Dr. Tim Thahane, Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, at the African-Asian Society on October 5, 1999. [EM]

American Institute for Public Policy Research
Latin American Outlook
The October 1999 issue of Latin American Outlook, a monthly newsletter from the American Institute for Public Policy Research, contains the article "Argentina: An Electoral Turning Point." [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: International Journal of Industrial Organization (Vol 17, No 8), Resource and Energy Economics (Vol 21, No 3-4), Journal of Econometrics (Vol 93, No 2), Journal of International Money and Finance (Vol 18, No 5), Journal of Banking and Finance (Vol 23, No 11), and Economics Letters (Vol 65, 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
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)
Consumer Credit
Released on October 7, 1999, the August 1999 update of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Consumer Credit report shows that the consumer credit outstanding rose 1.5 percent to 9.5 percent in August, up from 8 percent the previous month. [EM]
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Census Bureau
"Bituminous Coal Underground Mining" -- 1997 Economic Census Mining-Industry Series [.pdf, 866K]
This 31-page report offers economic data on the mining industry as part of the 1997 economic census. Tables include "Industry Statistics on NAICS Basis With Distribution Among the 1987 SIC Based Industries: 1997," "Industry Statistics for Selected States and Offshore Areas: 1997," and "Selected Supplies, Minerals Received for Preparation, Purchased Machinery, and Fuels Consumed by Type: 1997." [EM]
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Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Personal Income and Outlays: August 1999
According the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal income rose $39.1 billion from July 1999 to August 1999, an increase of 0.5 percent. Disposable personal income also increased by .07 percent, and personal consumption expenditures grew by 0.9 percent, or $54.5 billion. [EM]
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Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Producer Price Index
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the Producer Price Index for Finished Goods rose 1.1 percent for September 1999, representing the largest one-month increase since September 1990. [EM]
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
1999 Agency Reports/ Schedule
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 this calendar site. Notable data for October 1999 include Fruit and Nut Trees, an annual report that provides "current intelligence and historical data, and forecasts the effects of changing conditions on the U.S. fruit and tree nuts sector." [EM]
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In The News

September Consumer Price Index
1) Consumer Price Index -- US Department of Labor
2) "Consumer Price Index: The Basics" -- CNBC
3) "Consumer prices in line" -- CNNfn
4) "Wholesale numbers rattle shares and give skeptics fresh ammunition" -- MSNBC and The Wall Street Journal
5) Inflation Report, October 19, 1999 -- National Public Radio's Morning Edition [RealPlayer]
6) Inflation, October 19, 1999 -- National Public Radio's All Things Considered [RealPlayer]
7) "The Impact of Inflation" -- FRB Boston
8) How to Act When Interest Rates Move --
9) Crash of '99? -- Salon
On Tuesday October 19, 1999, the US Department of Labor released its September 1999 Consumer Price Index (CPI), which showed a rise of 0.4 percent, the third monthly rise in a row. Wall Street breathed a sigh of relief at the news of the report as recent anxiety over the rising CPI and the threat of interest rates had sent the Nasdaq plunging. Tuesday, after the release of the report, stocks jumped over 200 points. The higher prices of tobacco and apparel boosted the CPI, and industries such as transportation, food, and lodging also showed the effects of inflation. The following nine resources include news briefs, commentary, and documents examining the impact of the September CPI as well as some of the unease about the US economy and inflation.

The Consumer Price Index for September 1999 (1) was released by the US Department of Labor; this news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics contains the full text of the report and its tables as well as a summary of the report. CNBC (2) offers a brief beginner's guide to understanding the CPI. Shortly after the CPI was released, CNNfn ran this article (3), which gives an excellent summary of the Index and explains the reason for the growth, as well as the effect that the September CPI had on Wall Street. MSNBC posted a Wall Street Journal article (4) on October 18th, which looks at the impact the Internet and ecommerce have had on the economy. National Public Radio features two clips by NPR reporter John Ydstie about the inflation rates. The first one (5) aired before the CPI was released and focuses on the unease of the stock market. The second story (6), later in the day, reports that a relieved market showed stock prices rising. Although it was written in 1997, "The Impact of Inflation" (7) from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston offers a comprehensive explanation of how inflation affects and reflects the US economy. (8) provides a short question and answer session for investors about inflation movement. Finally, Salon(9) wonders what will happen when the booming US economy crashes. [EM]
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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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