The Scout Report for Business & Economics - January 13, 2000

January 13, 2000

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

Research!!, an invaluable resource for users interested in business and economics in Asia and the Pacific Rim, offers an informative assortment of resources, news, and data. The site links to respected media sources throughout the region including Singapore Business Times,Jakarta Post, and The Australian, as well as in-depth journal articles, and book reviews, tables of contents, and purchasing information. Data analysis includes links to economic sources, company annual reports, and trade reports. Users are also invited to send their questions and queries to!'s panel of experts, who include George T. Haley, Associate Professor/ Director of Marketing and International Business Programs at the University of New Haven, Usha C.V. Haley, Associate Professor of Strategy and International Business at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Tan Chin Tiong, Professor and Provost of the new Singapore Management University. [EM]
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Building Poverty Reduction Strategies -- World Bank
This World Bank site considers a new framework for reducing poverty worldwide. The three steps of this outline are highlighted. "Understanding the nature and locus of poverty" considers the demographics of the world's poor. The second step, "Choosing public actions that have the highest poverty impact," examines the factors necessary for choosing public actions that will merit the highest impact on poverty. Finally, the provisions for monitoring the chosen poverty outcome indicators are explained in "Selecting and tracking outcome indicators." This site's rich resources include information and data on poverty such as regional and social indicators, household surveys, and country data sets, and an extensive list of related links. An online library holds reports, working papers, speeches, and other materials from the World Bank as well as from other resources. Interested users may also subscribe to PovertyNet, a bimonthly e-newsletter. [EM]
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Towards Digital eQuality: The Second Annual Report of the Electronic Commerce Working Group
The US Government Working Group on Electronic Commerce has released its 1999 report on electronic commerce, crediting information technology for almost one third of national economic growth "over the past few years." The report outlines the challenges in e-commerce policy the committee has addressed and chronicles the steps taken to meet these goals. Policy challenges include "the requirements for meaningful consumer protection," "the expanding policy issues associated with greater, faster and more ubiquitous broadband deployment, especially for small businesses and homes," and "the challenge of improving governmental measurement and assessment of the new digital economy." Each issue is considered, point-by-point, in its own section. [EM]
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Global Economic Prospects and the Developing Countries 2000 -- World Bank [.pdf]
This annual publication from the World Bank predicts growth patterns in developing countries. It reports that "recovery from the financial crisis is 'fragile and uneven,' with some regions recovering much faster than others." According to this year's report, growth in Asia will be strong in the end of 1999 and through 2000, as the countries slowly pull themselves out of recession. The average per capita income of Third World countries outside of Asia, however, will decline. The full report is available online, but each chapter must be downloaded separately in .pdf format. The official press release, summary, and the forward by Joseph Stiglitz are available in several languages including Chinese, German, Russian, and English. The main site also provides a slide show of the main points and issues of the report, as well as regional economic prospects and related links. [EM]
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United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
Based in Santiago, Chile, The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America was founded in 1948 to promote economic and social development throughout Latin America and to collect, study, and disseminate economic research in the region. ECLAC's Website offers a wealth of information about the commission and its work and research. The main page features the newest publications, activities, and news. Users should be aware, however, that many of the publications are available only in Spanish. The library provides three searchable databases consisting of ECLAC documentation, external publications of ECLAC authors, and ECLAC Projects publications. [EM]
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Euro Homepage [.pdf]
European Mirror
Created and maintained by Giancarlo Corsetti, Assistant Professor of Economics at Yale University, this page contains a veritable host of frequently updated links to information and resources on European monetary policy and the European Monetary Union (EMU). The links are organized in more than a dozen sections, including basic readings (co-written by Corsetti), emerging policy issues, a regularly updated daily chronology of events (1998-present), fiscal and monetary policy issues, official sources, economists (with links to their publications), and debates. Some of these links are prefaced with commentary or extensive quotes; others are briefly annotated. All in all, the site is an excellent resource for students, researchers, or anyone else interested in current news, analysis, and background information on the EMU. [MD]
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Learning Resources

Special Edition: Electronic Commerce -- Northern Light
Northern Light, an Internet search engine, has created this new subject-specific compilation of news, information, and resources that its team of librarians and researchers have deemed the best and most current on the Web. Featured are links to several online news sources including CNET's E-Commerce Reports, E-Commerce Today,E-Commerce Times, and the weekly column on e-commerce from The New York Times (free registration required). Also included is a comprehensive set of links to government information and services, e-commerce organizations, technology sites, and online publications. [EM]
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Advertising World
Billed as "The Ultimate Marketing Communications Guide," Advertising World has been created by the department of advertising at University of Texas at Austin. Advertising World is a comprehensive directory of marketing communications information ranging from online discussion lists to lists of sites featuring online advertisements for specific products to a page called unconventional media, which includes advertising on hot air balloons, cargo containers, and the roofs of city buses. The Websites are tersely annotated and are organized in alphabetical order. [EM]
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E-commerce Research Room
The E-commerce Research Room is yet another excellent resource for electronic commerce news and information. Created by the periodical Web Commerce Today, this site is geared towards those working in the field of e-commerce, providing detailed information about e-tail including a collection of introductory and general articles, book titles and reviews, and e-commerce news. One of the most helpful sections of this site, Examples of Online Retail Store Excellence, contains a partially annotated set of links to some of the most effective e-tail sites on the Web. Unfortunately, a large portion of the E-commerce Research Room is only available to paid subscribers. [EM]
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Wall Street Executive Library
The Wall Street Executive Library provides relevant, up-to-date links to beneficial Websites dedicated to business and economics news, resources, and information. The site is broken into three sections: News, Information, and Reference; Research/ Intelligence; and Personal. All links are accessible from the homepage, and new sites and "hot" sites are denoted with icons. [EM]
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Value Based Management Resource Center
Provided by SCA Consulting, the Value Based Management Resource Center strives to educate users about value based management -- "the effective linkage between strategy, measurement, and processes to create shareholder value." The site covers basic concepts, complete with clear diagrams, as well as linking to in-depth articles in the library section. [EM]
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General Interest

Findafund was launched in 1998 and serves as an "unbiased, independent website designed to help mutual fund investors make informed decisions." Mutual fund quotes are available and may be searched by name, category, or ticker. The site also contains a library which features basic information including tips on evaluating mutual funds, FAQs, and a detailed glossary. The Weekly Category Spotlight considers recent trends, and Similarity Portfolio Analysis compares two funds in terms of their similarity of sector weightings and individual holdings. [EM]
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Internet Holiday Classic [RealPlayer]
Radio Wall Street has collected over 60 (Real Audio format) interviews of Internet analysts and leading executives of Internet companies including CEOs and senior officers at companies such as Ask Jeeves,, and These experts share their theories and views about the industry as a whole and their individual companies. They consider the activities of 1999 as well as look forward into the future. [EM]
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All E-Commerce ( is a valuable resource for those looking for a comprehensive grouping of recent and breaking news about e-commerce. Along with featured stories and news clips, this site also includes letters to the editor, daily columns, job listings, message boards, and special reports. [EM]
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InvestorGuide Classic: Kids and Money
Created by InvestorGuide, Kids and Money is an informative site, giving tips and advice to parents as to how to raise "financially responsible children." It includes a sizable section of annotated links that teach kids how to handle money responsibly. Parents will also find a selection of links as well as a collection of articles from a variety of sources. [EM]
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The Internet Index
Published sporadically, The Internet Index is an e-newsletter of trivia about the Internet. All statistics and factoids are sited, with links to the original source. [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]
Do Pension Plans with Participant Investment Choice Teach Households to Hold More Equity?
Consumer Sentiment and the Stock Market
Share Repurchases and Employee Stock Options and their Implications for S&P 500 Share Retirements and Expected Returns
The Evolution of the Demand for Temporary Help Supply Employment in the United States
Measuring Temporary Labor Outsourcing in U.S. Manufacturing
Is Hysteresis Important for U.S. Unemployment?
Tests for Non-Linear Dynamics in Systems of Non-Stationary Economic Time Series: The Case of Short-Term U.S. Interest Rates
Measurement Error in General Equilibrium: The Aggregate Effects of Noisy Economic Indicators
The Causes of Business Cycles and the Cyclicality of Real Wages
Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important is Aggregation Across Industries?
Optimal Control of Large, Forward-Looking Models: Efficient Solutions and Two Examples

Federal Reserve System [.pdf]:
FRB Atlanta Working Papers
The Informativeness of Stochastic Frontier and Programming Frontier Efficiency Scores: Cost Efficiency and Other Measures of Bank Holding Company Performance
Modest Policy Interventions
Quantifying the Half-Life of Deviations from PPP: The Role of Economic Priors
A Discrete-Time Two-Factor Model for Pricing Bonds and Interest Rate Derivatives under Random Volatility
A Public Finance Analysis of Multiple Reserve Requirements
FRB Cleveland Economic Working Papers
Risk Sharing of Disaggregate Macroeconomic and Idiosyncratic Shocks

FRB Dallas Economic Research Working Papers
Central Bank Responsibility, Seigniorage, and Welfare

FRB Minneapolis Discussion Papers
Political Economy of Taxation in an Overlapping-Generations Economy
Efficient Investment in Children

FRB New York Staff Reports
Bond Market Discipline of Banks: Is the Market Tough Enough?
Can World Real Interest Rates Explain Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy?
Resurrecting the (C)CAPM: A Cross-Sectional Test When Risk Premia Are Time-Varying

FRB Philadelphia Working Papers
Does the Tax Treatment of Housing Create an Incentive for Exclusionary Zoning and Increased Decentralization?
A Real-Time Data Set for Macroeconomists: Does the Data Vintage Matter?
Using State Indexes to Define Economic Regions in the US
Competitive Theories for Economies with General Transactions Technology
Regime-Switching in Expectations Over the Business Cycle
On Exchange Rate Regimes, Exchange Rate Fluctuations, and Fundamentals

Other Institutions:
Bank of International Settlements Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Working Papers
Trading and Derivatives Disclosures of Banks and Securities Firms
Risk Concentrations Principles
Intra-Group Transactions and Exposures Principles

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Working Papers
The Political Economy of Redistributive Social Security
The Efficiency of Education Expenditure in Portugal
Currency and Banking Crises - The Early Warnings of Distress
Redistribution Through Public Employment - The Case of Italy
Fiscal Federalism and Government Size in Transition Economies - The Case of Moldova
Global Equilibrium Exchange Rates - Euro, Dollar, "Ins," "Outs," and Other Major Currencies in a Panel Cointegration Framework
Risk, Resources, and Education - Public Versus Private Financing of Higher Education
Demand for M2 in an Emerging-Market Economy - An Error-Correction Model for Malaysia
Dominance Testing of Social Sector Expenditures and Taxes in Africa
Flight Capital as a Portfolio Choice
Central Bank Independence and the Conduct of Monetary Policy in the United Kingdom
The Myth of Comoving Commodity Prices
Ownership of Capital in Monetary Economics and the Inflation Tax on Equity
Why Do Firms Pay Antidumping Duty?
Rethinking Subnational Taxes - A New Look at Tax Assignment
Multiple Equilibria, Contagion, and the Emerging Market Crises
Income Distribution, Informal Safety Nets, and Social Expenditures in Uganda
The Suitability of ASEAN for a Regional Currency Arrangement
The Disappearing Openness-Inflation Relationship - A Cross-Country Analysis of Inflation Rates
The 1994 Mexican Economic Crisis - The Role of Government Expenditure and Relative Prices
Political Economy Aspects of Trade and Financial Liberalization - Implications for Sequencing
Linkages Among Asset Markets in the United States - Tests in a Bivariate GARCH Framework
Suriname - A Case Study of High Inflation
On the Fast Track to EU Accession - Macroeconomic Effects and Policy Challenges for Estonia
Booms and Slumps in World Commodity Prices
Identifying the Common Component in International Economic Fluctuations - A New Approach

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Papers
What the yield curves say about inflation: Does it change over time?$FILE/12E94232.ENG
Summary indicators of product market regulation with an extension to employment protection legislation$FILE/12E94083.ENG

Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper Series in Business Administration
The Valuation Relevance of Voluntary Disclosures: A Comparative Analysis of the Disclosure Behaviour of Major Pharmaceutical Companies in Sweden and the UK
The Organization of Non-Profit Activities
The Conference Market in 'Beauty on Water' - A Cognitive Perspective on Competition
Capital budgeting in a situation with variable utilisation of capacity - an example from the pulp industry
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB BOG) Federal Reserve Bulletin
The December 1999 issue of Federal Reserve Bulletin contains two articles, "The Treasury Securities Market: Overview and Recent Developments" and "Treasury and Federal Reserve Foreign Exchange Operations." [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Atlanta EconSouth
FRB Chicago AgLetter [.pdf]
FRB Dallas Houston Business
FRB Minneapolis Quarterly Review [.pdf]
FRB New York Current Issues in Economics and Finance
FRB San Francisco Western Economic Developments [.pdf]
FRB St. Louis Regional Economist
The newest issue of FRB Atlanta's EconSouth contains the cover story "Recognizing Economic Shifts Is Key to Effective Policy." The November 1999 issue of AgLetter examines issues surrounding farmland values and credit conditions. Houston Business, from FRB Dallas, reports on the employment growth, construction, and the general economy in Houston. The Fall 1999 issue of FRB Minneapolis's Quarterly Review contains the articles "Maintenance and Repair: Too big to Ignore" and "Explaining the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level." "Explaining the Recent Divergence in Payroll and Household Employment Growth" is the main article in the December 1999 issue of Current Issues in Economics and Finance. According to the December 1999 issue of Western Economic Developments, employment and construction growth continues to soar, and California contributes to the Twelfth District economy "due to the state's leading role in the use of venture capital and publicly-traded equity to finance growth of young, technology-oriented firms." The latest edition of the Regional Economist, from FRB St. Louis, features "Down, But Not Out," an article about the future of community banks. [EM]

Consumer News -- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
The recently released Fall 1999 issue of Consumer News from the FDIC, contains information on Y2K as well as articles on credit cards, legal information, and the updated FDIC Website. [EM]

OECD Observer -- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
OECD Observer's December 1999 issue offers a comprehensive post-mortem on the Seattle WTO talks and offers suggestions for the future. Also included are articles on the Japanese and German economies and an editorial by Donald J. Johnston. [EM]

Finance & Development -- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The December 1999 issue of Finance & Development examines "Issues for a New Millennium" including the world economy, liberalization, and the world trading system. [EM]

Latin American Outlook -- American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
"Latin America Faces the Millennium" is the main article in the December 1999 issue of Latin American Outlook.[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, tables of contents, and in some cases, full-text, for over 60 journals are now available online, including the following: Journal of Econometrics (Vol 95, No 2), The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance (Vol 39, No 3), Journal of International Money and Finance (Vol 18, No 6), Structural Change and Economic Dynamics (Vol 10, No 3-4), Pacific-Basin Finance Journal (Vol 7, No 3-4), Journal of Accounting and Economics (Vol 28, No 1), and Review of Radical Political Economics (Vol 31, 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 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

Employment and Average Annual Pay For Large Counties, 1998 -- BLS
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 115 of the 301 largest counties in the US show an above-average rate of employment growth for 1998. [EM]
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Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations, Quarter 3, 1999 -- Census Bureau [.pdf, 1123k]
This 191-page document from the Census Bureau includes the tables "Rates of Return, All Manufacturing Corporations," "Composition of the Sample, by Division and Asset Size," and "Profits per Dollar Sales, by Division and Major Group." [EM]
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Personal Income and Outlays, November 1999 -- BEA
Personal income increased 0.4 percent, or $35.4 billion, in November 1999, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income also rose 0.4 percent, and personal consumption expenditures increased 0.5 percent. [EM]
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2000 Agency Reports/ Schedule -- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
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 January 2000 include the Rice Outlook, Winter Wheat Seedlings, and Crop Production Annual. [EM]
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Inventory of Electric Utility Power Plants in the United States 1999 With Data as of January 1, 1999 -- EIA [.pdf 1447k]
According to this 357-page document from the Energy Information Administration, "the existing capacity of U.S. electric utilities totaled 686,692 megawatts (Table 1), a net change of -25,197 megawatts (-3.5 percent) from the total reported as of January 1, 1998." Forty-four percent of the United States's existing capacity was coal-fired, gas-fired capacity represented eighteen percent, while nuclear capacity accounted for fourteen percent. [EM]
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In The News

You've Got Merger!
1) "America Online And Time Warner Will Merge To Create World's First Internet-Age Media and Communications Company" -- Time Warner press release
2) Media Owner's Index: Time Warner -- Columbia Journalism Review
3) "AOL, Time Warner Face Many Merger Obstacles" -- Los Angeles Times
4) "Is AOL still a Net company?" -- CNET
5) "AOL/Time Warner: A new media world" -- Financial Times
6) "The Net on AOL's Time Warner deal" -- Salon
7) "AOL and Time Warner's marriage of insecurity" -- Salon
8) Consumer Groups Fear AOL-Time Warner Conglomerate -- NPR [RealPlayer]
9) "Expect big changes in what we will surf, see & hear" -- NY Post
10) "AOL Time Warner: The Art of the Possible" -- The Standard,1151,8746,00.html
On Monday January 10, America Online (AOL) and Time Warner announced they will merge. AOL is the largest Internet service provider in the world, with over 20 million customers. AOL also owns Netscape Communications and Compuserve. Time Warner includes the WB television network; cable networks including HBO, CNN, and the Cartoon Network; as well as publications, including People,Sports Illustrated,Time, and Fortune; and Warner Brothers movie studio. Time Warner boasts 12 million cable subscribers and 28 million subscribers to Time Warner publications, which, with AOL, amounts to a customer base of nearly 100 million. With the announcement of the new AOL Time Warner company, the two companies's stocks initially fell almost ten percent on January 11. Internet and media analysts, however, are more concerned with the new merger's effects on media in the future. They believe that the AOL Time Warner company will revolutionize everything from the nature of television to how consumers buy music.

This press release from Time Warner (1) announces the merger and promises to combine the media components of Time Warner and AOL's technology. Columbia Journalism Review(2) lists the numerous media ventures owned by Time Warner. "AOL, Time Warner Face Many Merger Obstacles" (3) considers the difficulties of merging these two companies. According to CNET (4), the initial decline of AOL and Time Warner stock is not historically unique. Financial Times(5) ponders the take-over of the largest old media company by the largest new media company. Two articles from Salon ask Internet experts whether the merger will change the Internet for the better or the worse (6) and consider the financial future of the new merged company (7). National Public Radio (8) focuses on the ways in which the merger might affect media and consumers's lives. The NY Post(9) predicts the future effects of the merger on consumers. The nature of the delivery of advertising might also be changed, according to this article (10) from The Standard. [EM]
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