The Scout Report for Business & Economics - January 27, 2000

January 27, 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


The Virtual Library on Microcredit
Created by Dr. Hari Srinivas of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, The Virtual Library on Microcredit (VLM) is an encyclopedic resource on the issues surrounding microcredit. It "was set up to be a repository of information on microcredit...[and aims] to support microfinance and related activities with information on policies, strategies, tools, case studies etc." Special themes, such as "Inspiring Ideas in Microcredit," "Improving Credit Access for Women," and "Capacity Building for Microfinance" are highlighted and contain a vast array of informative resources including documents, Websites, and networks and programs. The site is easily navigated using the main menu and pull-down menu and includes materials in French, Spanish, and Japanese, as well as English. [EM]
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Fairness in the Future [.pdf, 1007K]
Summary [.pdf, 194k]
This 208-page report is from the Scottish Parliament's Independent Committee of Inquiry into Student Finance. It primarily deals with the cost of higher education in Scotland and for Scottish students. Along with collecting information submitted independently "by academics," the Committee surveyed students about their attitudes towards financial questions, conducted a study of the effects of part-time work on students, and considered student spending and income. They also "looked at the ways in which finance affects decisions regarding participation and access, as well as how institutions are funded and the ways in which some systems work better than others." Based on this research, the Committee outlines 52 recommendations detailing possible programs that would help Scottish students afford the costs of higher education. [EM]
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Global Development Network
The Global Development Network (GDN) was formed in 1998 "to support and link research and policy institutes involved in the field of development, and whose work is predicated on the notion that ideas matter." The GDN's work falls into two categories: knowledge generation and knowledge sharing. The Website provides a variety of resources dealing with global development issues including links and contacts for GDN partners, related global development Websites, and several scholarship and grant opportunities. [EM]
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Bureau of Public Debt
The award-winning Website of the US Bureau of Public Debt is an informative, yet informal, view of the government agency responsible for selling US Savings Bonds, as well as Treasury bills, notes, and bonds. The site features in-depth information on savings bonds, including resources for customers, financial institutions, and businesses. Current and historical statistics are available and updated daily, as well as content on State and Local Government Series (SLGS) Securities and government securities market regulation. This is an excellent site for users looking for basic information about US public debt. [EM]
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Center for Economic Research (Uzbekistan)
US Mirror site
Formed by government of Uzbekistan and the United Nations Development Program in 1998, the Center for Economic Research strives to "research social and economic processes, prepare proposals to deepen the economic reforms conducted in the republic as well as efficiently use international experience and programs of technical assistance provided by international organizations." The Website offers a wide range of general information about Uzbekistan, as well as resources including working papers (in English and Russian), Economic Review magazine, statistics, and links. Though the site has several dead links and some of the information is only available in Russian, it's a good beginning resource for those interested in learning more about the economic conditions in Uzbekistan. [EM]
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EconData.Net: "Socioeconomic Data for Economic Development -- An Assessment"
This report, prepared for the US Department of Commerce, examines the uses of regional socioeconomic data in the United States in order to make suggestions for more efficient use of such data and provide better coordination between the federal agencies that generate such data and the regional organizations, governments, and institutions who employ and interpret it in the formation of public policy. The report was based on surveys of prime users of regional data and identifies about a dozen obstacles to effective, accurate data use and makes recommendations for improvements in the overall federal system of data dissemination. The report is posted by the EconData.Net site (see the October 21, 1999 Scout Report for Business and Economics). [DC]
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Learning Resources

BPubs is a new search engine dedicated to finding free business related publications and articles. Users may enter a keyword search or browse the categories, such as Human Resources, Finance and Accounting, and Intellectual Property. Results offer brief annotations of articles including titles, authors, publishers, and concise descriptions. At present, the content on this site is scant. With time, however, BPubs is sure to grow to become a valuable resource. [EM]
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Budgeting with Pivot Tables [Excel]
Created by David Carter, of Accounting Web, Budgeting with Pivot Tables, is a tutorial on using Excel pivot tables. Carter claims Excel pivot tables "represent the most important development in IT since the original invention of the spreadsheet" for management accountants. Excel files are supplemented with a detailed step-by-step guide, taking users through the processes of using pivot tables to create a budget. [EM]
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Glossary of Inventory and Materials Management Definitions
The Supply-Chain Inventory Management SIG, located in Northants, England, provides this glossary as a frequently updated source of definitions of words and phrases used in inventory and materials management. The terms are listed in alphabetical order, and definitions are given in easy-to-understand language. [EM]
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Inventory Control Related Sites
Inventory Control Related Sites is a straightforward index of Websites dealing with inventory control, created by Kyle Thill, a 20-year veteran of inventory control. The sites are fully annotated and cover Census Bureau information, articles, and other metasites. [EM]
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"Lessons From Lucent": A Motley Fool Special Report
This article, from Motley Fool, explores the recent financial failings of Lucent Technologies, "the research and development arm of AT&T that has spawned such telecommunications technologies as the T-1 circuit, digital signaling, and the Private Branch Exchange (PBX), upon which the majority of office telecommunications environments are currently run." Lucent is also the US's most widely owned stock. "Lessons from Lucent" details the reason for the projected 20 percent drop forecast for its first quarter earning in 2000. [EM]
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General Interest

Grassroots Economic Organizing Newsletter (GEO)
This bimonthly newsletter provides resources, information, and forums to those interested in "worker cooperatives and community-based economies in the US and World wide, and their development through local cooperative action." Along with a collection of informal essays, GEO also offers a calendar of economic organizational events, directories of worker cooperative and urban agriculture resources, annotated links, and subscription information. [EM]
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How to Conduct an Effective Job Search
This step-by-step guide from JOBTRACK leads the most tentative job seeker through the six necessary parts to an effective job search. Starting with "Self-Assessment" and ending with "Obtain Offer and Continue to Develop Your Career Action Plan," this comprehensive guide includes links to other JOBTRACK articles and extensive resources on resumes and business letters, interviewing, and salaries. [EM]
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Advertising Quotes
Look no further than Advertising Quotes to find words of wisdom, humor, and importance about the world of advertising. This database, from the University of Texas Department of Advertising, is arranged in alphabetical order by subject and includes topics such as Envy, Emotion, Media Support, and Morality and Ethics. All quotes are cited. [EM]
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Campaign 2000
Created by the Office of Tax Policy Research, at the University of Michigan Business School, Campaign 2000 "offers a convenient guide to the presidential candidates' and voters' views on tax issues, plus non-partisan analysis of the issues and positions from the Office of Tax Policy Research." [EM]
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"The Millennium: One Thousand Years of Finance and Companies" -- WSJ Interactive Edition
A section of the special turn-of-the-millennium edition of the Wall Street Journal Interactive, "The Millennium: One Thousand Years of Finance and Companies" recapitulates world business and economics in the past1,000 years. A timeline chronicling "Finance and Firms" in the eleventh through the twentieth centuries is featured along with a look at taxes throughout the millennium. Five articles focus on the twentieth century, looking at the rise of Manhattan as the finance center of the US, the history of the DuPont company, and the stock market. [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 Discussion Series [.pdf]
Is Corporate Governance Ineffective in Emerging Markets?
Nonparametric Estimation of Multifactor Continuous-Time Interest Rate Models

Federal Reserve System: [.pdf]
FRB Cleveland Working Papers
The Effects of Minimum Wages Throughout the Wage Distribution
Intervention as Information: A Survey
Results of a Study of the Stability of Cointegrating Relations Comprised of Broad Monetary Aggregates
Currency Portfolios and Nominal Exchange Rates in a Dual Currency Search Economy
Risk Sharing of Disaggregate Macroeconomic and Idiosyncratic Shocks
FRB Dallas
Central Bank Responsibility, Seigniorage, and Welfare

FRB Minneapolis Working Papers
The Macroeconomic Effects of Big Fiscal Shocks: The Case of World War II
Predicting the Effects of Federal Reserve Policy in a Sticky-Price Model: An Analytical Approach

FRB New York Staff Reports
Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?

FRB Richmond
Analyzing Firm Location Decisions: Is Public Intervention Justified?
Informality and Rent-Seeking Bureaucracies in a Model of Long-Run Growth
Structure from Shocks

FRB St. Louis
Learning About Monetary Policy Rules

Other Institutions:
Bank of International Settlements Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Publications [.pdf]
Range of Practice in Banks' Internal Ratings Systems
A New Capital Adequacy Framework: Pillar 3 - Market Discipline

International Monetary Fund Occasional Papers [.pdf]
Assessing External Sustainability in India
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

National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers [.pdf]
The Distributional Effects of an Investment-Based Social Security System
Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects
Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty in a Small Model of the U.S. Economy
Market Efficiency in an Irrational World
Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA
Self-Employment in OECD Countries
Trade, Income Inequality, and Government Policies: Redistribution of Income or Education Subsidies
Endogenous R&D Spillovers and Industrial Research Productivity
Causes of the Korean Financial Crisis: Lessons for Policy
Understanding Inflation: Implications for Monetary Policy
Criminal Violence and Alcohol Beverage Control: Evidence from an International Study
Does Product Market Competition Reduce Agency Costs?
What's Driving the New Economy: The Benefits of Workplace Innovation
150 Years of Patent Protection
150 Years of Patent Office Practice
Preserving the Ocean Circulation: Implications for Climate Policy
Does Political Ambiguity Pay? Corporate Campaign Contributions and the Rewards to Legislator Reputation
The Role of Wage and Skill Differences in US-German Employment Differences
Tax Avoidance, Evasion, and Administration
Changes in Job Stability and Job Security: A Collective Effort to Untangle, Reconcile, and Interpret the Evidence
Total Factor Productivity: A Short Biography
The Role of Commitment in Dynamic Contracts: Evidence from Life Insurance
Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates
Growth Theory
Human Resource Management and Performance in the Service Sector: The Case of Bank Branches
Job Creation, Job Destruction, and the Real Exchange Rate Wage and Productivity Dispersion in U.S. Manufacturing: The Role of Computer Investment
Wage and Productivity Dispersion in U.S. Manufacturing: The Role of Computer Investment
Do Equity Financing Cycles Matter? Evidence from Biotechnology Alliances
Are Americans More Altruistic than the Japanese? A U.S.-Japan Comparison of Saving and Bequest Motives
What Causes Fluctuations in the Terms of Trade?
Keynesian Macroeconomics without the LM Curve
Would Collective Action Clauses Raise Borrowing Costs?
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors Federal Reserve Bulletin [.pdf, 140K]
The January 2000 issue of Federal Reserve Bulletin, from FRB BOG, features the article "Recent Changes in U.S. Family Finances: Results from the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances," which examines the financial situations of American families. It analyses data collected from the FOB BOG's two most recent Surveys of Consumer Finances. [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Atlanta Economic Review [.pdf]
FRB Boston New England Economic Review
FRB Chicago Fed Letter [.pdf, 95K]
FRB Cleveland Economic Trends [.pdf]
FRB Minneapolis The Region
FRB St. Louis National Economic Trends [.pdf, 3409K]
The articles " Evaluating the Effects of Monetary Policy with Economic Models," "Mergers of Publicly Traded Banking Organizations Revisited," and "Economic Policy Trends in Post-World War II Latin America" are included in the fourth quarter issue of FRB Atlanta's Economic Review. Two articles, "Rethinking the International Monetary System: An Overview" and "Should U.S. Investors Invest Overseas?" are contained in the November/December issue of New England Economic Review. FRB Chicago's Fed Letter presents the article "Food for Thought - Issues in Agricultural Biotechnology." FRB Cleveland's Economic Trends contains articles and updates on monetary policy, inflation and prices, and labor markets. The Region, published by FRB Minneapolis, contains two articles examining the impact of journalism on the Federal Reserve system. Economic Trends, from FRB St. Louis, contains information on spending, trade, and growth. [EM]

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Regional Outlook
The fourth quarter report in Regional Outlook covers "analysis of current national and regional trends that may affect the risk exposure of insured depository institutions." It considers the eight FDIC regions, as well as the national overview. [EM]

International Monetary Fund Finance & Development
Focusing on the 21st century, the December 1999 issue of the IMF's Finance & Development contains nine articles dealing with aspects of the new millennium. [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released resources from the BIS Review include several speeches. Vice-Chairman of the FOB BOG, Roger W. Ferguson, gave a speech to the National Economic Association on January 7, 2000. Mr. Ferguson spoke about the recent Asian and Latin American financial crises. On January 5th, 2000, Christian Noyer, Vice-President of the European Central Bank, gave an introductory statement at a Press Conference held in Frankfurt. Addressing a luncheon of the American Economic Association and the American Finance Association, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Mervin King, examined "the convergence of theory and practice in monetary policy." [EM]

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research Economic Outlook
The January 2000 issue of Economic Outlook consists of the article "How the Bubble Bursts," by John H. Makin. [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-texts, for the following journals are now available online: Food Policy (Vol 25, No 1), Journal of International Money and Finance (Vol 18, No 6), Labour Economics (Vol 7, No 1), Japan and the World Economy (Vol 11, No 4), Review of Financial Economics (Vol 8, 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

"Value of Construction Put in Place" -- Census Bureau [.pdf, 177K]
This newly released 21-page report from the Census Bureau estimates that, in November 1999, an annual rate of construction of $715.1 billion was put in place. In contrast, the November 1992 annual rate of construction put in place was $556.4 billion. [EM]
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US International Trade in Goods and Services, November 1999 -- Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
In November 1999, exports totaled $82.9 billion, while imports equaled $109.4 billion, leading to a $26.5 billion trade deficit. [EM]
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Union Membership (Annual) -- Bureau of Labor Statistics
Thirteen percent of all American waged and salaried workers, or 16.5 million workers, were members of unions in 1999, reports the BLS. Government workers are four times as likely to be union members, and those employed by local governments, such as fire fighters and police officers, the most unionized, have 42.9 percent rate of membership. [EM]
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
2000 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 2000 include Peanut Stocks and Processing and Cotton Ginning. [EM]
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"Inventory of Electric Utility Power Plants in the United States 1999 With Data as of January 1, 1999" -- Energy Information Administration (EIA) [.pdf, 1447K]
According to this report by the EIA, "the existing capacity of U.S. electric utilities totaled 686,692 megawatts, a net change of -25,197 megawatts (-3.5 percent) from the total reported as of January 1, 1998." The report also details use of coal, gas, petroleum, and hydroelectric power. [EM]
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In The News

Recording Industry Association of America Vs.
1) MP3 Website
2) MP3 Essentials -- CNET,10000,0-4004-7-274644,00.html
3) "RIAA Sues" -- Wired,1283,33634,00.html
4) " Response to RIAA Lawsuit Letter" --
5) "MP3 Under Fire from Music Biz" -- ZDNet,4586,2425788,00.html?chkpt=zdnntop
6) "RIAA vs. Lawsuit Repeats Case Involving VCRs" -- On24 [RealPlayer]
7) "Record Industry Sues for Copyright Violations" -- NPR [RealPlayer]
8) "Record companies sue" -- BBC
On January 12, 2000, launched Instant Listening Service and Beam-it, free services that allow users to listen to their music CDs through their computers using MP3's applications and technology. A user loads CDs into his or her CD ROM drive, and the CD is then matched to one of the 40,000 CDs in's database. Then transfers a MP3-formatted copy of the CD from their database into the user's account. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that these technologies infringe on the Copyright Act of 1971, which allows only the copyright owner to make a copy of a recording. An exception to this law, the Home Recording Act of 1992, was created by Congress in order to protect consumers from being sued by record companies for copying recordings for their own use. The RIAA believes that is not covered by the Home Recording Act, because the company has made the copies, not the consumers, themselves. In a letter to CEO Michael Robertson, RIAA CEO Hilary Rosen sums up her organization's stance: "Simply put, it is not legal to compile a vast database of our members' sound recordings with no permission and no license."

The official Website (1) for offers a broad listing of MP3's cataloged free music, downloadable software, and computer music industry news; it also connects to This inclusive guide to MP3 (2) was first reviewed in the March 26, 1999 Scout Report. A three-page article from Wired Magazine(3) offers in-depth coverage of the MP3 lawsuit with analysis from leading Internet experts. MP3 CEO Michael Robertson responds to a letter from RIAA about the allegation of the violation of copyright laws (4). A short article from ZDNet (5) explains the reasons for the lawsuit and offers a space for readers to voice their concerns. This five-minute piece from On24 (6) features multimedia Internet analyst Philip Leigh. National Public Radio (7) details the problematic nature of MP3 and offers sound bites of MP3 CEO Michael Robertson defending This short article from the BBC (8) divides the issues surrounding this lawsuit into five parts. [EM]
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