The Scout Report for Business & Economics - March 23, 2000

March 23, 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 International Budget Project [.pdf]
The International Budget Project of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities works with non-governmental organizations mainly in developing countries and new democracies "in their efforts both to analyze budget policies and to improve budget processes and institutions." This organization's Website is rich in resources including the comprehensive "A Guide to Budget Work," which spans the steps of budget creation from the beginning to releasing the finished product to the media. The resource section of the site contains a wealth of information including a library of over 100 documents such as reports, studies, and other research. The library is searchable by topic and keyword. The How To section links to information on fund raising, policy makers and advocacy, information technology, as well as model materials and sample reports. The site also contains a large collection of related links, which users may browse by topic or search by keyword. [EM]
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Milken Institute [.pdf]
The Milken Institute is a "non-profit economic think-tank...[whose goal] is to create a more informed public, more thoughtful policy-making and improved economic conditions." Located in Santa Monica, California, the Institute's extensive research interests include corporate finance, regional economic performance and demographics, employment, education, financial institutions, and globalization. Along with the online version of the Institute's magazine, The Milken Institute Review, a large portion of the Institute's collection of publications are also available on-site in .pdf format, including policy briefs, research reports, working papers, transcripts, and commentary. The What's New section is particularly helpful, with detailed annotations of each publication and event. [EM]
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"Findings, Recommendations, Resolutions, Amendments and Modifications" for consideration at the Dallas ACEC Meeting [MS Word]
Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce (ACEC) [.pdf]
As part of the 1998 Internet Tax Freedom Act, the US Congress established the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce to "study federal, state, local and international taxation and tariffs on transactions using the Internet and Internet access." The nineteen commission members range from US state governors to the presidents of some of the most powerful technology companies in the world. On March 7, the Commission released this 63-page MS Word document containing "all resolutions, proposals, recommendations, and amendments" to be reviewed at their final meeting March 20-21 in Dallas. The proposals cover a vast range of issues related to taxes and the Internet, and users can register for the March meeting at the ACEC Website. Also on the ACES site is the electronic library for the commission, which includes a fully searchable database of ACEC documents, many available in full text in .pdf format. Information on the commission and its members, press information, and the calendar of events round out the site. [EM]
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Business as Usual: An Evaluation of the Small Business and Crime Initiative [.pdf]
This 75-page document from the Research, Development and Statistics Development of the British government is part of the Police Research Series papers. This report studies the results of the Small Business and Crime Initiative, a crime reducing project that surveyed nearly 1,400 businesses in two areas of Leicester. Some of the main conclusions of the report were that "crime against commercial premises can be reduced," "commercial crime rates are extremely high by household standards, and warrant sustained preventative attention," and "further research is needed to understand better what switches businesses on to high levels of victimisation, and what switches them off." The report is organized into three major parts. The first part explains the strategies of the research, the second analyzes the findings, and the last part presents the conclusions and insight gained through this study. [EM]
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Working Women Working Together
Working Women Working Together, a site created by the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), focuses on the wag gap. On average, American working women make $0.74 for every dollar earned by men, meaning that working women make an average of $148 dollars a week less than men. Working Women Working Together contains several fact sheets and data tables which compare salaries between men and women, as well as project the impact that equal pay would have on American families. The site also contains annotated links, several email distribution lists, and fact sheets on related topics including the world wage gap, retirement, and flexible work schedules. [EM]
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Learning Resources

Labour Left Briefing Links
A UK-based site, Labour Left Briefing Links offers nearly 700 links related to labor movements. This extensive browseable, annotated index includes the catagories Academic Sites and Libraries, Campaigns and Pressure Groups, Greens and Environmentalists, International Labour Movements, as well as Protest Songs and Socialist Music, Radical Media, and Social Communists and Revolutionaries. The sites are rated, and users may opt to view the most popular sites as well as ones that have been newly added. [EM]
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All About Value at Risk (VaR) [.pdf]
All about Value at Risk (VaR) is a wonderful resource for those interested in this form of risk management assessment. Created by Barry Schacter, the head of Enterprise Risk Management for Caxton Corporation, this site is a clearinghouse for VaR resources including information on various forms of RiskMatrics, a vast collection of published and working papers on VaR, and links to regulatory materials from international organizations such as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Organization of Securities Commissions, as well as from the US, Austria, Canada, Australia, the UK, and Hong Kong. Interested users may also register for a free VaR weekly electronic newsletter. [EM]
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Qualisteam [Java]
Available in English, French, and Italian, Qualisteam is a European banking and finance portal. Qualisteam highlights its enormous index of over 3,000 bank Websites worldwide, including financial institutions in Africa, Latin American, North America, and the Pacific, as well as Europe. The sites are organized in alphabetical order; banks with Internet banking are noted. Qualisteam also links to stock exchanges around the world and, in their Financial Web Index section, nearly 6,000 financial institutions including banks (though we had trouble accessing this directory from a Mac). A comprehensive online bookstore focused on financial information rounds out the site. [EM]
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Economic & Business Geography Resources & Reading Lists
University of Washington geography professor Gunter Krumme has composed this comprehensive bibliography of resources for economic and business geography. Information is categorized in alphabetical order by subject, covering a wealth of topics including land use theory and resources, air transportation, retail geography, and public facilities, among many others. The information contained within each subject heading includes online news briefs, Websites, book recommendations, and other resources from sources across the World Wide Web. [EM]
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Tax Links -- AccountingWEB
Compiled by AccoutingWEB, Tax Links is an "an ever-growing list of useful tax resources available on the internet." Focused completely on British tax resources, this index includes official sources, VAT consultants, and international tax among its many tax-related topics. Although the links are not annotated or reviewed, the collection of resources is impressively complete. [EM]
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General Interest

A Thousand Years of Work and Money
This special collection of articles from the Christian Science Monitor examines the evolution of work. "Infinite Quest" considers workers's needs to have a safe and secure place to work, comparing today's workers with their counterparts in 1000 AD. "Events That Shook the World of Work" provides short synopses of the 20 most important "inventions and developments, and how they changed the way jobs get done" from the rise of guilds in the eleventh century to the World Wide Web in 1993. The improvements in wages and quality of living over time are outlined in "More Power to More People," while "The Search for Personal Wealth" deals with the finances of workers throughout the past 1000 years focusing especially on the changes wrought by investing. Finally, "Rooted in Religion, Charities Branch Out" explores the development of not-for-profit agencies. These thoughtful, well-written articles are accompanied by a timeline that charts the evolution of currency. [EM]
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Inc. 500
The Inc. 500, from Inc. Magazine, features the annual list of the 500 fastest growing private companies. Along with announcing the winners for 1999, Inc. has created a database of winners from 1982 to 1999, searchable by year, company name, keyword, state, and sector. While a large percentage of the 1999 winners are technology-based companies, Roth Staffing, an Orange County staffing service, came in first place. The Inc. 500 also contains short articles about each of the companies along with at-a-glance company overviews, a hall of fame, and additional articles and stories. The site includes an online application form for those interested in nominating a company for the Inc. 500 2000. [EM]
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IPO Underwriter Directory has created the Underwriter Directory, a searchable database of underwriters throughout the US. Searchable by name or browseable by alphabetical order, each listing gives the location and phone number of the company, as well as linking to a list of public offerings the company has participated in including the underwriter's role in the listed offerings. [EM]
[Back to Contents] offers a simple compilation of stock information found on the major stock sites on the World Wide Web. Enter the name of a stock and will create a research sheet including profiles, quotes, charts, and recommendations. The information on the site is pulled from dependable sources including Yahoo!, Hoovers, Zacks, Market Guide, and [EM]
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Development News -- World Bank
Development News, or DevNews, is the World Bank's daily Web-based newsletter. Available in English, French, and Spanish, DevNews offers feature stories on recent advances and challenges in world development. The newsletter also links to a daily summary of approved loans, speeches given by World Bank officials, an events calendar, and World Bank press releases. Articles from February 1999 to the present can be found in the free archive. [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 Papers
Human Capital, Unemployment, and Relative Wages in a Global Economy
Evaluating Correlation Breakdowns during Periods of Market Volatility
'Here, Dollars, Dollars...' -- Estimating Currency Demand and Worldwide Currency Substitution
Sources of Economic Fluctuations in Latin America and Implications for Choice of Exchange Rate Regimes
Distributions of Error Correction Tests for Cointegration
A Simple Approach to Robust Inference in a Cointegrating System
The Evolution and Determinants of Emerging Market Credit Spreads in the 1990s
Monetary Policy's Role in Exchange Rate Behavior

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Atlanta Working Papers
Decentralized Production and Public Liquidity with Private Information
Explaining Changes in the Age Distribution of Displaced Workers
FRB Dallas Financial Industry Studies Working Papers
Evaluating the Productive Efficiency and Performance of US Commercial Banks

FRB Minneapolis Discussion Papers
Bad Politicians

FRB New York Staff Reports
Microeconomic Inventory Adjustment: Evidence from U.S. Firm-Level Data
Towards New Open Economy Macroeconometrics
Monetary Policy Surprises and Interest Rates: Evidence from the Fed Funds Futures Markets

FRB St. Louis Economic Working Papers
Pricing and Dividend Policies in Open Credit Cooperatives
Controlling Inflation After Bretton Woods: An Analysis Based on Policy Objectives

Other Institutions:
National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers
Cornucopia: The Pace of Economic Growth in the Twentieth Century
The Sexual Activity and Birth Control Use of American Teenagers
The Simple Economics of Open Source
Using the EITC to Help Poor Families: New Evidence and a Comparison with the Minimum Wage
The First Year of the Eurosystem: Inflation Targeting or Not?
How Effective is Redistribution Under the Social Security Benefit Formula?
The Taxation of Executive Compensation
Do After-Tax Returns Affect Mutual Fund Inflows?
Public Policy and Extended Families: Evidence from South Africa
Testing Parental Altruism: Implications of a Dynamic Model
Why a Funded Pension System is Useful and Why It is Not Useful
Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?
Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk
Asset Pricing at the Millennium
Retirement Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Study
The Visible Hand, The Invisible Hand and Efficiency
Germany's Economic Unification: An Assessment after Ten Years

International Monetary Fund Staff Country Reports
United Kingdom: Staff Report for the 1999 Article IV Consultation
Belgium: 1999 Article IV Consultation
People's Republic of China -- Hong Kong SAR: Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix
Republic of Kazakhstan: Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix
People's Republic of China -- Hong Kong SAR: Staff Report for the 1999 Article IV Consultation
Republic of Tajikistan: Recent Economic Developments
Mongolia: Statistical Annex
Bangladesh: Recent Economic Developments
Australia: Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix
Switzerland: Staff Report for the 2000 Article IV Consultation
Croatia:Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix
Thailand: Selected Issues

Wharton Financial Institution Center Working Papers
Loanable Funds, Monitoring and Banking
Bank Competition and Firm Creation
Banking Market Structure, Financial Dependence and Growth: International Evidence from Industry Data
Competition, Growth, and Performance in the Banking Industry
A Comparative Study of Efficiency in European Banking
Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket? Diversification and Specialization in Lending
Interconnection and Rivalry between Banks
Banking Relations, Competition and Research Incentives
Relationship Banking and Competition under Differentiated Asymmetric Information
The Dynamics of Market Entry: The Effects of Mergers and Acquisitions on De Novo Entry and Small Business Lending in the Banking Industry
Learning by Lending, Competition, and Screening Incentives in the Banking Industry
Screening, Bidding, and the Loan Market Tightness
Holders of the Purse Strings: Governance and Performance of Public Retirement Systems
Developments in Retirement Provision: Global Trends and Lessons from Australia and the US
New Trends in Pension Benefit and Retirement Provisions

Federal Reserve Board of Governors Federal Reserve Bulletin [.pdf]
March 2000
The Federal Reserve Bulletin is a monthly collection of articles written by staff members of the Federal Reserve Board. The March issue contains three articles, "Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," "Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: Recent Developments and the 1999 Revision," and "Treasury and Federal Reserve Foreign Exchange Operations." [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Atlanta Financial Update
January-March 2000
Along with articles on the new designs for $5 and $10 dollar bills and the Financial Modernization Act, the first issue of this quarterly publication also includes the cover story, "Smooth Rollover for Century Date Change." [EM]

FRB Chicago AgLetter [.pdf]
February 2000
The agricultural newsletter of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, AgLetter, reports that farmland values were up one percent from January 1999 to January 2000 thanks to a profitable fourth quarter. [EM]

FRB Cleveland Economic Trends
March 2000
This issue of FRB Cleveland's Economic Trends includes articles on monetary policy, the Euro, and Ecuador's sucre. [EM]

FRB Dallas Houston Business [.pdf]
March 2000
The featured article in this issue of Houston Business considers the economies of Houston's neighboring cities -- Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange, Texas. [EM]

FRB Philadelphia Business Review [.pdf]
March/April 2000
The March/ April issue of the bimonthly publication Business Review, from FRB Philadelphia, consists of two articles: "The Changing Nature of the Payments System: Should New Players Mean New Rules?" and "From Cycles to Shocks: Progress in Business-Cycle Theory." [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include the speech given on March 9, 2000 by Gordon Thiessen, Governor of the Bank of Canada, about Canadian monetary policy and the "floating exchange rate system;" a speech about the ways in which a US dollar clearing system will benefit Hong Kong, given by Joseph Yam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority; and the Vice President of the European Central Bank Christian Noyer's review of the euro area's economic situation. [EM]

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
AEI Latin American Outlook
March 2000
The March 2000 issue of AEI Latin American Outlook consists of the article "Columbia: The Problem that Will Not Go Away." [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: Global Finance Journal (Vol 10, No 2), Regional Science and Urban Economics (Vol 30, No 1), Journal of Policy Modelling (Vol 22, No 1), and The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance (Vol 39, no 5). 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]

World Summit of Young Entrepreneurs
New York, New York
August 26, 2000 to September 2, 2000

International Small Business Congress
Seoul, Korea
October 29, 2000 to November 1, 2000
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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

1997 Economic Census of Outlying Areas: Puerto Rico Manufacturing -- Census Bureau [.pdf, 2466K]
Highlights of this newly released report from the US Census Bureau include that Puerto Rico's manufacturing industries shipped $46.9 billion worth of goods and employed 163,605 persons at 2,092 locations in 1997. Pharmaceutical preparations were the top chemicals and allied products shipped, while beverages ranked first among food products, amounting to $2.3 billion in shipments. [EM]
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Consumer Price Index, February 2000 -- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
For the twelve-month period between February 1999 and February 2000, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 3.2 percent. The CPI-U also rose 0.5 percent in February, following 0.2 percent increases in the four previous months. [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 March 2000 include the Export Sales Report, Fruit and Tree Nuts, and Catfish processing. [EM]
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Electric Power Monthly Report -- Energy Information Administration (EIA)
The total net generation of electricity in the United States in November 1999 was 236 billion kilowatthours, which is one percent lower than the number of hours in November 1998. From November 1998 to November 1999, coal production declined one percent, and gas also fell four percent. [EM]
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In The News

Fed to Raise Interest Rates
1) "US Interest Rate Rises" -- BBC
2) "Fed lifts key rates again" -- CNNfn
3) "Fed Taps Brakes On Economy With 1/4-Point Hike In Funds, Discount Rate" -- Dow
4) Federal Reserve System Board of Governors (FRB BOG)
5) Interest Rate Changes in a Nutshell
6) "There goes the punchbowl" -- CBS MarketWatch
7) How to Act When Interest Rates Move
8) "Why Greenspan Trashes Markets" -- Capitalism Magazine
As expected, the Federal Reserve voted to raise interest rates 0.25 percent, the fifth rate raise since June. The interest rate boost is expected to help keep inflation in check during this record period (108 months) of economic expansion. Technology companies have continued to signal healthy economic growth, and unemployment rates remain low. Despite drastic price hikes in gasoline and heating oil prices, consumers are still spending. This worries economists who watched consumers pay little heed to the last four interest rate increases. The quarter point interest rate increase will average out to an extra $1 a month on consumers's credit cards, which in this period of prosperity, will not curb consumers's spending.

According to this new brief, from the BBC (1), the Fed had no choice but to raise interest rates "given the strong performance of the US economy and first signs of inflationary pressures." CNNfn (2) considers the effects of the interest rate hike on consumers and financial markets. This article from Dow (3) examines the price of oil's effect on the Fed's decision to raise interest rates. CBS MarketWatch's Irwin Kellner (4) lists the complex reasons why the Fed has chosen to raise interest rates another quarter point. The Federal Reserve System Board of Governors Website (5) provides information, publications, and news about the central bank of the United States. Interest Rate Changes in a Nutshell (6) gives an excellent primer on the interest rates and the ways in which they effect consumers. (7) provides a guide on how to manage investments as interest rates rise. Capitalism Magazine(8) offers a unique perspective in this editorial on Alan Greenspan and the rising interest rates. [EM]
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