The Scout Report for Business & Economics - May 4, 2000

May 4, 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


National Commission on Entrepreneurship [.pdf]
The National Commission on Entrepreneurship (NCOE) was created in order to study and support entrepreneurship. NCOE's main mission is to "educate policymakers about the key barriers constraining entrepreneurs and recommend new public policies to protect and stimulate the creation and growth of an entrepreneurial economy and culture." The front page of this well designed site includes three sections which highlight the role of entrepreneurs in US society and the ways in which policy can support entrepreneurship. Along with several research papers, which may be downloaded (in .pdf format) for free the site also contains a thorough bibliography and a short collection of links, complete with pithy annotations. The Policy-Makers' Toolkit is an excellent resource and includes biographies of entrepreneurs, Fast Facts, a collection of entrepreneurial trivia, and a collection of short descriptions about future NCOE research projects. Two more sections, "About My Region" and "Speeches You Can Use," will be added shortly. Interested users will want to subscribe to the NCOE newsletter. [EM]
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Career Guide to Industries -- Bureau of Labor Statistics
A companion to the Occupational Outlook Handbook 2000-2001 (See the April 14, 2000 Scout Report), the Career Guide to Industries "provides information on available careers by industry, including the nature of the industry, working conditions, employment, occupations in the industry, training and advancement, earnings and benefits, employment outlook, and lists of organizations that can provide additional information." While the Occupational Outlook Handbook focuses on specific careers, this guide considers industries in a broader scope, examining 47 industries. The industries are broken into seven sectors, each containing several overviews. Each career guide includes the same sections: Significant Points, Nature of the Industry, Working Conditions, Employment Occupations in the Industry, Training and Advancement, Earnings Outlook, and Sources of Additional Information. Users may search for a specific industry using the key word search feature on the top right of the screen. [EM]
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Data and Program Library Service (UW-Madison): The Survey of Economic Expectations -- Waves 1-8 [Paper: .pdf, WordPerfect; Data: UNIX tar.z or DOS self-extracting .exe files]
The Data and Program Library Service at the University of Wisconsin (see the March 14, 1997 Scout Report) has posted data from the University Survey Center's Survey of Economic Expectations (SEE). The survey, involving 5,423 interviews conducted in eight waves, "examines how Americans in the labor force perceive their near-term economic future." The data, online codebook, and a research paper accompanying this data ("Worker Perceptions of Job Insecurity in the Mid-1990s: Evidence from the Survey of Economic Expectations") are all available at the above URL. For Data downloads, free registration is required. [DC]
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Poverty Reduction Source Book -- World Bank [.pdf]
The newest installment from World Bank's Building Poverty Reduction Strategies site (reviewed in the January 13, 2000 Scout Report for Business & Economics is the Poverty Reduction Source Book. The Source Book offers suggestions and guidance to "assist countries in the development and strengthening of poverty reduction strategies." The three main parts of the book -- "Core Techniques," "Macro and Sectoral Approaches," and "Cross Cutting Issues" -- are divided into useful chapters and subchapters (i.e., "Public Spending" and "Rural Poverty"), making it easy to hone in on topics. The Preface and Overview are both extremely helpful in understanding how to use the book, and also as an introduction to the complexity of poverty reduction. At this time, a small number of chapters still need to be added. However, World Bank promises that the Poverty Reduction Source Book will soon be available in its entirety. [EM]
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The NBER Project on Exchange Rate Crises in Emerging Market Countries [.pdf]
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) presents an extensive collection of their resources on emerging market countries's exchange rate crises. Without much introduction, the site launches into an impressive listing of NBER working papers, book chapters, and recent conference reports on this subject. The working papers, which must be downloaded in .pdf format, include detailed abstracts. The book chapters mainly contain more preliminary drafts of papers, presented in full. These resources cover a vast geographic region. However, they mainly concentrate on Asia and Latin America. [EM]
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Learning Resources

Development Forum: Globalization, Development and Poverty
Beginning on May 1, 2000, the World Bank Institute and the Panos Institute London are sponsoring a free four-week, online forum dealing with development issues. Each week, a different topic will be covered. Week One will focus on "Globalization, Development and Poverty: what do we know?" The second week's discussion is titled "Poverty, Basic Needs, and Development." "Modes of Development" will be the topic for week three. And the last week will focus on "Whose Development? Globalization, Empowerment and the Poor." Users may choose to join the mailing list, or they may also visit the globalization site without registration. Along with general information about the forum, this site also contains links to supporting documents and sites, including the Washington Post's coverage of the April protests in Washington DC, as well as articles and commentary written by and about the World Bank and the IMF. [EM]
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Business Incubation and Internet Accelerators
Created and maintained by Benjamin C. Powell, a PhD student at Wharton School's Department of Management at the University of Pennsylvania, this Website offers a concise collection of resources about business incubators. Along with an excellent assortment of up-to-date online articles and resources, Mr. Powell has arranged a comprehensive bibliography of helpful texts ranging from books and dissertations to journal articles. The site also contains links to incubators, by name and by location, as well as information about IPOs, associations, and other resources. [EM]
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Agricultural Market Information Virtual Library
Created and maintained by Jean-Charles Le Vallee, at the Department of Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University, the Agricultural Market Information Virtual Library is a clearinghouse of valuable information and resources. Sites can be viewed by Region, Commodity, Market Analysis, or Ecommerce. The Latest Additions section offers links to newly added sites, complete with thoughtful annotations. The site also contains a broad list of agriculture email and discussion groups and links to weather sources, journals, and currency and unit converters. [EM]
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Essential Principles of Economics: A Hypermedia Text
Serving as a overview of economics for beginners, this site is based of the lecture notes of Roger Ashton McCain III, a professor of economics at Drexel University. The text's 31 chapters are divided into two sections which cover both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. Each chapter includes an overview and multiple choice questions to quiz users's comprehension, and the text includes hypertext icons that lead to citations, observations, explanations, and equations. Professor McCain views his site as a work-in-progress as well as a textbook, and continues to revise the site. [EM]
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General Interest

Two from The Christian Science Monitor:
"One day in the making of a 'dot-com' dream" 11/15/99
"A 'dotcom dream,' Act II" 1/1/00
These two articles from The Christian Science Monitor follow the small dotcom start-up, "an Internet service that connects consumers to local merchants." The first article, "One day in the making of a 'dot-com' dream," ran on November 15, 1999, and introduced readers to a day in the life of the ten young people who worked at the Southern California-based start-up. offices are described as a cross between a "college computer lab and freshman dormitory," complete with desks made of plywood and cinderblocks, and employees willing to work over sixteen hours a day. The Christian Science Monitor returned to the new Handshake offices six months later, and ran an update in the May 1, 2000 edition of the newspaper, reporting on the changes in the business and culture. Plenty has changed: employees' work weeks have declined from 100 hours a week, down to 80 hours a week, a new corporate casual dress code prevails, and the staff of 25 employees has grown to 40. The former young, inexperienced management team has hired experienced leadership to replace themselves. These two articles make for a interesting read about start-up culture on the West Coast. [EM]
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MBA Info
MBA Info showcases detailed information about "2200 MBA programs from 1150 Universities, Business Schools and Management Colleges in 126 countries worldwide." The easy-to-use pull-down menus of options allow users to search the databases in fields including program structure, locations, program durations, and name of the school. The MBA Advice section gives a variety of information about applying to MBA programs including how to select a program and how to properly apply for admission. For those who have already earned their MBAs, MBA Info invites them to join their MBA Graduates Network to advise people who are considering entering MBA programs. [EM]
[Back to Contents] offers an invaluable range of information about salaries and benefits. The site showcases its Salary Wizard, which allows users to see whether their salaries meet the average in their area, as well as what kinds of salaries they would make in other parts of the country. The data is complimented with a large collection of related salary surveys; has written detailed annotations for each resource. Salary Advice is a complete guide for understanding and negotiating salaries and benefits, including stock options, bonuses, as well as base salaries. On the Homepage, users will also find collections of salary news, advice, and polls. Interested users may subscribe to the free advice newsletter. [EM]
[Back to Contents] Home of the Unofficial Alan Greenspan Fan Club
Named for Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors (FRB BOG) Alan Greenspan's 1995 comment about signs of "irrational exuberance" in the markets, offers a helpful and interesting collection of information about Greenspan, the FRB BOG, and US economics in general. The Easy Economics section contains an excellent beginner's glossary of economics terms, including explanations of Keynesian Economics, Fiscal Policy, and Phillips Curve. The FAQ section gives basic information about Greenspan and the FOB BOG. The site also features several entertaining essays on economic policy, and links to economic policy necessities such as the Beige Book and the Humphrey Hawkins Report. A must for Greenspan fans of all ages. [EM]
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StockMaster, a comprehensive investment Website, offers at-a-glance information on current stock movement, including Top Stocks, Most Active, Big Gainers, and Big Losers. The site also features financial headlines; market snapshots, which includes a graph of stock activity; and a collection of helpful links and resources. A new feature of this site allows users to find out how much money they would have made had they invested in Microsoft, Cisco, or America Online. [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 System: [.pdf]
FRB Cleveland Economic Research Working Papers
The Expectations Trap Hypothesis
FRB Minneapolis Staff Reports
The Scale of Production in Technological Revolutions
On the Irrelevance of the Maturity Structure of Government Debt Without Commitment
Predicting Turning Points
Some Fresh Perspectives on Price-Support Policies

FRB New York Staff Reports
Excess Volatility of Exchange Rates with Unobservable Fundamentals
Finite Horizons, Political Economy, and Growth

FRB Philadelphia Working Papers
Does Current-Quarter Information Improve Quarterly Forecasts for the U.S. Economy?

FRB St. Louis Working Papers
Perfecting the Market's Knowledge of Monetary Policy
A Simple Model of International Capital Flows, Exchange Rate Risk, and Portfolio Choice

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Papers
New issues in public debt management: government surpluses in several OECD countries, the common currency in Europe and rapidly rising debt in Japan$FILE/00076532.PDF
Regulation, industry structure and performance in the electricity supply industry$FILE/00075800.PDF
Regulation, market structure and performance in telecommunications$FILE/00075794.PDF

International Monetary Fund Working Papers
Institutions Matter in Transition, but so do Policies
Using Credit Ratings for Capital Requirements on Lending to Emerging Market Economies - Possible Impact of a New Basel Accord
Auction Quotas with a Foreign Duopoly
Does 'Grease Money' Speed Up the Wheels of Commerce?
Misalignment and Managed Exchange Rates - An Application to the Thai Baht
Income Distribution and Tax and Government Social Spending Policies in Developing Countries
Welfare Effects of Uzbekistan's Foreign Exchange Regime
Contagion, Monsoons, and Domestic Turmoil in Indonesia - A Case Study in the Asian Currency Crisis

Other Institutions:
National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers
The Significance of Federal Taxes as Automatic Stabilizers
Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts
Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities are not Valid Measures of Financing Constraints
Dropout and Enrollment Trends in the Post War Period: What Went Wrong in the 1970s?
Free Trade and Global Warming: A Trade Theory View of the Kyoto Protocol
The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR
Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis

Stockholm School of Economics
Customer Familiarity and its Effects on Expectations, Performance Perceptions, and Satisfaction: A Longitudinal Study
Customer Familiarity and its Effects on Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB BOG) The Beige Book
March 8, 2000 Update
The Beige Book, a summary of commentary on current economic conditions, gives an overview of federal reserve board district reports by district and sector. According to the March 8, 2000 update, "reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicated appreciable expansion of economic activity during late January and February." [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston New England Economic Review [.pdf]
January/February 2000
The January/ February 2000 edition of New England Economic Review consists of the article "Failures in Risk Management."

FRB Cleveland Economic Review
First Quarter, 2000
The first issue of the quarterly publication Economic Review from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland contains three articles, "Dual-Currency Economies as Multiple-Payment Systems," "New Results on the Rationality of Survey Measures of Exchange-Rate Expectations," and "The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level." [EM]

FRB Kansas City Economic Review
First Quarter, 2000
Written by the economic research staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Economic Review contains articles on farms, inflation, and mergers. [EM]

FRB Minneapolis Quarterly Review [.pdf]
Winter 2000
The Winter 2000 issue of FRB Minneapolis's Quarterly Review contains two articles: "Diamond and Dybvig's Classic Theory of Financial Intermediation: What's Missing?" and "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity." [EM]

FRB New York Second District Highlights [.pdf]
April 2000
The April 2000 issue of Second District Hightlights consists of the article "New York-New Jersey Job Expansion to Continue in 2000," which examines the employment growth in this region. [EM]

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Regional Outlook
First Quarter, 2000
Regional Outlook examines trends that may "affect the risk exposure of insured depository institutions" on a national level, as well as in eight US regions. [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include the April 11, 2000 speech given by Rt. Hon. Eddie Goerge, Governor of the Bank of England, on UK monetary policy and the euro; Chairman of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System Alan Greenspan's speech before the National Automated Clearinghouse Association Meeting on April 10, 2000, on the change in the retail payment systems in the United States, and a speech on the Riksbank and asset prices, given by Deputy Governor of the Sveriges Riksbank, Villy Berstrom, on April 11, 2000. [EM]
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Books and Journals

Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Business -- May 2000
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Economics -- May 2000
Baker & Taylor lists business and economics books published in May 2000. [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 Development Economics (Vol 61, No 2), Structural Change and Economic Dynamics (Vol 10, No 3-4), European Journal of Political Economy (Vol 16, No 1), Journal of Public Economics (Vol 76, No 3), International Review of Law and Economics (Vol 19, No 4), Journal of Mathematical Economics (Vol 33, No 4), and World Development (Vol 28, 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. Forthcoming international conferences currently listed include the Conference on Monetary Policy Challenges in the 21st Century, October 26-28, 2000 in Washington, DC and the Conference on Seasonality in Economic and Financial Variables, October 6-7, 2000, in Faro, Portugal. [EM]

The Canadian Network for Economic History Year 2000 Conference
Stratford, Ontario
October 20-22, 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

Personal Income and Outlays -- Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
The BEA reports that both personal income and disposable personal income rose in March 2000, at $55.6 billion, or 0.7 percent, and $49.1 billion, or 0.7 percent, respectively. Personal expenditures also rose 0.5 percent, or $34.5 billion. In February, 2000, personal income rose 0.4 percent. [EM]
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Consumer Price Index -- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
According to the Consumer Price Index for March 2000, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.8 percent in March. This is a 3.7 percent increase since March 1999. After seasonal adjustments, the CPI-U rose 0.7 percent, after a 0.5 percent increase in February 2000. [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 May 2000 include reports on dairy products and egg products. [EM]
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Australia Country Energy Brief -- Energy Information Administration (EIA)
This updated energy brief from the EIA offers a basic country overview, as well as brief discussions on the country's use of natural gas, oil, coal, and electric power. For nearly fifteen years, Australia has been the number one exporter of coal in the world, exporting over 100 million short tons more coal that the United States. [EM]
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In The News

Commercial Actors Stage Strike
1) "Actors strike for commercial fees" -- Chicago Tribune,2669,ART-44592,FF.html
2) "Actors Strike Over Fee System for Commercials" -- LA Times
3) "Actors unions strike against TV, radio advertisers" -- CNN
4) "Bunker Mentality: Woods Supports Actors' Strike; Won*t Film Nike Ad" -- ABC News
5) Strike Notice -- Screen Actors Guild
6) "Longing for a Commercial Break" -- San Francisco Chronicle
On May 1, 2000, 75,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists staged a walk-out in protest of advertisers's proposed changes to the ways in which actors get paid for work in commercials. According to the current pay scheme, principle on-screen actors appearing in network commercials earn $479 in base pay as well as a residual payment ranging from $47 to $123. Over a standard thirteen-week run, actors earn an average of $13,000 per commercial. However, actors in cable commercials make a flat fee of $479 to $1,014 for the same thirteen-week run. SAG and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists are demanding a fourteen percent pay raise for both types of commercials. However, the advertisers would like to pay the actors only $2,575 for an unlimited thirteen-week network run. While this amount may seem like a lot of money, the average income for members of the SAG members is only $7000 a year, reflecting the possibility that actors may only appear in one or two commercials a year. This is the first major strike in the entertainment industry since 1988.

The Chicago Tribune's article (1) on the strike offers numerous opinions from the striking actors. This article from the LA Times(2) considers the effects of a long term commercial actors strike. CNN (3) gives an explanation of the current pay scheme, as well as the union demands, and the advertisers's offer. The day after the strike began, professional golfer Tiger Woods (4) showed his support for the strike by refusing to film an ad for Nike, for whom he is a spokesperson. Read the official strike notice (5) issued by the Screen Actors Guild. On May 3, 2000, the San Francisco Chronicle(6) ran this short editorial, questioning the rationale and objectives of the strike.
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