The Scout Report for Business & Economics - May 18, 2000

May 18, 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


Centre for Population, Poverty, and Public Policy Studies
Based at the International Networks for Studies in Technology, Environment, Alternatives Development (INSTEAD) in Luxembourg, the Centre for Population, Poverty, and Public Policy Studies (CEPS) studies and develops microdatabases in order to develop "instruments for analysing, programming and simulating socio-economic policies." CEPS/INSTEAD is home to such studies as the Luxembourg Income Study and the Luxembourg Employment Study (these two studies were reviewed in the February 12, 1998 and the July 15, 1999Scout Report for Business and Economics, respectively) as well as several other databases and studies. The Panel Comparability Project (PACO), for example, is a "centralised approach to create an international comparative database integrating micro-data from various national household panels over a large number of years." The database contains information on countries including France, Germany, Poland, Spain, Luxembourg, the UK, and the US, and data may be compared by households and individuals, by year or by longitudinal information. Each study is accompanied by a collection of related working papers. The site also contains a small but important links page, as well as information on CEPS/INSTEAD. [EM]
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Country Indicators for Foreign Policy
Created and maintained by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Country Indicators for Foreign Policy (CIFP) "represents an on-going effort to identify and assemble statistical information conveying the key features of the economic, political, social and cultural environments of countries around the world." Started in 1997, this flexible database project is intended to serve the needs of NGOs, government departments, and the private sector, and can potentially be used to aid in strategic decision-making, for risk analysis, and to monitor countries for possible "peacebuilding intervention." The database may be searched by region, regional and global organization, or by issue area. New users will want to visit the Users Guide, which offers detailed instructions for searching the database. Registration by email is required, and a user name and password will be emailed within two days. [EM]
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Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC)
The Internet Fraud Complaint Center was created by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to "combat the growing problem of fraud occurring over the Internet by providing a vehicle for victims around the country to report incidents of fraud online." The IFCC allows cooperation between private citizens and law enforcement agencies in order to track and prosecute fraudulent Internet practices. Users provide details on specific cases of Internet fraud, and each complaint is carefully reviewed and referred to a law enforcement or regulatory agency for further investigation. Along with the complaint form, the site also contains basic information about the IFCC. Two valuable resources, Internet Fraud Statistics and the Flow Chart of the Complaint Data Path, will be added soon. [EM]
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State Personal Income Data
The Geospatial and Statistical Data Center at the University of Virginia offers a database of state personal income from 1958 to 1997. The database may be searched by ten fields including US state, personal income by major source and earnings by industry, wage and salary disbursements by industry and by year, and regional economic profiles. Users can select from a pick list of options for each field, and the accompanying helpful notes sections provide explanatory footnotes for each pick list. The database may be queried by one field or a combination of several fields. [EM]
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US Census: Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1999
Selected portions:
Complete Report [.pdf, accessible by sections, 1045 pages]:
Dubbed "the National Data Book" by the Census Bureau, this online tome offers a vast collection of statistics on social and economic conditions in the United States. A special feature of the 1999 edition is a new section, "20th Century Statistics," "which presents data beginning in 1900 where available on a broad range of subjects such as population, education, income and labor force." Selected HTML highlights include USA Statistics in Brief, frequently requested tables, state rankings, state profiles, and a guide to State Statistical Abstracts. The complete report can be accessed from a table giving data section titles and corresponding pages in manageable .pdf portions. [DC]
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Environment and Trade: A Handbook [.pdf] -- UNEP
Environment and Trade: A Handbook [.pdf] -- IISD
This new 84-page guide from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Economics and Trade Unit (ETU), and International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is a reference tool for policy-makers, practitioners, the media, and other interested users. Intended for readers with an expertise in trade, development, or the environment, but not the intersection of all three, the handbook attempts to explain how trade can affect the environment for better or worse. In the end, it seeks to help ensure that "trade's potential for growth and development does, in fact, lead to environmentally sustainable development." Users can read the full text of the report in .pdf format at either the UNEP or IISD site. By June 2000, both will feature a continually updated Web version of the report, with links to online articles and other resources offering more in-depth analysis of the themes covered in the report, a collection of related links, an interactive thematic index, and a searchable compendium of analyses of environment-trade disputes. [MD]
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Learning Resources

"Cash Flow Forecasting: Keeping Your Company One Step Ahead", from SEI Investments, presents this article by Clare C. Jones, of Deloitte and Touche. The article gives a concise, basic overview on creating ongoing cash flow awareness in places of business. This article begins with two case studies of businesses that are having difficulties with their cash flow, and continues with bulleted points listing ways in which forecasting can benefit companies, common cash flow problems, and basic objectives in cash flow forecasting. Finally, a short section reviews long-term and short-term forecasting methods and practices. "Cash Flow Forecasting: Keeping Your Company One Step Ahead" will give novices a very basic understanding of what cash flow forecasting entails. [EM]
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Economic Survey of the United States, 2000 -- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) [.pdf 222K]
Offering the "assessments and recommendation of the 2000 OECD Economic Survey of the United States," this eight-page policy brief from the OECD presents an excellent overview of the status of the US economy. This document aims to answer eight main questions including, "Is the US economy on a higher growth path?" "What are the sources of tension in the economy?" "What monetary policy stance is called for?" and "Are budget surpluses at risk?" Each question is addressed in a compact answer, many with accompanying, easy-to-understand charts and graphs. Contact information and links to related OECD publications are also included at the end of the report. Economic Survey of the United States, 2000 is one in a series of policy briefs on several countries, including the recently released reports on the Netherlands and the Russian Federation. [EM]
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CPANet is a full-service portal for the professional accounting community. The information found on this site is divided into four sections. Zones covers resources for a variety of difference accounting issues, including consulting, audit, financial planning, and tax. Information compiles news and industry sources, as well as government resources and legal information. Resources offers a CPA toolbox, as well as sections on career planning and education. Finally, the Community section contains a CPA forums, FAQs, and links. While offering an important service to the accounting community, CPANet can be somewhat difficult to navigate, since the site relies on a clumsy directory system. [EM]
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Women and Business -- WSSLINKS
Hosted by the University Library at California State University - Long Beach, Women and Business is a subsection of Women's Studies Section Links (WSSLINKS), a project of WSS Collection Development Committee of the Association of College and Research Libraries. Women and Business is a collection of annotated links covering associations, biographies of prominent business women, newsletters and journals, forums, and statistical sites. Each section contains between four and thirteen sites, listed in alphabetical order, complete with pithy annotations. [EM]
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General Interest

Background Report: Employee Stock Options [.pdf]
This publication from the Financial Markets Center offers a closer look at the rise of stock options. The report "summarizes the key trends in the use of stock options and highlights the broader implications of this practice for measuring earnings and conducting national economic policy." Five points are discussed in this nine-page document, allowing readers to understand the basic principles and problems surrounding stock options. Anyone wanting to gain a basic understanding of stock options will enjoy this easy-to-read report. [EM]
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Maintained by, InvestorWord is a glossary of over 5,000 investment terms. The straight-forward glossary is browseable by alphabetical order as well as searchable by term or definition. InvestorWord's definitions tend to be quite terse, generally a sentence in length. However, they do link to an impressive number of related terms, both within the body of the definition and under "see also" headings. [EM]
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FundAlarm is a "a free, non-commercial Website [which provides] objective information to help individual investors make the mutual fund 'sell' decision." Highlighted on this site is the FundAlarm database, which contains over 3,400 stock and balanced mutual funds. The database may be browsed by name of fund, or users can browse only fidelity and Vanguard funds, as well as search by up to five ticker symbols. The site also explains its benchmarking system of ranking funds, offers shop talk in its Highlights and Commentary section, and includes a discussion board. Interested users may sign up for free email notification of FundAlarm updates. [EM]
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Count-Me-In For Women's Economic Independence
Count-Me-In For Women's Economic Independence is a national, nonprofit organization focused on raising money from women to be loaned to other women. Count-Me-In's goal is to collect donations of $5 from women around the country to be added to a national loan fund, which will be awarded to qualifying women for small business loans in amounts ranging between $5,000 and $10,000, as well as for scholarships for business training. Be sure to browse through the "what is count-me-in?" section; "follow your $5" details how these $5 contributions are turned into loans, and "the power of small loans" chronicles the ways in which business women have used their small loans from Count-Me-In. [EM]
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Striving to provide free access to information for investors and analysts, InvestMove offers Top 10 lists for investment resources including Financial Portals, Financial News Sites, Online Brokers, Investor Education Sites, and Market Data Sites. The sites are chosen by the criteria of content, navigation, and design, and are ranked accordingly. InvestMove also has a helpful list of free newsletters and magazines as well as publications that offer free trial issues. [EM]
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Current Awareness
(For links to additional current awareness on tables of contents, abstracts, preprints, new books, data, conferences, etc., visit the The Scout Report for Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Working Papers

Federal Reserve Board of Governors Finance and Economics Discussion Series
Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata
Dimensions of Credit Risk and Their Relationship to Economic Capital Requirements
Do Firms Share Their Success with Workers? The Response of Wages to Product Market Conditions
Heterogeneous Forecasts and Aggregate Dynamics

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston Working Papers
Identifying the Macroeconomic Effect of Loan Supply Shocks
FRB Minneapolis Working Papers
Financial Crises as Herds

FRB New York Staff Reports
Public Infrastructure Investments, Productivity and Welfare in Fixed Geographic Areas

FRB San Francisco Working Papers
Union Effects on Health Insurance Provision and Coverage in the United States
Assessing National Income Rules for Monetary Policy with Model and Data Uncertainty
Is Implied Correlation Worth Calculating? Evidence from Foreign Exchange Options and Historical Data
The Potential Diversification and Failure Reduction Benefits of Bank Expansion into Nonbanking Activities

Other Institutions:
Bank of International Settlements Working Papers
Monetary policy in an estimated optimisation-based model with sticky prices and wages
Information, liquidity and risk in the international interbank market: implicit guarantees and private credit market failure

International Monetary Fund Working Papers
Emergency Liquidity Support Facilities
Rural Poverty in Developing Countries: Issues and Policies
How Accurate Are Private Sector Forecasts: Cross-Country Evidence from Consensus Forecasts of Output Growth
Assessing Financial System Vulnerabilities
A Simple Model of an International Lender of Last Resort
Social Capital and Civil Society
Caribbean Approaches to Economic Stabilization
Terms of Trade Shocks in Africa - Are They Short-Lived or Long-Lived?
Financial Market Spillovers in Transition Economies

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Papers
A changing financial environment and the implications for monetary policy$FILE/00077096.PDF
Carbon emission leakages: a general equilibrium view$FILE/00076995.PDF
The healthcare system in Hungary$FILE/00076478.PDF

Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy Working Papers
Tools for Thought: What is New and Important about the "E-conomy"?

Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper Series in Business Administration
The Effect of Human Resource Management Practices on MNC Subsidiary Performance in Russia
Organizing for Innovation in Large Firms
Organizational Culture and Effectiveness: The Case Of Foreign Firms in Russia
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors Federal Reserve Bulletin
May 2000
The May 2000 issue of the Federal Reserve Bulletin is entitled "US International Transactions in 1999."

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Cleveland Economic Trends [.pdf]
May 2000
This issue of Economic Trends from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland contains articles on monetary policy, Ohio business openings and closings, and banking conditions. [EM]

FRB Dallas Houston Business
May 2000
Along with reporting on the Beige Book findings for the April 2000 update, this issue of the bi-monthly Houston Business includes an article on the "linkages between Texas and the rest of the world, with a particular focus on Houston." [EM]

FRB Kansas City Economic Review
Second Quarter 2000
The second quarterly issue of Economic Review consists of the article "The Role of Forecasts in Monetary Policy," by Jeffery D. Amato and Thomas Laubach. [EM]

FRB Minneapolis The Region
March 2000
This special issue of FRB Minneapolis's The Region is "dedicated to the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 (Gramm-Leach-Bliley)" and considers this act from a variety of different angles. [EM]

FRB Philadelphia Business Review [.pdf]
May/June 2000
The current issue of Business Review contains two articles "Why Don't Banks Take Stock?" and "Has Suburbanization Diminished the Importance of Access to Center City?" [EM]

FRB Richmond Regional Focus
Spring 2000
The Spring 2000 issue of Regional Focus from FRB Richmond focuses on the economic benefits of spectator sports. [EM]

FRB St. Louis International Economic Trends
May 2000
This 47-page document from FRB St. Louis reports on economic trends from countries throughout the world, including Japan, Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom. [EM]

University of Dublin Trinity College
Student Economic Review 2000
This yearly publication from the University of Dublin Trinity College contains articles divided into five sections: Theory and Philosophy, Econometrics and the Scientific Status of Economics, Public Policy, Monetary Economy, and Emerging Markets. [EM]

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
Russian Outlook
Spring 2000
Newly elected Russian President Vladimir Putin is the focus of the Spring 2000 issue of Russian Outlook from the AEI. [EM]

United States International Trade Commission [.pdf]
International Economic Review
April/May 2000
The April/May edition of International Economic Review, a publication from the USITC, contains several articles on international trade development, focusing on Mexico, Vietnam, and the European Union. [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: International Journal of Industrial Organization (Vol 18, No 4), Regional Science and Urban Economics (Vol 30, No 3), Journal of Economic Psychology (Vol 21, No 2), Pacific-Basin Finance Journal (Vol 8, No 1), Economics Letters (Vol 68, No 1), Agricultural Economics (Vol 22, No 3), and Global Finance Journal (Vol 10, No 2). [EM]
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Inomics Conference Calls:
Email Conference Alert
Conference Search
The economics research service Inomics (described in the June 18, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics) includes a conference alert service. Interested parties may specify their interests and receive email notifications of up-coming events, or they may search the Inomics conference database by date, geographic location, or JEL classification. [EM]

Conferences with Econometric Interest
The Royal Economics Society's Econometrics Journal site lists conferences in econometrics at this Econometric Links section. [EM]

The International Dimension of Environmental Policy: EuroConference on Environmental Policy, Competitiveness and the Location Behaviour of Firms
Kerkrade, The Netherlands
October 7-12, 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

Producer Price Index -- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Producer Price Index for Finished Goods dropped 0.3 percent in April 2000. This decline comes after 1.0 percent decreases in both February and March. [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 the Feed Outlook and Sugar and Sweeteners Yearbook. [EM]
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Financial News for Major Energy Companies -- Energy Information Administration (EIA)
The EIA reports that domestic crude oil prices have more than doubled from last year at this time, despite the recent drop in oil prices in March 2000. [EM]
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In The News

In the News
US Interests Rates Take a Hike
1) Press Release -- Federal Reserve Board
2) "Fed Raises Short-Term Rates To 9-Year High, Says More Increases May Lie Ahead" -- Dow Jones Business News
3) "Fed delivers 50-basis-point hike" -- CBS News
4) "Smoking and Steaming: There is no doubt that the economy is overheating" -- The Economist
5) "How You Can Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Fed" -- eCompany,1640,6605,00.html
6) "Fed Fights History" -- Washington Post
7) "The market's new friend Alan" -- US News Online
8) Remarks by Chairman Alan Greenspan -- Federal Reserve Board

As speculated, on Tuesday, May 16, 2000, the Federal Reserve Board decided to raise US interest rates another 0.5 percent, to 6.5 percent. This interest rate hike follows five previous increases of a quarter-point each since June 1999. This is the first time in sixteen years that US interest rates have risen above 5 percent. The new rate will affect the borrowing costs for many Americans, including those with unpaid credit card balances and home equity loans, and also for small business that have taken out bank loans. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan has long worried that the low unemployment rate coupled with booming economic growth will cause inflation to rise, which is why he has continued to advocate for these interest rate increases. Following Tuesday's announcement by the Fed, Wall Street remained stable; the Dow Jones ended the day up 127 points at 10,935. While President Clinton stands behind the Fed's decision to raise the rates, others, including NAM President Jerry Jasinowski, John Sweeney the president of AFL-CIO, and Democratic Senator Tom Harken of Iowa, have all spoken against the latest interest rate hike.

The Federal Reserve Board (1) released this press release, officially announcing the 0.5 percent interest rate hike. Dow Jones (2) explains the ways in which the Fed determines interest rates. This ABC News article (3) gives basic information on Tuesday's decision to raise interest rates as well as linking to Fed documents and additional resources. The Economist's (4) detailed account explains the reasons behind this new interest rate hike. eCompany (5) addresses the economic worries of those in the technology industry. The Washington Post(6) compares this interest rate hike with others from the 20th century and ponders whether or not the Fed can actually slow the economy. An editorial from US News Online(7) champions Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve Board, proclaiming, "If productivity gains continue, capping inflation may not prove so arduous for him - or painful for the rest of us." This speech by Alan Greenspan (8) addressing the evolution of banking was given on May 4, 2000 in Chicago, Illinois at the Annual Conference on Bank Structure and Competition of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. [EM]
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