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

July 13, 2000

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The target audience of the new Scout Report for Business & Economics is faculty, students, staff, and librarians in business and economics. Each biweekly issue offers a selective collection of Internet resources covering topics in the field that have been chosen by librarians and content specialists in the given area of study.

The Scout Report for Business & Economics is also provided via email once every two weeks. Subscription information is included at the bottom of each issue.

In This Issue


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News


"Highlights of Women's Earnings in 1999" [.pdf]
In 1999, median, weekly earnings of male, full-time wage and salary workers were $618, while female, full-time wage and salary workers earned only $473, approximately 23 percent less. Data from this report come from the Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of the US Census Bureau, and represent nearly 50,000 US households. The main body of the report contains eighteen data tables, including "Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by selected characteristics, 1999 annual averages," "Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by occupation and sex, 1983 and 1999 annual averages," and "Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by sex, marital status, and presence and age of own children under 18 years old, 1999 averages." The report also contains several pages of highlighted findings, in a browseable, bulleted format. [EM]
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Interim Report on the Airline Customer Service Commitment -- DOT
Released on June 27 by the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Office of Inspector General (OIG), this report finds that, in the past six months since a new set of customer service initiatives went into effect, results have been decidedly mixed. While airlines have made better efforts in customer service, they still have some ground to travel in restoring consumer confidence. Among other things, the report recommends that airlines set uniform standards and be more specific in their promises to passengers. A final report is due in December. Users may download the full text of the 51-page report at the OIG's site. [MD]
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"A Better World for All" -- World Bank [.pdf, 848k]
According to this new report from the World Bank, 1.2 billion people worldwide live on less than $1 a day; another 1.6 billion people live on less than $2 a day. "A Better World for All" outlines the concerns and goals for setting the groundwork to reduce global poverty. Loaded with charts, graphs, and images, this 28-page report, available in HTML and .pdf formats, allows readers to understand the basic goals of the World Bank. Here readers will find an overview of seven of the World Bank's main issues including poverty, education, infant and child mortality, and the environment. Also included are a questions and answers section, links, and goals and indicators. While "A Better World for All" doesn't offer the kind of in-depth information that experts in development seek, it gives an excellent, easy-to-understand introduction to the kinds of global problems the World Bank studies and strives to solve. [EM]
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Child Poverty in Rich Nations -- UNICEF [.pdf, 33 pages]
In mid-June, UNICEF's Innocenti Research Center released a data report on child poverty in the industrialized world. The report offers statistics on the number of children in developed countries who live in relative and absolute poverty -- the first defined by living in a household with an income of below 50 percent of the national median, the second defined by the now 35-year-old formula first developed during President Johnson's War on Poverty, usually referred to as "the poverty line." Some of the more dramatic findings: one in every six of the "rich world's" children is living in poverty, and in the statistical table of relative child poverty, the bottom four places are occupied by the United Kingdom, Italy, Mexico, and the United States. [DC]
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Learning Resources

Entrepreneur's Help Page
The Entrepreneur's Help Page, from, offers sound advice for those looking to start up a new business. Given in an easy-to-read narrative style, the articles on this page are divided into three main sections: Business, Financial, and Legal. The Business section includes a checklist for starting a business, along with articles on buying a franchise, business insurance, and extending credit to other businesses. Financial advice provides a helpful overview as to where to find money to finance a new business, tips for finding venture capital, and advice on obtaining bank loans. Finally, the Legal section provides explanations and advice on taxation, intellectual property issues, and bankruptcy. All in all, the Entrepreneur's Help Page is a welcoming introduction to some of the issues involved with starting a new business. [EM]
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Collective Bargaining Information Sources
The latest online resource from the always excellent Catherwood Library of the School of Industrial and Labor, Cornell University, was created as a compilation of resources to help Cornell students with a "mock bargaining" exercise. From the table of contents across the left side of page, users can access a collection of full-text resources and citations, including industry and economic information, costs of the labor contracts, news and trends, and wage and benefit information. Sources are thoughtfully annotated, including the paths to access information most pertinent to collective bargaining. [EM]
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The Emanuel Saxe Distinguished Lectures in Accounting
From the Stan Ross Department of Accountancy at Baruch College of the City University of New York, the Emanuel Saxe Distinguished Lectures in Accounting, a series of public lectures, are in the process of being digitized. The lectures date back to 1973 and include the 1997 speech by Michael H. Sutton, Chief Accountant, Securities and Exchange Commission, entitled "Financial Reporting and Investor Protection"; "FASB in my Rear View Mirror," a speech given in 1996 by Robert J. Swieringa, Dean of the Johnson School of Management, Cornell University; and a 1973 lecture from David M. Hawkins, Professor of Business Administration, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, on "Financial Accounting, The Standards Board, and Economic Development." Lecture transcripts, in HTML format, also include introductory notes and footnotes. [EM]
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Originally created by two faculty members from West Chester University, began in 1998 as the marketing specialty area of the World Wide Web Virtual Library. Although this thoughtful Web directory contains a search feature, it is best browsed through a series of sections, including Advertising and Promotion, Education, and Market Research. Each section includes a short paragraph explaining the scope of the information, as well as a description of the section coverage, which includes the types of resources as well as suggestions as to who will be interested in the sources. is an excellent example of a carefully planned and information-rich single-topic Web directory. [EM]
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General Interest

Word Spy
If you're the sort of person who decries the use of abbreviations like B2B as being "so five minutes ago," then you might enjoy keeping up with the very latest parlance with Word Spy. Created by Paul McFedries, this site is intended to focus attention on "recently coined words, existing words that have enjoyed a recent renaissance, and older words that are now being used in new ways." Each weekday, a new word or phrase is featured along with its definition and a citation, usually from a print media source, that shows the word or phrase in context. Recent words include "yettie," a derivative of "yuppie" that denotes a "young, entrepreneurial, tech-based twenty-something," and "retail leakage," which refers to urban residents leaving their own neighborhoods to shop in suburban stores. The site also offers a mailing list for users who want to receive Word Spy via email, a searchable index of previously featured terms, and a specialized lexicon (Tech Word Spy) that contains computer-related and technical terms exclusively. [SW]
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GreenBiz, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, strives to "to harness the power of technology to bring environmental information, resources, and tools to the mainstream business community." The GreenBiz Website contains three main information-rich sections. Business Toolbox includes a collection of reports, briefings, and advice about a variety of aspects of environmental business practices and resources. The Reference Desk section is a directory linking to hundreds of governmental and non-governmental agencies, as well as award listings and an events calendar. Finally, News Center offers top news stories, timely reviews and reports, and columns from a selection of experts. Also highlighted on the site is Green Buzz, a daily log of new Internet resources and news dealing with environmental and business information. [EM]
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Beyond Face Value: Depictions of Slavery in Confederate Currency
Hosted by the United States Civil War Center at Louisiana State University, this new exhibit explores "the relationship between art and politics in the Civil War era" with over 100 digital images of Confederate notes. The images, browseable by state or activity (field scenes, individuals with cotton, sugar plantations, etc.), are accompanied by an overview of the Civil War and brief essays on the Antebellum economy and paper money in the mid-nineteenth century. A bibliography and collection of related links are also provided. [MD]
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Online Investing --
Sponsored by the Wall Street Journal, this site provides a collection of articles offering information and advice on several aspects of online investing. Stemming from a newly published book, Online Investing, by the editors and reporters of the online version of the Wall Street Journal, the site is divided into five "chapters" covering types of online investing, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures and options, and tools of the trade. The articles are well written and offer very basic information for novices looking for sound information and advice on this kind of investing. [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 Economic Discussion Series [.pdf]
A Quantitative Defense of Stabilization Policy
Deriving Inflation Expectations from Nominal and Inflation-Indexed Treasury Yields
On Signal Extraction and Non-Certainty-Equivalence in Optimal Monetary Policy Rules
Have the Doors Opened Wider? Trends in Homeownership by Race and Income

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston Working Papers [.pdf]
Deposit Insurance, Capital Requirements, and Financial Stability

FRB San Francisco Working Papers
Common Shocks and Currency Crises

Other Institutions:
National Bureau of Economic Research
Tariff-Jumping Antidumping Duties
A Framework for Assessing Estate and Gift Taxation
Tax and Subsidy Combinations for the Control of Car Pollution
The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets
Consumption Externalities and Diffusion in Pharmaceutical Markets: Anti-Ulcer Drugs
The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation
Pensions and Contemporary Socioeconomic Change
Estimating the Return of Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems
On the Instability of Variance Decomposition of the Real Exchange Rate Across Exchange-Rate-Regimes: Evidence from Mexico and the United States
Allocating Payroll Tax Revenue to Personal Retirement Accounts to Maintain Social Security Benefits and the Payroll Tax Rate
Quality of Bureaucracy and Open-Economy Macro Policies
Natural Openness and Good Government
Banks, Short Term Debt and Financial Crises: Theory, Policy Implications and Applications
Emerging Equity Markets and Economic Development
Generational Conflict, Human Capital Accumulation, and Economic Growth
Borrowing Constraints and the Returns to Schooling
The Economic Impacts of the Tobacco Settlement
The Boskin Commission Report and its Aftermath
Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol Advertising Bans
The US Economic Model at Y2K: Lodestar for Advanced Capitalism?
Hope for Whom? Financial Aid for the Middle Class and Its Impact on College Attendance
The Political Economy of Race, 1940-1964: The Adoption of State-Level Fair Employment Legislation
"Rain Follows the Plow" and Dryfarming Doctrine: The Climate Information Problem and Homestead Failure in the Upper Great Plains, 1890-1925
Encompassing Tests When No Model Is Encompassing

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Papers [.pdf]
Policy interdependence during economic transition: the case of Slovakia 1999-2000$FILE/00080303.PDF
E-commerce: impacts and policy challenges$FILE/00079760.PDF
The implementation and the effects of regulatory reform: past experience and current issues$FILE/00079753.PDF
The concept, policy use and measurement of structural unemployment: estimating a time varying NAIRU across 21 OECD countries$FILE/00079748.PDF
Options for reforming the Spanish tax system$FILE/00079697.PDF
Economic growth in the OECD area: recent trends at the aggregate and sectoral level$FILE/00079565.PDF
Economic effects of the 1999 Turkish earthquakes: an interim report$FILE/00079545.PDF
Policy influences on economic growth in OECD countries: an evaluation of the evidence$FILE/00079164.PDF

Bank of International Settlements Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems
Survey of Electronic Money Developments
Statistics on Payment Systems in the Group of Ten Countries: Figures for 1998

International Monetary Fund Working Papers [.pdf]
Turkmenistan: The Burden of Current Agricultural Policies
Currency Boards, Credibility, and Macroeconomic Behavior
Aftermath of Banking Crises: Effects on Real and Monetary Variables
The Yen-Dollar Rate: Have Interventions Mattered?
Factor Reallocation and Growth in Developing Countries

Wharton Financial Institutions Center
Are All Scale Economies in Banking Elusive or Illusive: Evidence Obtained by Incorporating Capital Structure and Risk Taking into Models of Bank Production
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB BOG)
The Beige Book
June 14, 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 June 14, 2000 update, in April and May, economic growth continued in all of the Federal Reserve Districts. [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston [.pdf]
New England Economic Indicators
May 2000
New England Economic Indicators, a monthly publication from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, contains articles on subjects including labor market conditions, consumer prices, consumer confidence, and electricity sales. [EM]

FRB Chicago
Detroit FedPoints
May/ June 2000
The May/ June 2000 issue of Detroit FedPoints contains two articles on the automobile industry as well as proceedings from the Electronic Payment Workshop. [EM]

FRB Dallas [.pdf]
Houston Business
June 2000
The June 2000 issue of Houston Business contains the lead article "The Wheel Turns Again: Lessons from the Latest Oil Cycle." [EM]

FRB Minneapolis
The Region
June 2000
FRB Minneapolis's The Region includes a series of articles which attempt to define the New Economy. [EM]

FRB San Francisco [.pdf]
Western Economic Developments
June 2000
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco reports that economic expansion has continued in the past months. During the first part of 2000, the employment growth rate in the Twelfth District rose to 3.6 percent, much higher than the corresponding national rate. [EM]

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
FDIC Consumer News
Summer 2000
The Summer 2000 issue of the FDIC Consumer News gives advice and information on protecting financial privacy, credit cards, and living trusts, as well as the article "When a Criminal's Cover Is Your Identity." [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include the introductory statement by Willem F. Duisenberg, President of the European Central Bank, on the topic of current economic developments and prospects in Europe; a speech on the financial activities in Singapore, given by Lee Hsien Loong, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Deputy Prime minister; and a speech from Jean-Claude Trichet, Governor of the Banque de France, on international financial reforms and euro prospects. [EM]
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Books and Journals

Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Business -- July 2000
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Economics -- July 2000
Baker & Taylor lists business and economics books published in July 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 Health Economics (Vol 19, No 4), Ecological Economics (Vol 34, No 1), Energy Economics (Vol 22, No 4), Journal of Development Economics (Vol 62, No 2), Regional Science and Urban Economics (Vol 30, No 4), Journal of Public Economics (Vol 77, No 2), and Japan and the World Economy (Vol 12, 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]

Bayesian Applications and Methods in Marketing Conference (BAMMCONF)
Columbus, Ohio
November 8-11, 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

Employment Situation: June 2000 -- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
According to this report from the BLS, the unemployment rate for June 2000 remained at 4.0, unchanged from May 2000. Employment in the federal government declined, as 190,000 temporary workers hired for the Census count finished their duties. [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 July 2000 include the Vegetables report. Released five times a year, this report provides data on the fresh vegetables market including "area harvested, prospective area, yield, and production, by season and crop for major states." [EM]
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Federal Financial Interventions & Subsidies in Energy Markets 1999: Energy Transformation & End Use -- Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Focused on the end use of energy and electricity, this report serves as an update to EIA's 1992 Federal Energy Subsidies report and provides estimates of the sizes of current Federal subsidies. [EM]
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In The News

The End of E-business?
1) "Many Dot-com Employees Seeking IPO Windfalls Find Pink Slips Instead" -- Seattle Times
2) Dotcom Failures
3) "Reality Check: The State of E-Commerce" -- E-Commerce Times
4) "Dot-com closures distressing consumers" -- San Francisco Examiner
5) "Party to a Meltdown in Manhattan's 'Silicon Alley'" --
6) "From rags to riches and back: Web craze whipsaws a consultant" --
7) David Talbot Interview -- Fresh Air [RealPlayer]
8) Start-Up Failures
According to Isaac Newton, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This seems to be the case with the dramatic rise and subsequent fall of Internet companies. A quick check of the Dotcom Failures Website shows dozens of brand-name ecommerce businesses dealing with layoffs, lawsuits, and plummeting stock prices. E-businesses from to Salon online magazine have experienced much-publicized layoffs. Since January 2000, more than 5,000 employees of Dot-com companies have been layed off for reasons which, according to a recent Seattle Times article, include the need to "cut costs because of delayed initial public offerings, streamlining operations to become profitable more quickly, consolidating work forces after acquisitions and mergers, and going out of business." However, despite the negative press, analysts believe that, once this process of weeding out and scaling down of Dot-com companies completes its course, e-commerce and e-business will still continue to grow and thrive. The following eight resources provide news, articles, and accounts of the continuing shakedown of e-businesses.

The Seattle Times(1) considers the reasons why so many dot-com employees have been laid off since the beginning of the year. Featured in the June 23, 2000 Scout Report, Dotcom Failures (2) provides a deathwatch for failing Internet businesses. This two-part series from E-Commerce Times(3) analyses the "industry big picture" -- that e-commerce is still alive and thriving. The San Francisco Examiner(4) looks at the ways in which the decline of e-businesses affects consumers. Silicon Valley isn't the only region feeling the dot-com shakedown; the Washington Post(5) reports on the e-business party scene in New York City. The Wall Street Journal(6) details the financial rise and fall of Internet consultant Jeffrey Seiff. Terry Gross of the National Public Radio program Fresh Air (7) interviewed the founder and editor-in-chief of Salon, an online magazine, one week after Salon laid off thirteen of its employees. Billed as the first online community and support group for those who are suffering through a failed start-up, Start-Up Failures (8) features personal stories, articles, and news. [EM]
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