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

July 27, 2000

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

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

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

In This Issue


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News


Developing Countries: Debt Relief Initiative for Poor Countries Facing Challenges -- United States General Accounting Office [.pdf]
Released in June 2000, this 184-page report from the General Accounting Office reviews the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative. Originally undertaken by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in 1996 as a way of providing financial relief to the most indebted countries in the world, the initiative was enhanced in September 1999 as a response to the continuing vulnerability of these countries. According to this report, the initiative "will provide significant debt relief . . . with the debt for six of the seven countries the GAO analyzed projected to be reduced be one-third or more. However, given the continued fragility of these countries, the initiative is not likely to provide recipients with a lasting exit from their debt problems, unless they achieve strong, sustained economic growth." For more information on the Debt Initiative for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries, see the August 27, 1999 Scout Report. [EM]
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Agriculture: Towards 2015/30, Technical Interim Report, April 2000 -- Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations [.pdf]
This interim report from the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations (FAO) offers "the latest forward assessment by the FAO of possible future developments in world food, nutrition and agriculture, including the crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries sectors." The full report will be completed in the first part of 2002. Some of the main findings of this report include that the 1995/1997 estimated incidence of undernourishment in developing countries was 790 million people, representing eighteen percent of these countries's populations, which is less than the 830 million in 1990/1992. The projected estimate for food demand for per caput food consumption (kcal/person/day) for different commodities will "grow significantly." In 2015, the world average is projected to approach 3,000 kcal, and in 2030, should exceed 30,000 kcal. Agriculture: Towards 2015/30 is available in its entirety online. However, each chapter must be downloaded separately in .pdf format. [EM]
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Guide to the International Banking Statistics -- Bank for International Settlements [.pdf]
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has created this 94-page guide to international banking statistics in order to "provide reporting countries with definitions and guidelines for the reporting of data; secondly, to give a detailed account of current country practices regarding the coverage and disaggregation of the reported data." The Guide itself is broken into three parts. Part I, "Guidelines to the locational banking statistics," offers the guidelines, followed by "tables on reporting requirements and country practices." Part II focuses on the guidelines to the consolidated banking statistics. The report also contains a glossary of terms and several appendices. Users are encouraged to read the helpful introduction, which describes and explains the information found within the Guide. [EM]
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Two from the Hoover Institution
Russian Economy [.pdf]
Campaign Finance
The first of these two sites, both launched in early June, is offered by Michael S. Bernstam and Alvin Rabushka, fellows at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. It features the full text of their book, Fixing Russia's Banks, and the first four chapters of their current work in progress, From Predation to Prosperity: Breaking Up Enterprise Network Socialism in Russia. The former is offered in both HTML and .pdf formats, while the latter is currently available only in .pdf format. New chapters and related materials will be added to the site on a regular basis. The second site contains a number of resources, primarily essays, articles, and op-ed pieces, related to various facets of campaign finance, its history, and reform proposals. As a whole, the site serves as a solid backgrounder to the issues and should interest a wide range of readers. [MD]
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Global Poverty Report -- World Bank [.pdf]
According to this report stemming from the July 2000 Okinawa Summit, 1.2 billion people are estimated to live on less than $1 per day, and nearly 3 billion people, worldwide, live on less than $2 a day. This 23-page report examines the roles which the World Bank, IMF, and Multilateral Development Banks play "at the country level, where they provide policy advice, and financial and technical support for long-term country-driven programs, as well as support to deal with shocks." The first chapter of the report considers global poverty issues and trends, while the second chapter looks at poverty on a regional scale. Finally, the third chapter reports on possible ways these organizations can work together to combat poverty. [EM]
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Learning Resources
Designed as a one-stop information source for economists and economics students, offers an information-rich collection of economics resources. One of the highlights of the site, the research section, includes a vast collection of links to tried-and-true resources from organizations including the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Reserve System, and the United Nations. The links are sensibly organized for browsing, and can also be searched by keyword. Economicsearch also contains several tutorials and a Gazette of research and opinion pieces on topics including the Asia Crisis and the Microsoft monopoly. Interested users will want to subscribe to the weekly electronic newsletter EconNews for the latest economics-related news. [EM]
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Electronic Commerce Resource Center
Based in Bremerton, Washington, the Electric Commerce Resource Center (ECRC) offers a collection of news, research, and ecommerce information links in a standard Yahoo!-esque directory format. Aimed at audiences from experts and professionals to novices, the ECRC's clearinghouse of information is organized into broad categories such Web development, government resources, and legal issues. Hot Information, a section on the right side of the screen, offers quick access to information including manufacturing resources, business management, and technology reviews. All in all, the ECRC offers an excellent collection of ecommerce resources in a traditional format which is very easy to navigate. [EM]
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Handbook of Econometrics Vols. 1-4 [.pdf]
The first four volumes of the Handbook of Econometrics, a forthcoming textbook edited by Zvi Griliches and Michael D. Intriligator, are now available online. Part One covers mathematical and statistical methods in econometrics, econometric models, and estimation and computation. Volume Two includes sections on testing, time series topics, and special topics in econometrics. Special topics continue in Volume Three, along with a discussion of selected applications and uses of econometrics. Finally, the fourth volume covers econometric theory and theory and methods of dependent processors. The full text of each chapter may be downloaded in .pdf format. [EM]
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Digital Commerce Center
The goal of the Digital Commerce Center is to help "businesses compete in the new world of digital commerce through an understanding and application of digital technology, information and media." Created and maintained by EC2, a start-up incubator based at the University of Southern California, the Digital Commerce Center offers an extensive collection of resources and information. The resources are divided into seven sections including Internet Advertising, Media Convergence, and Small Business Advisor, and all sections and subsections are thoughtfully annotated. [EM]
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Agrimine [.pdf]
Created with the European agribusiness industry in mind, this site will also prove useful to researchers and other users studying agriculture and business. Presented in both English and French, the front page offers numerous links to breaking agriculture stories around the world, a what's new listing, and links to the site's five Agrifiles. The Agrifiles provide links to both full-text reports (some in .pdf format) and related sites in the fields of Biotechnology, Marketing, Food Safety, Precision Farming, and Agricultural Policy. Other resources at the site include links to prices, analyses, and statistics from international commodity markets; a European weather overview; an event notebook; and links to selected databases. [MD]
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General Interest

"Special report: To b-to-b, or not to b-to-b?" -- UpsideToday
New from UpsideToday, a digital business information magazine, "Special Report: To b-to-b, or not to b-to-b?" explores the growing importance of business-to-business (b-to-b) Websites and businesses. This collection of articles about the b-to-b phenomenon includes editorials from analysts and interviews with industry leaders such as Ken Fox of Internet Capitol Group, Battery Ventures's Dave Tabors, and AtVentures managing director Jon Callagan. An assortment of business profiles include BizBuyer, Ventro, and LiveCapital. Finally, several accompanying articles cover b-to-b lingo, predictions for the coming year, and b-to-b FAQs. [EM]
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Telecommuting --
Catherine A. Roseberry, a veteran telecommuter, has put together an impressive collection of resources in support of telecommuters for In the Spotlight offers feature articles dealing with a variety of aspects of telecommuting. Most articles are followed by discussion questions. In order to participate in the discussions, users must first complete a free registration. Essentials contains a far-reaching assortment of links, news, and information, including a list of job functions best suited for telecommuting, telecommuting-friendly companies, and an excellent Telecommuting Quick Index of annotated telecommuting links. This site offers a wealth of information for those interested in telecommuting, as well as support for those already working away from the office. [EM]
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Ecomp Executive Compensation Database
The Ecomp Executive Compensation Database allows users to research the compensation and net-worth of executives. Users may search the database by company name or ticker symbol, as well as by state, sector, and industry pull-down menus. Search returns list compensation summaries for the top executives, including salary, bonus, and total compensation. Clicking on the executive's name will give a more detailed summary, including restricted stock, LTIP payouts, and value realized for options exercised. All numbers are for 1999. [EM]
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Unleashing the Idea Virus [.pdf]
"Unleash Your Ideavirus" -- Fast Company
The best selling author of Permission Marketing, Seth Godin is offering his new book Unleashing the Idea Virus for free download in its entirety. In this new book, Godin explores the concept of "ideaviruses," or those ideas or trends that seem spread entirely by word of mouth. New ideas are driving the New Economy, and those "ideas that spread the fastest win." Godin predicts that word of mouth, which is faster, easier to launch, and more effective than traditional marketing strategies, will soon become the preferred way to market new ideas and brand products. Godin, launching his own ideavirus, has decided to release his book for free with the hope that some people who download a portion of his book will then purchase a hard copy. Fast Company features an article by Godin, summarizing the ideavirus concept. [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 (FRB BOG) Finance and Economic Discussion Series
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
Deposit Insurance, Capital Requirements, and Financial Stability

FRB Minneapolis Staff Papers
Rewarding Sequential Innovators: Prizes, Patents and Buyouts
Knowledge Diffusion through Employee Mobility
Growth and Business Cycles
Re-Examining the Contributions of Money and Banking Shocks to the U.S. Great Depression

FRB San Francisco Working Papers
Inequality and Poverty in the United States: The Effects of Changing Family Behavior and Rising Wage Dispersion
Common Shocks and Currency Crises

FRB St. Louis Working Papers
Do Real Exchange Rates have Autoregressive Unit Roots? A test under the alternative of long Memory and breaks
Aging, Myopia and the Pay-as-you-go Public Pension Systems of the G7: A Bright Future?

Other Institutions:
Economics of Industrial Pollution Control Research Project Related Papers
Market Responses to Interindustry Wage Differentials
Winning Isn't Everything: Corruption in Sumo Wrestling
Looking for Contagion: Evidence from the ERM
On the Gains to International Trade in Risky Financial Assets
Country Portfolios
When Unions "Mattered": Assessing the Impact of Strikes on Financial Markets, 1925-1937
Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?
Dollarization of Liabilities: Underinsurance and Domestic Financial Underdevelopment
Bequests as Signals: An Explanation for the Equal Division Puzzle
Consumer City
Hospital Ownership and Public Medical Spending
Product Prices and the OECD Cycle
Simon S. Kuznets: April 30, 1901-July 9, 1985
Building the IPO Order Book: Underpricing and Participation Limits With Costly Information
The Dynamics of Car Sales: A Discrete Choice Approach
Land, Labor and Globalization in the Pre-Industrial Third World

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Papers
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 Working Papers
Evidence on the response of US banks to changes in capital requirements

International Monetary Fund Working Papers
Global Financial Crises: Institutions and Incentives
The Impact of Intersectoral Labor Reallocation on Economic Growth
Do Asset Prices in Transition Countries Contain Information About Future Economic Activity?
Indonesia: Implementing National Policies in a Decentralized Context - Special Purpose Programs to Protect the Poor
International Spillovers of Macroeconomic Shocks: A Quantitative Exploration
Globalization and Catching-Up: From Recession to Growth in Transition Economies
Real Exchange Rates and Productivity: Closed-Form Solutions and Some Empirical Evidence
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 2000 Working Paper Series
Are All Scale Economies in Banking Elusive or Illusive: Evidence Obtained by Incorporating Capital Structure and Risk Taking into Models of Bank Production

Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
A Combinatorial Approach to Piecewise Linear Time Series Analysis
Influence Costs and Hierarchy
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Federal Reserve Bulletin
July 2000
The Federal Reserve Board of Governors's monthly publication Federal Reserve Bulletin contains the article "The Effects of Recent Mortgage Refinancing," which analyzes the results of a 1999 Federal Reserve survey on consumers and refinancing.

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Atlanta [.pdf]
Economic Review
Second Quarter, 2000
The second issue of the quarterly periodical Economic Review from FRB Atlanta contains the articles "Bank Loan-Loss Accounting: A Review of Theoretical and Empirical Evidence" and "Central Bank Forecasting: An International Comparison." [EM]

FRB Boston
Bank Notes
July 2000
A monthly publication of the Research Department of FRB Boston, Bank Notes is a digest of finance news and information for New England. [EM]

FRB Chicago
Detroit FedPoints
According to the May/ June issue of Detroit FedPoints, car sales continue at a strong, steady pace, despite the high price of gasoline. [EM]

FRB Cleveland
Economic Trends
July 2000
The July 2000 issue of Economic Trends from FRB Cleveland offers updates on poverty rates, regional conditions, and inflation and prices. [EM]

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

FRB New York
Current Issues in Economics and Finance
July 2000
The July 2000 issue of Current Issues in Economics and Finance consists of the article "Understanding the Recent Behavior of U.S. Inflation." [EM]

FRB Philadelphia [.pdf]
Business Review
July/August 2000
"Financial Modernization: Vastly Different or Fundamentally the Same?" and "Economics and the New Economy: The Invisible Hand meets Creative Destruction" are the two articles that make up the July/ August issue of Business Review from FRB Philadelphia. [EM]

FRB San Francisco
_Western Economic Developments
June 2000
According to the June 2000 edition of FRB San Francisco's Western Economic Developments, the employment growth rate continues to soar at 3.6 percent, far above the national employment growth rate. [EM]

FRB St. Louis [.pdf]
Monetary Trends
July 2000
Monetary Trends, a monthly publication from FRB St. Louis, provides a series of short articles on subjects including interest rates, bank credits, and measures of expected inflation. [EM]

Federal Deposit Finance Corporation (FDIC)
FDIC Consumer News
Summer 2000
The Summer 2000 issue of FDIC Consumer News offers an excellent article on ID theft, "When a Criminal's Cover Is Your Identity." [EM]

International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Finance and Development
June 2000
Finance and Development, a monthly publication of the IMF, contains four articles about corruption in its June 2000 edition. [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
International Banking and Financial Market Developments
June 2000
According to this issue of International Banking and Financial Market Development, equity markets, especially those trading technology stocks, marked the first several months of this year as "a period of heightened market volatility." [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 Review of Law and Economics (Vol 20, No 1), Structural Change and Economic Dynamics (Vol 10, No 3-4), International Review of Economics and Finance (Vol 9, No 2), Journal of Public Economics (Vol 77, No 2), International Journal of Forecasting (Vol 16, No 2), Journal of Accounting and Economics (Vol 28, No 2), and Insurance Mathematics and Economics (Vol 26, No 2-3). [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 2002 Joint Statistics Meeting, held in New York, New York, August 11-15, 2002, and the 2001 North American Summer Meeting of the Econometric Society, in College Park, Maryland, June 21-24, 2001. [EM]

American Economic Association Annual Meeting
New Orleans, Louisiana
January 5-7, 2001

Australasian Economic and Maritime History Conference
Wollongong, Australia
December 1-3, 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

State Personal Income, First Quarter 2000 -- Bureau of Economic Analysis
In the first quarter of this year, Vermont led the country in fastest personal income growth, with a rise of 2.9 percent, followed by North Carolina (2.6 percent), Alaska (2.5 percent), and Georgia (2.4 percent). North Dakota led the declines with a personal income growth of -2.7 percent. [EM]
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Regional and State Employment and Unemployment, June 2000 -- Bureau of Labor Statistics
The June 2000 Regional and State Employment and Unemployment from the BLS show virtually no change from May 2000. Forty-five states registered employment shifts less than 0.3 percent. The national jobless rate remained at 4.0 percent. [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 Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin. [EM]
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Libya Country Analysis Brief -- Energy Information Administration (EIA)
This report from the EIA offers up-to-date information and statistics on Libya's energy sector. Export oil revenues account for almost 95 percent of the country's hard currency earnings. These have been sharply hurt by the reduction in oil exports and production, due in part, to the US and UN sanctions against Libya. [EM]
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In The News

Diamond Industry Resolves to Ban "Conflict Diamonds"
1) "Diamond Trade in Pact to Stop 'Conflict Gems'" -- Reuters
2) "Diamond leaders in pact to ban 'conflict gems' funding African wars" --
3) "EU proposes ban on Sierra Leone conflict diamonds" --
4) "Dirty Diamonds Dilemma" --
5) "State and De Beers Battle Over Stockpile" -- Daily Mail and Guardian
6) Conflict Diamonds -- Global Witness [.pdf, 1388k]
7) War and Diamonds -- Talk of the Nation [RealPlayer]
8) "Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?" -- Atlantic Monthly
9) Diamond News
The 29th World Diamond Congress met last week from July 16 to July 19 in Antwerp, Belgium where the issue of "conflict diamonds," diamonds mined from warring countries including Sierra Leone and Angola, was the dominating topic. Conflict diamonds have fueled and funded wars in these countries, as well as led to the murder and mutilation of thousands of people. These conflict diamonds are estimated to account for four percent of $6.8 billion diamond production industry. On July 19, at the end of the Congress, a resolution was introduced by International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, which calls for an international system of certifying gemstones's origins, as well as a registry to monitor the sales, imports, and exports of the precious stones. The resolution was unanimously endorsed, including the approval of De Beers, the diamond trader that controls 60 percent of the entire diamond supply. The IDMA and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses believe that these measures will be implemented by the end of the year.

Reuters (1) offers an excellent overview on the history and ramifications of the diamond trade's ban on diamonds from warring countries.'s (2) coverage of the diamond traders's ban on conflict gems focuses on the resolution put forth by the International Diamond Manufacturers Association and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses. This short brief from (3) reports that the European Union has also joined forces to support the UN-sanctioned ban on conflict diamonds. (4) explains De Beers's refusal to return a large stockpile of diamonds to South Africa. Global Witness, a human rights watchdog, released this 44-page document (6) outlining "recommendations for a global diamond certifications and verification system to be monitored by an independent diamond verification organisation and to be backed up by industry self-regulation and government legislation." This hour-long discussion (7) with Alex Vines, Senior Researcher at Human Rights Watch, and Carola Hays, United Nations Correspondent for the Financial Times, considers the economics, politics, and history of the diamond industry in Africa. Although this three-part Atlantic Monthly article (8) dates back to 1992, it is a valuable primer to the history of the diamond trade. Diamond News (9) offers news, information, and insight into the world of diamonds, including cutting, mining, and trading of these precious gemstones. [EM]
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The Scout Report for Business & Economics is published every other Thursday by the Internet Scout Project, located in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Computer Sciences.

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