The Scout Report for Business & Economics - August 10, 2000

August 10, 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


Livelihoods Connect
The Department for International Development (DFID), tbe British government agency responsible for promoting economic development and reducing poverty, has created Livelihoods Connect, a Website devoted to "creating sustainable livelihoods to eliminate poverty." Through distance learning materials, traditional online resources, email updates, and online discussions, Livelihoods Connect strives to offer information pertinent and helpful to members of the DFID, those NGOs and consultants working with the DFID, and a host of other NGOs, including the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the International Fund for Agriculture Development. The featured section of the site, Information Resources, offers concise, helpful resources on sustainable livelihoods, including key documents, a Sustainable Livelihood toolbox of draft presentations and project documentation, guidance sheets from the DFID, and distance learning materials. The site also contains information on partnerships and research and an interactive message board. [EM]
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Learning from Clients: Assessment Tools for Microfinance Practitioners -- The SEEP Network [.pdf 1371k]
Published by the Small Enterprise and Education Promotion (SEEP) Network, Learning from Clients: Assessment Tools for Microfinance Practitioners is a 365-page manual addressing the uses of impact assessment tools in microfinance. The manual offers "practical, detailed, step-by-step guidance to interested and committed organizations willing to invest staff time and a moderate amount of financial resources to gain a deeper understanding of their programs." Learning from Clients contains detailed information on five tools: Impact Surveys, Client Exit Surveys, Loan Use Strategies Over Time, Client Satisfaction, and Client Empowerment. It also offers a chapter on the scheduling and budgeting of an impact assessment. The authors of the manual see this document as a draft manual and they welcome comments and suggestions from future users. [EM]
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The National Minimum Wage: The Story So Far -- United Kingdom Low Pay Commission
The National Minimum Wage: The Story So Far is the second report of the United Kingdom Low Pay Commission. The Commission was asked to monitor the results of the implemantation of the National Minimum Wage in April 1999. The first report mainly considered the impact of the National Minimum Wage on 21-year olds. This second report comes after a series of commissioned research projects, surveys, and seminars. Highlighted findings of the report show that "a large number of people have benefited" from the National Minimum Wage. Two-thirds of the beneficiaries are working women, two-thirds of whom work part time. Employment growth in low-paying sectors continued to rise. The main body of the report explains each of the measures taken by the Commission, including the sections "Young People and the Development Rate," "Managing the National Minimum Wage," and "Compliance and Enforcement." Finally, the Commission offers conclusions for this step of the process and explains its next steps. The .pdf format report is well-organized, and the main text of the report is supplemented by a sidebar that highlights important facts and findings. [EM]
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Good Practices in Labour Administration -- ILO
Good Practices in Labour Administration, from the International Labour Organisation, offers a selection of practices and innovations taken from another ILO publication, Labour Administration as a Key Partner in Development: New Organizational and Working Priority, which will be available in November 2000. This site classifies each of the innovations and practices into four categories (labour, employment, labour relations, and evaluation), and offers a series of case studies from countries around the world for each of the categories. For example, under the category Labour: Guarantee of Salaries, Spain is used as a case study for implementing proper labour administration. The examples were studied mainly in 1998 and 1999 and the data reflect that time period. The entire report is available in both French and English. [EM]
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Learning Resources

Guides @,7434,,00.html
This site from (last mentioned in the April 6, 2000 Scout Report for Business & Economics), offers an impressive collection of articles dealing with the many varied aspects of building and running small businesses. The articles cover a broad spectrum of topics related to entrepreneurship, and are organized into seventeen main categories, including Starting a Business, Offices & Operations, E-Commerce, Finance & Capital, Information Technology, and more. Each of the categories is further subdivided into several different areas, to aid users' navigation to topics of particular interest. Author and/or source information is provided for each article, as are, in many cases, additional links to related tools and advice. [SW]
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The Corporate Library
Launched in the summer of 1999 by two long-term partners in Lens Investment Management, this site "is intended to serve as a central repository for research, study and critical thinking about the nature of the modern global corporation, with a special focus on corporate governance and the relationship between company management, their boards and their shareowners." Along with current awareness articles from the staff of The Corporate Library (TCL) and outside sources including Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, CBSMarketWatch, and McKinsey and Co., the site also provides in-depth special reports on CEO Contracts and on Corporate Governance and Performance. The full-text of Power and Accountability, the book written by The Corporate Library's founders Robert AG Monks and Nell Minow, is also available free of charge. In addition, users may search the entire TCL catalog, which includes 25 years' worth of articles emphasizing the best practices in a variety of areas including disclosure and governance and corporate standing. [EM]
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Bond Investing
Provided by (see the May 20, 1999 Scout Report for Business & Economics), this quick and easy yet thorough guide takes readers through the process of developing a bond portfolio. At the site, users will find help on deciding how much to invest in bonds, how to divide their portfolio, and tips on investing for both income and profit. First, however, visitors might want to wet their feet in the bond primer section, which covers all the basics, explains the yield curve, offers a calculator and glossary, and throws in "ten things your broker won't tell you about bonds" for good measure. [MD]
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Provided by the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Institute, EurasiaNet is a new daily news and analytic service that covers Central Asia and the Caucasus; it also monitors developments in Russia, the Middle East and Southwest Asia that bear on this region. Features include Today's Wires, which consolidates numerous stories from various outside sources and organizes them by nation; Eurasia Insight, Environment, and Business & Economics, three collections of analytical articles on various issues in the region; a regional datebook; and resource pages for each of the countries covered, which include basic facts, the latest news, and related links. EurasiaNet also offers book reviews, interviews, human rights articles, an election watch, and a discussion forum. Users can also sign up to receive a weekly bulletin by email. Well-designed and quite comprehensive, this impressive site will find ready use among scholars, students, and journalists interested in Central Asia and the Caucasus. [MD]
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General Interest

60 Days to Launch: The Anatomy of an Internet Startup [Quicktime 4]
This new Website features a daily video diary of the conception of an Internet start-up company,, a commercial website designed to help small businesses use the Internet more effectively (does this feel like gazing at the Internet's navel to anyone besides me?). While went online in April, 60 Days to Launch launched in July, posting a daily episode counting down the sixty-days to's start-up. Visitors can view today's video entry as well as access all the past entries. The segments are about one to two minutes long (four to five megabytes) and are well-edited to try to maximize the sense of "being there" within the short daily window the filmmakers have. Visitors get a peek at real Internet geeks brainstorming, conferencing, schmoozing, designing databases, sharing office gossip, and more. The filmmakers are much more interested in the look and feel of an Internet start-up rather than the "nuts and bolts." So this is no tutorial, but it's a fascinating bit of contemporary anthropology. Visitors will need to have Quicktime 4 downloaded and may experience waits of up to 3 minutes for individual downloads. The segments come in three different resolutions, allowing users to choose the one most appropriate for their connection capabilities. [DC]
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Science, Tobacco, and You -- AdSmart
This brief primer on advertising literacy provides the basic know-how to teach how and why advertising works. Along with three short lessons on the history of advertising, AdSmart also offers an excellent introduction to evaluating advertising. According to AdSmart, all advertisements include four elements: attention, interest, desire, and action, or AIDA for short. A successful ad will grab a viewer's attention, perk his or her interest, create a desire for the product, and the viewer will take the action to go out and actually purchase the item or serivce. AdSmart also explains the ways that buzzwords such as "virtually," "help," and "new and improved" are used to mislead audiences. Finally, these and other lessons and tips are applied to the advertising of the tobacco industry. This fascinating look at advertising is sure to "help" open the eyes of "virtually" all consumers. [EM]
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Independent Means
Recent awareness of the need for girls and women to gain confidence in the arena of finance has sparked organizations like Independent Means, a Santa Barbara-based Website co-sponsored by Charles Schwab and Fleet Small Business Services. Independent Means' mission is to provide products and services for girls' financial independence. Features of the site include Independence Hall, a collection of lively, teen-oriented news clips about saving and investing, Just Ask Her, an online forum where girls can talk to financial role models, as well as numerous links, news, and announcements of competitions and conferences. The site also provides links to information about community resources organized by Independent Means. For example, Camp $tartUp is a program to help thirteen- to nineteen-year olds learn business and leadership skills. Club Invest is an intimate three-day workshop where teenage girls can identify their personal goals, values, and financial risk profile and learn how these relate to investment options and strategies. The online store offers books, games and videos designed to capture the interest of girls and teens learning money-smarts. This information-rich site is an excellent resource both for girls and for their adult mentors. [HCS]
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Workplace Issues Today email news service -- Catherwood Library
Subscription information
Created and maintained by reference librarians at the Catherwood Library at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Workplace Issues Today (WIT) (first reviewed in the April 22, 1999 Scout Report for Business and Economics) is now available by email subscription, as well as on the Catherwood Library Website. WIT is a daily compilation of three or four key news articles from major English language periodicals. Published on weekday mornings, WIT offers excellent coverage of important workplace and labor relations stories; recent issues have included articles on workers' compensation, job offer deliberation, and paid vacation time in Europe. Each weekday, subscribers receive abstracts to these articles which link directly from the email to the full-text of the new stories. WIT is also available on the Web, complete with a full-text searchable archive. [EM]
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Current Awareness
(For links to additional current awareness on tables of contents, abstracts, preprints, new books, data, conferences, etc., visit the The Scout Report for Business & Economics Current Awareness Metapage:

Working Papers

Federal Reserve Board of Governors Finance and Economics Discussion Series
Did U.S. Bank Supervisors Get Tougher During the Credit Crunch? Did They Get Easier During the Banking Boom? Did It Matter to Bank Lending?
Do Minimum Wages Raise the NAIRU?
Efficiency Barriers to the Consolidation of the European Financial Services Industry
The Integration of the Financial Services Industry: Where are the Efficiencies?
A Guide to the Use of Chain Aggregated NIPA Data

Federal Reserve System: [.pdf]
FRB Minneapolis Discussion Papers
Knowledge Exchange, Matching, and Agglomeration
FRB St. Louis Working Papers
The Role of a CAMEL Downgrade Model in Bank Surveillance
Do Depositors Care About Enforcement Actions?
New Economy New Policy Rules?
A Vector Error-Correction Forecasting Model of the U.S. Economy
The temporal pattern of trading rule returns and central bank intervention
NAFTA and the Geography of North American Trade

National Bureau of Economic Research
Explaining the Border Effect: The Role of Exchange Rate Variability, Shipping Costs, and Geography
Rebels, Conformists, Contrarians and Momentum Traders
Is Mobility of Technical Personnel a Source of R&D Spillovers?
Does the "New Economy" Measure up to the Great Inventions of the Past?
Enrollee Mix, Treatment Intensity, and Cost in Competing Indemnity and HMO Plans
Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools
Social Security and Retirement
The Razor's Edge: Distortions and Incremental Reform in the People's Republic of China
Capital Gains Holding Periods and Equity Trading: Evidence from the 1998 Tax Act

Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy Working Papers
Note on "Venture Capital"
Governance and Politics of the Internet Economy--Historical Transformation or Ordinary Politics with a New Vocabulary?
The Political Economy of Open Source Software
International Cooperation and the Logic of Networks: Europe and the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM)

Bank of International Settlements Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Working Papers
Internal audit in banking organisations and the relationship of the supervisory authorities with internal and external auditors
Summary of responses received on the report "Credit Risk Modelling: Current Practices and Applications"

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Papers
Regulation, market structure and performance in air passenger transportation$FILE/00081452.PDF

Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper Series in Business Administration
Terminal Value Techniques in Equity Valuation - Implications of the Steady State Assumption
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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, although economic growth has begun to slow, districts throughout the US continue to see some growth. [EM]

FRB Atlanta
Second Quarter 2000
EconSouth a quarterly publication from FRB Atlanta offers the cover story "A Wealth Effect," which covers the soaring consumer spending in the United States. [EM]

FRB Boston
Regional Review
First Quarter 2000
The first quarter 2000 edition of Regional Review from FRB Boston features an article dealing with the problem of urban sprawl. [EM]

FRB Chicago
Detroit FedPoints
July/August 2000
According to the July/August issue of Detroit FedPoints from FRB Chicago, sales of cars and light trucks decreased from the incredibly high rate of 18.2 million units in the first quarter 2000 to 17.1 million in the second quarter. [EM]

FRB Cleveland
Economic Review [.pdf]
2nd Quarter 2000
The second quarterly installment of Economic Review from FRB Cleveland contains the report Understanding the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level, by Lawrence J. Christiano and Terry J. Fitzgerald. [EM]

FRB Dallas
Southwest Economy
July/August 2000
The July/August 2000 issue of Southwest Economy focuses on the effects of rising oil prices on the US economy. [EM]

FRB Minneapolis
Quarterly Review
Spring 2000
FRB Minneapolis's Quarterly Review's Spring 2000 issue consists of two articles: "The Suffolk Bank and the Panic of 1837" and "Learning to Be Unpredictable: An Experimental Study." [EM]

FRB St. Louis
Regional Economist
July 2000
The July 2000 issue of Regional Economist contains the lead article "Inside the Briefcase: The Art of Predicting the Federal Reserve." [EM]

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Banking Review
Vol. 13, No. 1, 2000
This issue of Banking Review from the FDIC contains articles on the European Union and on recent developments in depository banking. [EM]

United States International Trade Commission
International Economic Review
June/July 2000
The June/July edition of International Economic Review from the USITC includes a special report on the World Trade Organization. [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include the August 2, 2000 speech given by Donald T. Brash, Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, which deals with the Reserve Bank and the current rise in inflation, and a speech by Koh Yong Guan, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which was delivered on July 27, 2000 at the MAS Annual Report 1999/2000 Media Conference. [EM]
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Books and Journals

Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Business -- August 2000
Baker & Taylor Latest Books in Economics -- January 2000
Baker & Taylor lists business and economics books published in August 2000. [EM]

Econbase -- Elsevier
The abstracts, tables of contents, and in some cases full-text, of over 60 journals are now available online, including the following: Journal of Development Economics (Vol 62, No 2), Journal of Econometrics, (Vol 99, No 1), Journal of Accounting and Economics (Vol 28, No 2), The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance (Vol 40, No 1), and Journal of Socio-Economics (Vol 29, No 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. [EM]

2nd Conference of French Health Economists - "Dynamics of Innovation in Health"
Paris, France
February 1, 2001 - February 2, 2001

RFF Conference on Economics of Resistance
Washington, DC
April 5, 2001 to April 6, 2001
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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

Consolidated international banking statistics -- Bank for International Settlements
BIS announces that its consolidated banking data will now be released on a quarterly basis. Also, banking data from two new countries, Hong Kong and Portugal, have now been added. [EM]
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Personal Income, June 2000 -- Bureau of Economic Analysis
According to the newest statistical release from the BEA, in June 2000, personal income increased 0.4 percent, or by $32.8 billion. In May 2000, personal income increased by 0.3 percent, or $27.1 billion. [EM]
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Worker Displacement, 1995-97 -- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Thirty-three million workers were displaced from jobs they had held for at least three years, from January 1997 through December 1999. This number is roughly equivalent to the level of job losses covered in a survey that measured worker displacement from January 1995 through December 1997. [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 August 2000 include the weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin and the Export Sales Report. [EM]
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In The News

Twenty-eight states file lawsuit against the record industry
1) "Big Labels Accused of Fixing CD Prices" -- Washington Post
2) "U.S. states sue Big Music" -- CNN
3) "States: Labels Fixed CD Prices" -- Wired News,1283,38103,00.html
4) "EMI dismisses price-fixing claim" -- BBC
5) Spitzer Announces Price-Fixing Lawsuit Against Major Record Companies and Retailers -- Offices of New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
6) Text of the Suit Filed by Spitzer [.pdf]
7) Illegal Business Practices -- Federal Trade Commission
8) Glossary of Anti-Trust Terms
On Tuesday, August 8, 2000, 28 states, including New York and Florida, banded together to file a federal lawsuit against five of the largest record companies and three major music retailers, accusing them of fixing the prices of compact discs. The lawsuit charges the music companies Tower Records, Sony, BMG, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music with inflating the price of CDs by as much as $2, according to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. This suit comes on the heels of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission that concluded that the companies' pricing policies had led to higher CD prices. However, unlike the FTC investigation, which settled for ending the price fixing, the states' suit is asking for damages. According to the FTC, American consumers may have paid as much as $480 million more than they should have for CDs over the past two-and-a-half years. At the center of the lawsuit is the Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) Program, a program in which music producers pay a certain amount of the costs to advertise an album, and record stores agree to sell the album at or above a set price.

CNN (1) and the Washington Post(2) offer excellent overviews of the lawsuit filed by the 28 states, as well as background for the case. Wired News's coverage of the lawsuit (3) gives an in-depth explanation of the Minimum Advertised Price Program. The BBC (4) reports that EMI, one of the record companies named in the lawsuit, does not believe it has done anything illegal. This press release (5) from New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer gives a short synopsis of the lawsuit, and links to a .pdf version of the 36-page suit itself (6), which offers first-hand explanations of the complaints from the 28 states. The Federal Trade Commission's guide to Illegal Business Practices (7) explains several key issues in vertical and horizontal agreements. Created by Charles E. Mueller, editor-in-chief of the Antitrust Law and Economics Review, this glossary (8) gives thoughtful definitions for a large collection of anti-trust terms. [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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