The Scout Report for Business & Economics - August 24, 2000

August 24, 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


International Regulation Database -- OECD [.pdf, Excel, Access]
Created and maintained by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Regulation Database is a "comprehensive internationally-comparable set of information about the state of regulation and market structures in OECD countries." The contents of the database are derived primarily from an ad hoc questionnaire that was given to OECD member countries in 1998. The database contains over 1,100 variables for each country and includes both broad regulations dealing with product markets, such as "state control of business enterprises" and international trade and investment barriers, as well as sector-specific regulations for areas such as telecommunications, retail distribution, and electricity supply. The database must be downloaded to users's computers, and is offered in both Access and Excel versions. An eleven-page, detailed description of the database's contents, structure, and use is also available, as is a Users' Guide, which offers step-by-step instructions for manipulating the Access database. [EM]
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A Comparison of Food Assistance Programs in Mexico and the United States -- Economic Research Service [.pdf, 183K]
The Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture presents this 35-page report, which considers the similarities and differences between targeted food assistance programs in the United States and Mexico. The United States, for example, relies completely on household targeting in order to distribute food assistance benefits, while Mexico uses a combination of household and geographic targeting. The study also found that food assistance programs had a much greater effect on the extent of poverty in the US than in Mexico, mainly due to the fact that "a much higher percentage of eligible households received benefits from food assistance in the United States." The report closely examines major food assistance programs in both countries, including LICONSA, DICONA, and FIDELIST in Mexico, and the Food Stamp Program, WIC, National School Lunch and Breakfast programs, and Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations in the US. The study also concluded that because poverty in the US is concentrated in specific geographic areas, such as Appalachia, on Indian reservations, and in the rural deep South, the US might benefit from using Mexico's geographic methods of distributing food assistance. [EM]
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"Growth May Be Good for the Poor - But are IMF and World Bank Policies Good for Growth?" -- Center for Economic and Policy Research
This short paper critiques a publication of the World Bank's Development Research Group entitled Growth Is Good for the Poor. The original report concluded that "growth generally does benefit the poor and that anyone who cares about the poor should favor the growth-enhancing policies of good rule of law, fiscal discipline, and openness to international trade." By way of critique, this report considers the reasons why economic growth has slowed dramatically over the past two decades, and examines the ways in which IMF and World Bank policies may be accountable for this decline in economic growth. The paper offers several examples to support its assertions, and also notes some discrepancies in the original report's research. Presented in HTML format, the paper includes several supporting appendices, as well as a helpful bibliography and footnotes. [EM]
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Poverty in Africa -- World Bank
This extensive site from World Bank offers an ongoing look at poverty in Africa and the ways in which World Bank continues to monitor it. The Africa Household Survey Database (AHSD) is featured on the site, and holds, at present, 106 completed surveys from 36 countries. The surveys in the database include Labor Force Surveys, Household Budget Surveys, Demographic and Health Surveys, Population and Housing Censuses, and more. Poverty in Africa also contains several other sections that support the AHSD, including explanations of the ways in which poverty levels are monitored and measured. Related resources offered at the site include links to Websites from other NGOs and academic sources, as well as information on the World Bank's partners in Africa, such as the African National Statistics Offices. [EM]
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Learning Resources

Draft Guidelines for Public Debt Management
Presented by the staff of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Draft Guidelines for Public Debt Management "are designed to assist policymakers in considering reforms to strengthen the quality of their public debt management and reduce their country's vulnerability to international financial shocks." These loose guidelines are aimed at a wide range of countries at various levels of development and with varying economic structures, and they strive to include consideration of both domestic and external public debt. The Discussion section of the Guidelines includes coverage of such topics as risk management, debt management, and transparency and accountability, and presents its information in terms of frameworks and strategies. The final draft of the Guidelines for Public Debt Management will probably be available in the middle part of 2001. [EM]
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Historical Statistics on Banking -- FDIC [.pdf]
Historical Statistics on Banking (HSOB), from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, "provides annual statistical information on the banking industry beginning in 1934." The site contains commercial banking reports, savings institution reports, and bank and thrift failure reports from 1934 to 1999. The Milestones feature offers a chronological retrospective on the FDIC's collection and use of data. Although the database is fairly easy to use, the HSOB Help section contains additional detailed instructions on saving and printing charts, and also offers a helpful glossary of terms used. [EM]
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Risk Management Special Report -- FinanceWise
FinanceWise's Special Report on Risk Management is a fully abstracted directory of online risk management resources. Along with annotated links to 300 risk management Websites, a large collection of full-text magazine and journal articles is also included. For those especially interested in risk management, FinanceWise provides RiskBrief, a free current awareness e-newsletter, as well as a selection of recommended news and discussion groups. Special Report on Risk Management will be a welcome bookmark for users interested in staying current on the trends and literature of risk management. [EM]
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Industry Tutor
From the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida, Industry Tutor offers a ten-step guide to industry intelligence. The steps begin with "Identify the Industry" and conclude with "Use the Industries Subject Guide." Each step is about a paragraph long and is filled with hyperlinked resources that will best help users complete each step. For example, Step Three, "Find Current News and In-Depth Articles about the Industry" includes links to CNNfn and, as well as other resources. Unfortunately, some of the resources given may only be used by University of Florida library patrons. However, the tutor does collect some of the best free online sources available and recommends ways to use them efficiently. [EM]
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General Interest

Online Glossary of Research Economics
Peter B. Meyer of the Economics Department at Northwestern University has created this searchable glossary of research economics terms. The glossary is meant to be used like a dictionary: users type in research terms they don't understand, and hopefully, the term will be among the Online Glossary of Research Economics's over 1,000 entries. Typing "help" into the search field will provide a list of relevant economics categories, each of which contains a directory of related terms; terms are also browseable by alphabetical order in the "downloadable contents" section. The How and Why of this Site section offers advice on how best to use the glossary, as well as explaining some of the internal structures. Meyer sees this project as a work-in-progress and invites users to suggest entries and offer feedback. [EM]
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The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: A New Frontier in Financial Services -- FRB San Francisco
This online brochure from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco provides a detailed explanation of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which was signed into law in November 1999. This Act "permits banks, insurance companies, securities firms, and other financial institutions to affiliate under common ownership and offer their customers a complete range of financial services." The Act also created functional regulation of subsidiaries of financial holding companies (FHCs) and named the Federal Reserve as the umbrella supervisor of the Act. The brochure is divided into four pages and is easy to navigate. Along with an overview of the Act, the brochure also offers an extended section on Criteria to be a FHC [and] Expanded Powers for FHCs and a questions and answers section. The Additional Information section contains a list of contacts for more information. [EM]
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Internet Fraud: How to Avoid Internet Investment Scams
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued this alert to provide information on avoiding Internet fraud. Because the Internet makes it easy to reach a large audience, fraudsters have no trouble producing credible-looking email messages, postings to discussion lists, chat rooms, and online bulletin boards. This site lists the types of fraudulent messages and announcements that might be found on the Internet and gives tips on how to spot fraud. Finally, Internet Fraud offers a sample of recent successful cases the SEC has won against Internet fraudsters. [EM]
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Center for the Moral Defense of Capitalism
Based in Spotsylvania, Virginia, the Moral Defense of Capitalism is an organization "dedicated to defending laissez-faire capitalism as the only moral social system." Highlighted on the site is a selection of articles and essays explaining the philosophy of the defense of capitalism, mainly written by the Center's chairman, Robert W. Tracinski. The site offers information and commentary about the Center's campaign against antitrust, including a petition against the breakup of Microsoft. The Center explains that "Antitrust makes success a crime and the Department of Justice's assault on Microsoft is a classic showcase for its evils." Whether or not readers agree with the Center's philosophy, the content on this site makes for an interesting read. [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 International Finance Discussion Papers
Do Indicators of Financial Crises Work? An Evaluation of an Early Warning System
Detecting Lack of Identification in GMM
Time-to-Build, Time-to-Plan, Habit-Persistence, and the Liquidity Effect
The Equivalence of Wage and Price Staggering in Monetary Business Cycle Models
The Effect of Monetary Policy on Residential and Structures Investment Under Differential Project Planning and Completion Times
Finance and Macroeconomic Volatility
The Impact of Monetary Policy on Exchange Rates During Financial Crises

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Cleveland Working Papers
Money Growth Rules and Price Level Determinacy
Forward-Looking Versus Backward-Looking Taylor Rules
FRB Minneapolis Staff Reports
Technical Appendix: Can Sticky Price Models Generate Volatile and Persistent Real Exchange Rates?
Can Sticky Price Models Generate Volatile and Persistent Real Exchange Rates?
Endogenous Policy Choice: The Case of Pollution and Growth
Societal Benefits of Nominal Bonds
Risky Collateral and Deposit Insurance

FRB New York Staff Reports
Factor Supplies and Specialization in the World Economy

FRB Philadelphia Working Papers
A Real-Time Data Set for Macroeconomists: Does Data Vintage Matter for Forecasting?

Other Institutions:
Institute for International Economics Working Papers
Inflation, Monetary Transparency, and G3 Exchange Rate Volatility

Bank of International Settlements Working Papers
Forecast-based monetary policy

International Monetary Fund Working Papers
Real Exchange Rate Response to Capital Flows in Mexico: An Empirical Analysis
Managing Financial Crises: The Experience in East Asia
A Game-Theoretic Analysis of Corruption in Bureaucracies

National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers
Creative Destruction and Development: Institutions, Crises, and Restructuring
Factor Supplies and Specialization in the World Economy
A Model for the Federal Funds Rate Target
What Explains Skill Upgrading in Less Developed Countries?
Troubled Banks, Impaired Foreign Direct Investment: The Role of Relative Access to Credit
Was There a Riverside Miracle? A Framework for Evaluating Multi-Site Programs
Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers
Regulating Executive Pay: Using the Tax Code to Influence CEO Compensation
Body Weight and Women's Labor Market Outcomes
Balance Sheets and Exchange Rate Policy
'Risky Habits' and the Marginal Propensity to Consume Out of Permanent Income, or, How Much Would a Permanent Tax Cut Boost Japanese Consumption?
The Behavioral Dynamics of Youth Smoking
Perspectives on the Budget Surplus
Bias from Classical and Other Forms of Measurement Error
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Federal Reserve Bank of Governors
Federal Reserve Bulletin
August 2000
The August 2000 issue of _Federal Reserve Bulletin, a monthly publication of the FRB BOG, consists of the article "Monetary Policy Report to the Congress." [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Chicago [.pdf]
Economic Perspectives
Third Quarter, 2000
Economic Perspectives from FRB Chicago offers articles on the role of public policy in global financial markets, systematic risks, and the Korean and Thai currency crises in its Third Quarter 2000 issue. [EM]

FRB Cleveland
Economic Trends
August 2000
Economic Trends, a publication of FRB Cleveland, offers monthly reports on monetary policy, interest rates, and labor markets. [EM]

FRB Dallas
Houston Business
August 2000
"Urban Oil," the feature story in the August 2000 issue of Houston Business, considers the geographic implications of the shrinking number of oilworkers in traditionally oil-related areas of Texas. [EM]

FRB Minneapolis
The Region
June 2000
The June 2000 issue of The Region provides three articles about the New Economy: "Improving our Understanding of Productivity," "The New (and Improved) Economy," and "Old Ideas at Work in the New Economy." [EM]

FRB New York
Current Issues in Economics and Finance FRB New York
August 2000
The August 2000 issue of Current Issues in Economics and Finance from FRB New York contains the article "Explaining the Rising Concentration of Banking Assets in the 1990s." [EM]

FRB St. Louis
National Economic Trends
July 2000
The cover story of the July 2000 issue of National Economic Trends, "Mixed Signals," tries to decipher some of the Fed's policy actions. [EM]

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Regional Outlook
First Quarter, 2000
Regional Outlook, a quarterly publication from the FDIC, provides analysis of national and regional trends affecting the risk exposure of insured depository institutions. Along with the national edition, eight regional issues are also included. [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include a speech on monetary policy given on August 4, 2000 by Yutaka Yamaguchi, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Japan. [EM]

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
Economic Outlook
August 2000
Economic Outlook, a publication of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, contains the article "America's Dangerous 'Slowdown'" in its August 2000 edition. [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: Journal of Empirical Finance (Vol 7, No 1), Journal of Banking and Finance (Vol 24, No 9), The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance (Vol 40, No 2), Journal of International Economics (Vol 51, No 1), Accounting, Organizations and Society (Vol 25, No 7), and Research Policy (Vol 29, No 6). [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]

Third Conference on Money and Finance in the Indian Economy
Mumbai, India
November 30, 2000 to December 2, 2000

Summer Workshop on Financial Economics of EU-Enlargement
Mannheim, Germany
May 9, 2001 to May 11, 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

International Trade in Goods and Services -- Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
According to the BEA's latest update of the International Trade in Goods and Services report, both imports and exports rose in June 2000. June imports totaled $121.2 billion, and exports rose to $90.6 billion, which resulted on a goods and services deficit of $30.6 billion, up $0.3 billion from the previous month. [EM]
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Regional and State Employment and Unemployment -- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
The July 2000 update reports that unemployment rates remained virtually unchanged. Only four states reported shifts of higher than 0.3 percent, and the national jobless rate remained steady 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 August 2000 include the US Agricultural Trade Update on August 23, 2000. [EM]
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Annual Electric Generator Report - Utility -- Energy Information Administration (EIA) [Excel]
This recently updated database from the Energy Information Administration contains the information reported on the Annual Electric Generator Report - Utility form, or Form EIA-860A. The database holds information from 1992 to January 2000 and includes the fields capacity, energy source, and initial year of operation. [EM]
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In The News

Dotcom Backlash
1) "The Mission District's disappearing dancers" -- San Francisco Examiner
2) "San Franciscans fighting expansion of dot-com firms" -- _Wall Street Journal
3) "San Francisco district hits a crossroad City's Castro neighborhood could lose its gay culture" -- USA Today
4)The Cost of Living in Silicon Valley -- San Jose Mercury News
5) "Dotcom backlash hitting the 'burbs" --,4586,2616824,00.html
6) "Silicon Valley Revolution Crowing Out Home Buyers" -- Chicago Tribune,2669,SAV-0007210237,FF.html
7) "Dot-com Culture Clash" --
8) "Invasion of the 'e-holes'" --,5859,2617868,00.html
Earlier this month, Dancers' Group, a dance collective in San Francisco's mission district, recieved national attention when they "peacefully but illegally" took over their former long-time studio. Dancers' Group was forced to move out of their studio because of the rising price of real estate in San Francisco due to dotcom companies who are willing to pay above-market prices for office space as well as living spaces. Throughout Silicon Valley, long-time residents are frustrated with the inconveniences the dotcom industries have brought. ZDNet Columnist David Coursey summed up the feelings of the notcom residents, explaining that those working in the high-tech industry "have the backing to drive up salaries, driving up real estate prices, and displacing those already there who can't afford to pay." Historically low-income areas such as East Palo Alto and the Mission District are being regentrified to the point where long-time residents and businesses can no longer afford to stay, and teachers, police, and those working in not-for-profit sectors are not able to afford to live in their communities. Both San Francisco neighborhoods, including Haight-Ashbury and the historically gay Castro district of San Francisco, and sleepy suburbs like San Mateo and Mountain View have found the skyrocketing cost-of-living and dotcom culture has made it very difficult for these areas to maintain their unique characteristics, as dotcommers slowly encroach on their cities. While the rising cost of living in Silicon Valley has been an issue for several years, only recently have these communities started to protest.

The tension between dotcoms and San Francisco's Mission District residents is documented in these two articles from the San Francisco Examiner(1) and the Wall Street Journal(2). USA Today(3) reports that San Francisco's Castro neighborhood is losing its gay culture, as rising prices and housing shortages force out its former tenants. Created last December, this extensive site from San Jose Mercury News(4) offers a collection of articles and opinion pieces dealing with the struggle of the rising cost of living in Silicon Valley, as well as related charts, salary calculators, and spreadsheets. According to this article from ZDNet (5), small Northern California towns, such as San Mateo, are struggling to maintain their character amid the rising price of retail and office space and the widening of parking spaces to accomodate dotcommers' SUVs. This summer, the Chicago Tribune(6) reported on the Andersons, two middle-class teachers in Mountain View, and their difficulties in finding affordable housing. (7) charts the dotcom growth in southern California's Santa Barbara community. ZDNet Columnist David Coursey (8) tells the dotcoms in Silicon Valley why all of their neighbors hate them, and dotcommers voice their opinions on the article's message board. [EM]
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