The Scout Report for Business & Economics - September 21, 2000

September 21, 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


East Asia's Recovery Gathering Force: An Update [.pdf]
The latest World Bank regional brief describes East Asia's recovery from the 1997 economic crisis as "remarkable," but cautions that the region is still susceptible to another downturn. Presented by Masahiro Kawai, the bank's chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific, the 116-page report notes several signs of improvement, including high rates of economic growth, rising employment and labor earnings, increasing foreign investment, lower interest rates, and recovering currencies. The East Asian countries, Kawai concludes in the press release, "can at last return to the medium term development agenda," assisted, of course, by the World Bank. Users can download the full text of the report by section or in its entirety at the World Bank site. [MD]
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IFC's Environment Division
The International Finance Corporation's (IFC) mission is "to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives." The IFC has also set up an Environment Division, which strives to address environmental and social issues at the beginning of each investment process. The division is organized into three units. The Environment and Social Review Unit evaluates, appraises, and monitors the environmental and social impacts of each present and future IFC project. This section of the Website offers a collection of policies that guide IFC projects, including the Environmental Assessment, Natural Habitat, and Pest Management policies. The Environmental Projects Unit section contains information on the mail sectors for new development projects such as pollution abatement, climate change, and sustainable tourism, as well as a showcase of some of the larger projects. Finally, the Financial Markets Unit is responsible for the environmental and social review of financial interdisciplinary projects, which amount to nearly 40 percent of the total investments made by the IFC. The site also contains IFC policies and guidelines, as well as an online guide for Environmental Management Systems. [EM]
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Global Macroeconomics and Financial Policy Site
Nouriel Roubini, associate professor of economics and international business at the Stern School of Business, New York University, has updated his award-winning Global Macroeconomics and Financial Policy Site (first reviewed in the November 6, 1997 Scout Report for Business and Economics). A necessity for any economist, the newly redesigned site is much easier to navigate. The information is divided into three main sections: Interesting Readings, Hot Topics, and Current News. The content of each section is listed chronologically and includes the title and date. The menu along the left side of the screen offers information-rich resources on a variety of topics including the Asian crisis, exchange rates, academic research on currency collapse models and the Asian crisis, and international financial system. Each subtopic links to a vast compilation of resources. Here users will unearth a gold mine of information on global macroeconomics. [EM]
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Prosperity for America's Families: The Gore-Lieberman Economic Plan [.pdf]
This 196-page document from the democratic presidential and vice-presidential candidates Al Gore and Joe Lieberman details their proposed economic plan for the United States. Their plan centers on issues of the American families, and their goals include "extending the life of Social Security and Medicare," increasing the family income by one third, and cutting the wage gap between men and women in half. The first chapter of the report describes the candidates's goals to tailor the American economic plan to help Americans and their families. The subsequent eleven chapters investigate the plan in greater detail, including proposed economic policies and budget outlines. The plan also links to the official Al Gore Website, which offers additional information about the economic plan. The proposal provides an in-depth view of the Gore-Lieberman economic plan in easy-to-read language. [EM]
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Dutch National Accounts: 1800-1913 [Excel, .pdf]
This Website hosts the data from Reconstructing National Accounts of the Netherlands and the analysis of the development of the Dutch Economy in the period 1800-1940, a research project of Professor J.L. van Zanden of the N.W. Posthumus Institute, Netherlands. The project studied long-term economic growth by reconstructing "national income extensive data concerning income, prices, foreign trade, production, employment and capital formation." The site begins with a short, but information-rich, introduction which presents the project, as well as its goals and methods. Featured on the site are the tables for the final version of the report, in groupings including employment, product, balance of payments, and indirect taxes and subsidies. The entire 239-page report is also included, available for download in .pdf format, along with an impressive compilation of dissertations and papers related to the study. [EM]
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Fifty Years of Development [.pdf]
Fifty Years of Development is a 39-page report written by Paul Collier, David Dollar, and Nicholas Stern, all of the World Bank. It provides "an interpretative view of the development experiences of the past 50 years," with a special emphasis on the past ten years. The authors's analysis of development in the 1990s found, overall, that market-oriented reform worked unreliably and often neglected "the institutional foundations necessary for markets to be effective for poverty reduction. It is not enough to focus attention on 'getting prices right'; public action is needed to 'get the markets right'." The report especially examines development in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. It also looks at financial institutions, public service delivery, and financial sectors. Fifty Years of Development is available for download in its entirety in .pdf format. [EM]
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Learning Resources

Guide to E-Commerce
Guide to E-Commerce is the newest resource from Catherwood Library at the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, Cornell University. Geared toward a novice audience, this guide offers basic information on E-commerce in its introduction, and the main body of the guide consists of a collection of thoughtfully annotated links. Along with general sites about E-commerce from a variety of commercial and academic sources, the guide also contains links to international ecommerce information sites, legal resources, US government sites, and online news and journals. This compilation offers an excellent collection of ecommerce sites for basic information and for keeping up with current issues. [EM]
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A service of, BusinessWeb offers an impressive collection of news and resources across several industries. The main page contains a list of headlines linking to news briefs from a variety of sources. The site also features industry-related new coverage in eleven industries including chemicals, media, and insurance. Each industry is given its own page, with a searchable compilation of news and information, as well as links, events, news groups, and companies from industry sub-sections. For those interested in one of the industries coved by BusinessWeb, this site offers a concise way to discover news and information. [EM]
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Encyclopedia of Corporate Governance
Encyclopedia of Corporate Governance, or encycogov for short, is created and maintained by Henrik Mathiesen, a PhD candidate at the Department of International Economics and Management at the Copenhagen Business School. Content on the site is divided into two sections: Specific Topics and General Topics. Topics in both sections begin with a paragraph explaining the overarching definition of the principle, and link to a variety of tables, "exhibitions," and models that further illustrate the definition. For example, the Bankruptcy Systems section begins with the definition and is followed up by two tables: "Effects of bankruptcy systems on corporate performance and other kinds of institutions of relevance for corporate governance" and "International corporate governance- Tentative characterizations of legal and empirical state of large firm bankruptcy systems in various countries as of 1980-95: 1) Developing countries. 2)Germany. 3) Japan. 4) Anglo-American countries. 5) Denmark." Also included on the site are references and site users information. [EM]
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Web Digest for Marketers
Created and maintained by Larry Chase, Web Digest for Marketers (WDM) was started in 1995, nearly a lifetime in Internet years. The site offers an archived weekly publication of "15 mercifully short reviews of marketing-oriented Web sites." Broken into catagories including Research, HTML, JavaScript, and FAQs, the sites are reviewed in a helpful, conversational style. Interested users are encouraged to subscribe to the email version of WDM.[EM]
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Conflict Diamonds
New from the United Nations, this short, informative site cautions against conflict diamonds, which are defined as "diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments." Along with general descriptions of conflict diamonds, the site briefly explains the ways in which the UN, governments, and non-governmental organizations are trying to halt the sale of these gems, including the drafting of a strict "Certificate of Origin" regime which will certify that only legitimate diamonds reach the market. Conflict Diamonds looks at the UN's anti-conflict diamond activity in two specific countries: Angola and Sierra Leone. For more information on Conflict Diamonds, please see the July 27, 2000 Scout Report for Business and Economics. [EM]
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General Interest

The Small and Home Based Business Library
Created by Small and Home Based Business Links, the Small and Home Based Business Library strives to be a comprehensive business reference site for owners of small and home-based businesses. Each online "file drawer" in the library offers an extensive collection of informative guides, including the following topics: market research, choosing a business name, financial crisis management, and basic facts about trademarks. Although most articles are housed at the site, some sections link to other locations. [EM]
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On the Job -- National Archives of Canada
This photographic exhibit from the National Archives of Canada documents the diverse places of work of Canadians in the 20th century. The images are organized into six categories: Natural Space, Work Camps, Man-Made Space, Industrial/ Mechanical Space, Office/ Technical Space, and Working in the Home. After selecting a category, several thumbnail shots will appear, along with a paragraph explaining the significance of the work space. Click on a thumbnail to look at larger image of the photograph, complete with bibliographic information including the subject of the photo, place, date, author, catalog number, and a short description of the work. The image can be enlarged again, for a closer, more detailed look at the photograph. [EM]
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Educational Information on Credit Management
The resource center for ABC Companies Inc. offers information and resources on credit and collection. Featured on the site is the quarterly publication Communicator, which contains short articles on credit management. Recent issues have included the articles "Strategic Outsourcing: Analyzing the Cost Benefits," "How a $100 Loss Can Cost an Entire Days Sales," and "Four Keys to Effective Credit Management." The site also includes a monthly update of corporate bankruptcy filings, FAQs on debt collection, and a series of articles on credit in the global marketplace. This site offers a solid collection of basic credit and collection information. [EM]
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Investor Education and Assistance
The US Securities and Exchange Commission's Office offers this consumer-oriented site about investment basics. Featured on the site is the "Road Map" to saving and investing, which promises to help new investors "find the right path for your financial future." The map offers clearly-written steps for saving and investing beginning with "Defining your goals" and ending with "How to Avoid Problems." Also on the site, the SEC News You Can Use section offers tips on CDs, mutual funds, and online trading. The menu along the left side of the screen links to other consumer-related SEC sites. [EM]
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A Journalist's Guide to Economic Terms
A four-year old project of FACSNET reporting tools, A Journalist's Guide to Economic Terms was created to give reporters and journalists a headstart in understanding economic terms. All 213 current terms are concisely, but clearly, defined and are organized in alphabetical order. This glossary will give any economics novice the basic terms needed to begin to comprehend news briefs and articles about economics. [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
Modeling the IMF's Statistical Discrepancy in the Global Current Account

Federal Reserve System: [.pdf]
FRB Atlanta Working Papers
Closing the Question on the Continuation of Turn-of-the-Month Effects: Evidence from the S&P 500 Index Futures Contract
Corporate Board Composition, Protocols, and Voting Behavior: Experimental Evidence
If at First You Don't Succeed: An Experimental Investigation of the Impact of Repetition Options on Corporate Takeovers

FRB Minneapolis Discussion Papers
Time Inconsistent Preferences and Social Security

FRB Philadelphia Working Papers 2000
Regional Income Fluctuations: Common Trends and Common Cycles

FRB Richmond Working Papers
Overcoming the Zero Bound on Interest Rate Policy

FRB St. Louis Working Papers
Retail Sweep Programs and Bank Reserves, 1994-1999
Exchange Rate Pass-Through in U.S. Manufacturing: Exchange Rate Index Choice and Asymmetry Issues

Other Institutions:
National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers [.pdf]
Contagion in Latin America: Definitions, Measurement, and Policy Implications
The Inexorable and Mysterious Tradeoff Between Inflation and Unemployment
Managed Care, Technology Adoption, and Health Care: The Adoption of Neonatal Intensive Care
Aging and Housing Equity
The Public-Private Mix in the Modern Health Care System: Concepts, Issues, and Policy Options Revisited
Fin de Siecle Real Interest Parity
A Debt Puzzle
Does the Internet Increase Trading? Evidence from Investor Behavior in 401(k) Plans
When Does Funding Research by Smaller Firms Bear Fruit?: Evidence from the SBIR Program
The Determinants of National Innovative Capacity
The Impact of Grading Standards on Student Achievement, Educational Attainment, and Entry-Level Earnings
Educational Attainment in Blended Families
Asset Liquidity and Segment Divestitures
Currency Unions and International Integration
Money, Interest Rates, and Exchange Rates with Endogenously Segmented Asset Markets
International Business Cycles with Endogenous Incomplete Markets
Can Sticky Price Models Generate Volatile and Persistent Real Exchange Rates?
Diagnosing Market Power in California's Restructured Wholesale Electricity Market

Bank of International Settlements Basel Committee on Banking Supervision [.pdf]
Supervisory Guidance for Managing Settlement Risk in Foreign Exchange Transactions

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Papers [.pdf]
Public expenditure reform: the health care sector in the United Kingdom$FILE/00081887.PDF

Wharton Financial Institutions Center Working Papers [.pdf]
What Is Optimal Financial Regulation?

Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance [.pdf]
Gain, Loss, and Asset Pricing: It is Much Easier. A note
Stochastic Better-Reply Dynamics in Games
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bulletin
September 2000
The Federal Reserve Bulletin, a publication of the FRB BOG, offers two articles: "Credit Cards: Use and Consumer Attitudes, 1970-2000" and "Treasury and Federal Reserve Foreign Exchange Operations." [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston
New England Economic Review [.pdf]
May/June 2000
The May/June 2000 issue of New England Economic Review from FRB Boston includes three articles and their abstracts: "Rising Tide in the Labor Market: To What Degree Do Expansions Benefit the Disadvantaged?," "Discouraged and Other Marginally Attached Workers: Evidence on Their Role in the Labor Market," and "The Neutrality of Massachusetts' Taxation of Financial Institutions." [EM]

FRB Chicago [.pdf]
Ag Letter
August 2000
According to the August 2000 issue of Ag Letter, a monthly publication from FRB Chicago, a survey of agriculture bankers in the Seventh District showed that gains in farmland value slowed in the second quarter of 2000. [EM]

FRB Cleveland [.pdf]
Economic Trends
September 2000
The September 2000 issue of Economic Trends from FRB Cleveland includes reports on inflation and prices, interest rates, and labor markets, as well as a short summary of the US economy in general. [EM]

FRB Minneapolis
The Region
September 2000
Included in the September 2000 issue of FRB Minneapolis's The Region is an address by Gary Stern, president of FRB Minneapolis, a book review of Butterfly Economics: A New General Theory of Social and Economic Behavior, and an interview with Arthur Levitt, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. [EM]

FRB St. Louis [.pdf]
National Economic Trends
September 2000
The September 2000 issue of National Economic Trends contains a cover article about online taxation. [EM]

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Consumer News
Fall 2000
The feature article in the Fall 2000 issue of the Consumer News offers advice on buying bank CDs from brokers. [EM]

International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Finance & Development
September 2000
The IMF's quarterly publication Finance & Development features articles on "Economies in Transition" in its September 2000 edition. [EM]

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
Latin American Outlook
September 2000
The September 2000 issue of Latin American Outlook from the AEI features the article "Brazil: The Limits of Promise," by Mark Falcoff. [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]

National Bureau of Economic Research Books
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) presents its collection of books published in 2000, complete with tables of contents and ordering information. The site also offers chapters from books-in-progress. [EM]

Econbase -- Elsevier
The abstracts, tables of contents, and in some cases full-text, for over 60 journals are now available online, including the following: International Journal of Forecasting (Vol 16, No 3), Journal of Accounting and Economics (Vol 28, No 2), Journal of Asian Economics (Vol 11, No 1), Journal of Mathematical Economics (Vol 34, No 3), Journal of Multinational Financial Management (Vol 10, No 2), Journal of Health Economics (Vol 19, No 5), and Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money (Vol 10, No 2). [EM]
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Inomics Conference Calls:
Email Conference Alert
Conference Search
The economics research service Inomics (described in the June 18, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics) includes a conference alert service. Interested parties may specify their interests and receive email notifications of up-coming events, or they may search the Inomics conference database by date, geographic location, or JEL classification. [EM]

Conferences with Econometric Interest
The Royal Economics Society's Econometrics Journal site lists conferences in econometrics at this Econometric Links section. Forthcoming international conferences currently listed include the Far Eastern Meeting of the Econometric Society, July 20-22, 2001, in Kobe, Japan; the European Meeting of the Econometric Society (ESEM 2001), August 25-29, 2001, in Lausanne, Switzerland; and the International Symposium on Forecasting, June 13-17, 2001, in Pine Mountain, Georgia. [EM]

Enterprise in Transition
Dalmacija, Croatia
May 24-26, 2001

International ICSC Symposium on Multi-Agents and Mobile Agents in Virtual Organizations and E-Commerce (MAMA 2000)
Wollongong, Australia
December 11-13, 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

Retail E-commerce Sales -- US Census Bureau
In the second quarter 2000, estimated retail e-commerce sales increased 5.3 percent, reaching $5.518 billion. In the first quarter of this year, the estimate was revised to $5.240 billion, rather than the $5.260 previously estimated. [EM]
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1999 State Per Capita Personal Income (Revised) -- Bureau of Economic Analysis
The BEA reports that Massachusetts had the highest rate of growth per capita in 1999, followed by four Western states -- Washington, Wyoming, California, and Colorado. Nationally, per capita income grew 4.5 percent, 1.1 percent less than in 1998. [EM]
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Consumer Price Index, August 2000 -- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1 percent in August 2000, to a level of 172.7. From August 1999 to August 2000, the CPI-U rose 3.4 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 September 2000 include the Crop Diseases and Pest Report which offers reports on Mediterranean fruit flies, boll weevils, and Colorado potato beetles. [EM]
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PPMCSA Presentation on Winter Distillate Outlook -- Energy Information Administration (EIA)
This presentation on the Winter Distillate Outlook was created for the PPMCSA Meeting and Trade Show of this year. It gives basic information and forecasts on the prices of a variety of energy sources through a collection of slides and accompanying notes. [EM]
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In The News

Los Angeles Mass Transit Strike
1) "MTA Riders Feel Strike's Full Impact" -- Los Angeles Times
2) "Day 3 of Los Angeles Transit Strike Is a Work-Day Headache for Poorest Angelenos" -- New York Times
3) "LA Feels Bite of Transit Drivers' Strike" -- Washington Post
4) "End the Pain" -- Los Angeles Times
5) "As Los Angeles County strike grinds on, both sides to meet" --
6) Los Angeles Country Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Homepage
7) Bus Riders Union
Beginning on Saturday, September 16, 2000, the drivers of the Los Angeles city buses launched a strike, stopping the 2,000 buses, subway, and rail lines that cover the 1,400 square miles of Los Angeles County, and stranding nearly half a million bus riders. The 4,300 members of the United Transportation Union (UTU) are on strike over wages and overtime. The Mass Transit Authority (MTA) of Los Angeles will face a $438 million deficit by 2010 if it does not manage to cut costs. Rather than raise fares, the MTA suggested cutting the cost of drivers's overtime pay by fifteen percent over the next three years, for a saving of $23 million. To do this, the MTA proposed that 400 drivers accept a four-day-a-week work schedule, in which they would be on duty twelve hours a day, but would only be paid for ten hours. Overtime would start only after twelve hours. The strike has already proven itself difficult for the people of Los Angeles. Traffic increased nearly five percent, and those Los Angelenos who depend on public transportation to get to work and school, have been forced to walk, carpool, or ride bikes. According to the MTA, 68 percent of MTA riders have household incomes under $15,000 a year. Talks between the UTU and the MTA were to have resumed on Tuesday morning.

The Lost Angeles Times(1) reports on the drivers's strike's effects on Los Angelenos who depend on mass transit; the article also links to an index of LA Times pieces related to the strike. Articles from the New York Times(2) and the Washington Post(3) look at the socio-economic effects of the strike on both the bus drivers and the riders. This editorial from the Los Angeles Times(4) calls for an end to the drivers's strike, explaining that the strike hurts the lower class, students, and the elderly. (5) reports on increases of traffic and commute times due to the strike. The official MTA homepage (6) offers news and information about the transit system, including route information and strike updates. The Bus Riders Union (7) of Los Angeles fights for "a first-class, clean-fuel, bus-centered public transportation system in Los Angeles." [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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