The Scout Report for Business & Economics - October 5, 2000

October 5, 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


Energy Security, Oil Shocks and the Strategic Petroleum
Reserve (SPR) [.pdf]
Energy Security, Oil Shocks and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a Website created by Paul N. Leiby of the Resource Analysis Section and Center for Transportation Analysis of the Energy Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The site offers a collection of papers and reports examining the SPR, which is described as an "emergency supply of crude oil stored in huge underground salt caverns along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico." The papers and reports span the years 1997 to 1999 and cover Oak Ridge National Laboratory's research on this topic, including papers on oil imports and the cost of benefits, strategic petroleum reserves, and macroeconomic cost of oil price shocks. Be sure to check out the SPR description through a small link at the bottom of the page, which gives an information-rich overview of the SPR and links to the Department of Energy's SPR homepage. [EM]
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World Development Report 2000/2001: Attacking Poverty -- World Bank [.pdf]
The full text of the World Development Report (WDR) 2000/2001: Attacking Poverty is now available for download. Along with the text of the report, World Bank has created a thorough Website that offers supporting information. Key resources include a large collection of background documents, conference and workshop papers, and the archive of the electronic discussion of the consultation draft. Also included is an ever-changing What's New section, the World Development Report Workplan, a calendar of events, and the WDR Newsletters. [EM]
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The State of Occupational Safety and Health in the European Union - Pilot Study [.pdf]
This report from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work offers a snapshot of the first steps in developing a system to monitor health and safety in the European Union. The fifteen member countries of the EU wrote reports on the state of occupational safety and health (OSH), and these reports have been consolidated into one. The report offers five major chapters, including "Data Sources and Methodology," "Major Findings," The Working Environment," and "Occupational Safety and Health Outcomes." The report may be downloaded in its entirety (1.7 MB) or by chapter. An excellent 60-page summary is available, as are of the fifteen national reports. [EM]
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Economic Liberalisation and Employment in South Asia
This new 93-page report from the Center for Development Research analyses the impact of liberalization on a variety of aspects of employment and labor incomes, and compares this impact to conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin American countries. The main findings include that real wage growth for agricultural workers fell after liberalization; unemployment rates rose in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, but declined in India and Sri Lanka; and for the most part, GDP growth, with the exception of that in Pakistan, seemed to be only slightly higher after liberalization. The paper concludes that "a lot more effort is needed for South Asian countries in order to have more productive employment and higher labour incomes." [EM]
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"The Minority Business Challenge: Democratizing Capital for Emerging Domestic Markets" [.pdf]
Milken Institute
Produced by the Milken Institute under the direction of the US Commerce Department Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), this 62-page report finds that minority entrepreneurs are receiving only a fraction of the billions in venture capital poured into small businesses. This is occurring despite the fact that minority-owned firms are growing at six times the rate of all US businesses. Simply put, the report's main arguments are twofold: first, the current economic boom is not sustainable in the long run without the inclusion of minority-owned businesses and investment in those businesses; second, demographic trends point to a disproportionately white retired population, who will be dependent upon younger generations of a diverse racial and ethnic makeup. Not nurturing these firms now could have a negative impact on all Americans down the road. The full text of the report is available in .pdf format from the MBDA or Milken Institute. [MD]
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Poverty in the United States, 1999 -- US Census Bureau [.pdf, 88 pages]
Press Release:
Last Tuesday, the US Census Bureau released their annual report on poverty. The report gives data on poverty rates by selected characteristics -- age, race, nativity, family composition, work experience, and geography. Findings reveal that the nation's poverty rate dropped from 12.7 percent in 1998 to 11.8 percent in 1999, the lowest rate since 1979. In addition, "real median household income reached $40,816, the highest level ever recorded by the Census Bureau." The report also announces the lowest level of child poverty since 1979 -- 16.9 percent -- and a record low for African-Americans of 23.6 percent. The report can be examined in full in .pdf format or in selected sections in HTML. [DC]
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Learning Resources

"BSchools Ranking and Profiles" -- Business Week
Business Week has recently released its 2000 rankings of the top business graduate schools in the United States. Each school is profiled with a list of at-a-glance statistics on the student body, faculty and academics, and deadlines and costs. The rankings were created by "surveys of 247 corporate recruiters and 10,039 students at 82 B-schools worldwide." The site also contains a browseable list of 225 MBA programs in the US organized by geographic region, a Return on Investment calculator to figure out how long it will take to earn back an MBA, and a collection of articles that investigate the business schools from multi-faceted angles. [EM]
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Seminar Planet
Seminar Planet provides a comprehensive collection of information on conferences and conventions. The database of events may be searched by keyword or browsed through the index. For each event, the name, location, and date are given, along with a short description and a link the event's Website. Although the site's main content contains the listings for the conferences and conventions, Seminar Planet promises several new features soon, including a newsletter, online registration, and local hotel listings in event areas. [EM]
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Wanna Argument? -- Biz/ed
Wanna Argument, a new feature from Biz/ed, examines the pros and cons of various business-related issues. Each topic offers a dialogue arguing for and against an issue, complimented with links to relevant economic data and business theory. Currently, only two topic are available: fuel taxes and the cost of fuel and whether or not Britain should adopt the Euro. Each argument offers an unbiased look at a very current debate. [EM]
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Internet Economist
The Internet Economist is a self-guided tutorial which offers a very basic lesson in helping economists develop Internet information skills. Written by Libby Miller and Martin Poulter of the Economics Centre of the Learning and Teaching Support Network at the University of Bristol, England, the Internet Economist points to some important economics sites, discusses tools and techniques for Internet searching, and guides users in using the Internet for studying, teaching, and research. This thoughtful tutorial also contains a basket feature, which allows users to mark interesting sites and come back to them later, a glossary, and quizzes at the end of each section. This tutorial will benefit economists and economics students who are relatively new to the Internet. [EM]
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"Is There a New Economy?" -- OECD
This 21-page paper from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is the first of a series of reports on the OECD Growth Project. The report considers whether or not there really is a New Economy, one that is based on technological developments. Along with looking at actual growth factors in the United States, the country most affected by this New Economy, "Is There a New Economy?" also considers the importance of open, competitive markets, financial systems, and the right framework for entrepreneurship. The report concludes by explaining the shift in focus for the second year of the OECD Growth Project. Rather than concentrating on fact-finding, the Project will begin to study policies that could effect the New Economy. [EM]
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State and County QuickFacts -- US Census
This new handy reference resource from the US Census Bureau allows users to access frequently requested Census Bureau information at the national, state, and county level. The site is navigated via a pull-down menu or interactive map, both of which produce tables of facts about the people, businesses, and geography for that state compared to the country as a whole. Another pull-down menu (or map) leads to similar information on the county level (compared to the state as a whole). In addition, each page offers a link to more detailed information from the Census Bureau, such as income and poverty estimates, economic censuses, county business profiles, and government finances, among other offerings. Quick facts for the country as a whole can also be accessed from the main page. All in all, a useful resource for quick and basic census information. [MD]
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General Interest

Second Moment
Second Moment is a news and business resource for "academia and industry in the fields of applied statistics and analytics." The main content of the site contains a selection of applied statistics and analytics articles posted by Second Moment users. Comments from the Second Moment community follow each article. Also included are several excellent links pages on topics including regression and smoothing, multivariate analysis, and time series. [EM]
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Aetna Financial Services and Second Story Interactive present 2020Green, an interactive Website geared towards helping teenagers learn smart financial management skills. The site, which is designed around a metaphorical building, takes students though a variety of reality-based situations about their finances. For example, in the Payroll section, users are told that their first paycheck from their first job at Metrodome Theatres is lower than expected. The site walks users through types of withholding to explain where the money is going. Informative and clever in its design, 2020Green is sure to hold the attention of its audience. [EM]
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Formerly the Debt Counselors of America, is a "non-profit, Internet-based financial counseling and services organization."'s goal is to help people overcome their financial difficulties through a series of programs and education. The site's Self-Help Information section includes a wonderful library of free pamphlets on a variety of topics including bankruptcy, child support, job loss, and identity-theft. Pamphlets must be downloaded in .pdf format. Along with this literature, offers information on understanding one's financial situation and on its programs. [EM]
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The Young Entrepreneur's Survival Kit,,CHL2_GDE78,00.html
For precocious business owners, offers a crash course helping students deal with the pressures of academics and a social life while starting up a business when still in school. The survival kits begins with a host of first-hand accounts of young entrepreneurs, including the founders of Feld Technologies, Nantucket Nectors, and Dell Computers. It also offers information on student business plan contests, the fundamental basics of starting a company, and networking opportunities. The site links to the October 2000 cover story from Inc. Magazine, "The New Entrepreneurial Elite," about dorm room start-ups. [EM]
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College Quality and the Earnings of Recent College Graduates [.pdf]
Published last Friday by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), this report "examines the association between factors such as selectivity and other institutional characteristics, and the earnings of recent college graduates 5 years after graduation." The report's data is drawn from the 1980 High School and Beyond (HS&B) study combined with information about courses, grades, credits, and credentials contained in the Post Secondary Education Transcript Study. The findings correlating institutional profile to postgraduate salary indicate a significant gender gap. For men, the institution mattered significantly less than their major or personal background in determining postgraduate income, while for women "institutional characteristics were almost equally important in affecting earnings (5 percent versus 4 percent)." The report is offered in .pdf format with a hyperlinked sidebar table of contents. [DC]
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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 [.pdf]
Exact Confidence Intervals for Impulse Responses in a Gaussian Vector Autoregression
Common Stochastic Trends, Common Cycles, and Asymmetry in Economic Fluctuations
Spaghetti Regionalism
The Impact of Bank Consolidation on Commercial Borrower Welfare

Federal Reserve System [.pdf]:
FRB Atlanta Working
Does Family Structure Affect Children's Educational Outcomes?
Immigrant Selectivity: Evidence from Occupational Distributions

FRB Minneapolis Staff Reports
Growth Cycles and Market Crashes
Money, Interest Rates, and Exchange Rates With Endogenously Segmented Asset Markets

FRB New York Staff Reports
"Beggar-Thy-Neighbor" or "Beggar-Thyself"? The Income Effect of Exchange Rate Fluctuations
Pass-Through of Exchange Rates and Import Prices to Domestic Inflation in Some Industrialized Economies
Day-to-Day Monetary Policy and the Volatility of the Federal Funds Interest Rate
Banks' Reserve Management, Transaction Costs, and the Timing of Federal Reserve Intervention
Bank Commitment Relationships, Cash Flow Constraints, and Liquidity Management

FRB Richmond Working Papers
Monetary Policy Frameworks and Indicators for the Federal Reserve in the 1920s
Medicine Worse than the Malady: Cure Rates, Population Shifts, and Health Insurance
Getting Better, Feeling Worse: Cure Rates, Health Insurance, and Welfare
Our Money or Your Life: Indemnities vs. Deductibles in Health Insurance

Other Institutions:
National Bureau of Economic Research Working [.pdf]
Currency Unions
Prudential Supervision: Why Is It Important and What are the Issues?
On the Nature of Capital Adjustment Costs
Does Managed Care Change the Mission of Nonprofit Hospitals? Evidence From the Managerial Labor Market
Does the Social Security Earnings Test Affect Labor Supply and Benefits Receipt?
The Optimal Elasticity of Taxable Income
Different Approaches to Bankruptcy
Taxing Multinationals
Causes of U.S. Bank Distress During the Depression
Where Does State Street Lead? A First Look at Finance Patents, 1971-2000
Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation: Pigou, Taxation, and Pollution
The Present and Future of Monetary Policy Rules
Timeless Perspectives vs. Discretionary Monetary Policy In Forward-Looking Models
Endogenous Pricing to Market and Financing Costs
A New Approach to Measuring Financial Contagion
Estimating the Rental Adjustment Process
International Data on Educational Attainment Updates and Implications
Policy Rules and External Shocks
Treatment Effects for Discrete Outcomes when Responses to Treatment Vary Among Observationally Identical Persons: An Application to Norwegian Vocational Rehabilitation Programs
Aspects of Global Economic Integration: Outlook for the Future

Bank of International Settlements Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Working Papers [.pdf]
Principles for the Management of Credit Risk
Best Practices for Credit Risk Disclosure

International Monetary Fund Working Papers [.pdf]
Exchange Rate Regime Transitions
Fiscal Policy and Growth in the Context of European Integration
Corruption, Structural Reforms, and Economic Performance in the Transition Economies
The Currency Composition of Foreign Exchange Reserves: Retrospect and Prospect
Evidence on the Fiscal and Macroeconomic Impact of Privatization
Can Fiscal Decentralization Strengthen Social Capital?
Real Effective Exchange Rate and the Constant Elasticity of Substitution Assumption
Determinants of Inflation in the Islamic Republic of Iran: A Macroeconomic Analysis
Life-cycles, Dynasties, Savings: Implications for Closed and Small, Open Economies
Costly Collateral and the Public Supply of Liquidity
Cost of Living Adjustment and Business Cycles: Disaggregated Evidence
The Transfer Problem Revisited: Net Foreign Assets and Real Exchange Rates
Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilization: A Model of Financial Fragility
Convergence of Per Capita Output Levels Across Regions of Bangladesh, 1982-97
External Sector Reform and Public Enterprise Restructuring
Money Demand in Guyana
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB BOG)
The Beige Book
September 20, 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 this update, economic growth continued to expand at a moderate pace in all twelve Federal Reserve Districts. [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston
Bank Notes
September 2000
Bank Notes, a monthly publication from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, reports on a compendium of banking-related news including bank mergers and acquisitions in New England during the past month. [EM]

FRB Chicago [.pdf]
Fed Letter
October 2000
The October 2000 issue of FRB Chicago's Fed Letter features "Midwest Prospects and The New Economy," which looks at information technology growth in the Midwest. [EM]

FRB Dallas [.pdf]
Houston Business
September 2000
The September 2000 issue of Houston Business from FRB Dallas contains the article "Diversification of Houston's Economic Base." [EM]

FRB New York
Current Issues in Economics and Finance [.pdf]
September 2000
The main article in the September 2000 issue of Current Issues in Economics and Finance is "A Nation of Spendthrifts? An Analysis of Trends in Personal and Gross Saving." [EM]

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation [.pdf]
Regional Outlook
Third 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.

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) [.pdf]
BIS Review
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
Economic Outlook
The September 2000 issue of Economic Outlook from AEI consists of the article "The Mythical Benefits of Debt Reduction," which takes a historical look at debt reduction. [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]
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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 65th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Economics Association, March 29-31, 2001, in Cleveland. Ohio and the Ninth Annual Symposium of the Society for Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics, which will meet in Atlanta, Georgia, March 15-16, 2001. [EM]

2001 North American Summer Meeting of the Econometric Society
College Park, Maryland
June 21-24, 2001

Third Annual Central and Eastern European Finance Director's Forum
Warsaw, Poland
January 16-17, 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

Money Income in the United States: 1999
The Census Bureau reports that US household income levels rose by 2.7 percent between 1998 and 1999, or from $39,744 to $40,816, the highest household income level ever recorded. [EM]
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Personal Income for August 2000 -- Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal income increased 0.4 percent, or $34.2 billion, in August 2000. Disposable personal income also increased 0.3 percent, or by $20 billion. [EM]
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Mass Layoffs in August 2000 -- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) [.pdf]
The BLS reports that there were 751 mass layoff actions in August 2000. The total number of workers involved in the layoff events was 97,215. [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 October 2000 include the Aquaculture Outlook and Dairy Products. [EM]
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In The News

Time Warner/ EMI merger off
1) "EMI, Time Warner abandon merger" -- BBC
2) "EMI, Time scrap music tie" -- CNNfn
3) "Warner Music, EMI Music Merger Off" -- Los Angeles Times
4) Time Warner Website
5) EMI Group Website
6) European Union Competition Directorate
7) US Trade Commission
This morning, Time Warner and EMI announced that they have decided to abandon plans to merge. The merger plan, which was estimated at $20 billion, was ditched after the two companies were unable to meet the concerns of anti-trust watchdog groups. Explaining that they wanted more time to deal with the objections of the merger, the two companies withdrew their application from the European Commission (EC). The main concern of the European Commission officials was that the merger would place 80 percent of the European recording music business in just four major global companies. At the last minute, EMI and Time Warner proposed selling off several music catalogs, distribution networks, and recording labels including Virgin Records and Chappell Music in order to sooth the worries of the EC. The EC commended the companies on a "substantial" improvement, but officials still had strong doubts about the tie-up. While the two companies will continue to consider ways to successfully merge, Paul Richards, a media analyst at WestLB Panmure in London, suggested that the EMI merger may have been abandoned to ensure Time Warner's merger with AOL. Richards stated, "The AOL-Time deal must go through, it's $200 billion (in terms of the combined company's market value), whereas the EMI deal is a $20 billion joint venture."

This detailed article from the BBC (1) offers information on the shelved merger, as well as related Websites and articles. CNNfn (2) reports on the abandoned merger's difficulties in clearing the European Commission. A short newsbrief from the LA Times(3) gives very basic information about why the merger was abandoned. The official Websites for Time Warner (4) and EMI (5) offer news, information, and resources for these two companies. The European Union Competition Directorate (6) provides news and information on merger cases and includes a new "merger cases" Website to help users follow merger cases. Like the EU Competition Directorate, the US Trade Commission (7) protects consumer interests and marketplace competition. [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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