The Scout Report for Business & Economics - November 16, 2000

November 16, 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

New from Internet Scout


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News


New from Internet Scout

Internet Scout Weblog
The Scout Project has launched a new service for our readers, the Internet Scout Weblog. In the course of our daily surfing for the Scout Reports we come across numerous interesting items that for some reason or another don't quite fit our selection criteria. Rather than just sharing these items with each other or allowing them to sink unnoticed beneath the digital sands, we decided to create the Internet Scout Weblog, a new and separate service to complement our Reports. Like most 'Blogs, the type and number of resources listed in the Internet Scout Weblog may vary considerably from day to day. Most of the items are culled from the academic sources we rely on for the Reports, but may also include general interest or pithy sites or stories that strike our fancy (or funnybone). Please take a look and let us know what you think. [MD]
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Statistical Information and Monitoring Programme on Child Labour (SIMPOC) -- International Labour Organization
Statistical Information and Monitoring Programme on Child Labour (SIMPOC) was launched in 1998 as a way to assist countries in generating "comprehensive and reliable quantitative as well as qualitative gender sensitive data on child labour in all its forms." This extensive site explains SIMPOC's strategic plans, including the ILO's work on child labor before SIMPOC's creation, technical guidance on the methods of survey the program has developed, and a summary of SIMPOC's major activities and successes. Data presentation includes official publications, reports, raw data, and documentation. The site also contains general reports, a list of the countries that participate in SIMPOC, and general SIMPOC facts and figures. [EM]
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US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement [.pdf]
The US-Jordon Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed on October 24, 2000 to "eliminate duties and commercial barriers to bilateral trade in goods and services originating in the United States and Jordan." The FTA has seven major sections which cover tariff elimination, services, intellectual property rights, electronic commerce, labor provisions, environmental provisions, and consultation and dispute settlement. Along with the text of the agreement, accompanying documents and information include the complete US and Jordanian tariffs schedule, joint statement on World Trade Organization issues, and the FTA official press release and fact sheet. [EM]
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Safe Harbor
Safe Harbor was created as a response to the European Commission's Directive on Data Privacy which was launched in October 1998 and prohibits the transfer of personal data to countries outside of the European Union that do not meet the EU's standards for privacy protection. Because the United States has significantly lower standards for privacy protection, the Directive on Data Privacy would have prohibited many transactions between the US and EU nations. Safe Harbor is a framework of US organizations that have agreed to comply with the Directive. The Safe Harbor Website contains a basic overview of the initiative which explains its history and mission. Safe Harbor documents include privacy principles, an in-depth collection of FAQs, information on how Safe Harbor is enforced, and other documents from both the US and the EU. [EM]
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Building Local Bond Markets: An Asian Perspective -- World Bank/ International Finance Corporation [.pdf]
This 291-page book from the World Bank and IFC is part of these two organizations's efforts "to assist countries in South Asia and other parts of the world to identify their need for local bond markets, the impediments to developing them, and how those impediments might be removed." The content of Building Local Bond Markets is a collection of papers from the South Asian Debt Market Symposium, which was held in Sri Lanka in October 1999. It is divided into two main parts. Part One examines the reasons and possible strategies for developing a bond market. The second part of the book offers case studies of countries including Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and India. Alison Harwood, the book's editor, writes that Building Local Bond Markets is really just a first look at this subject, and "more work is needed to suggest how countries might deal with the various problems they face in developing their bond markets." [EM]
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Regional Economic Conditions -- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Regional Economic Condition (RECON) was created to help the FDIC analyze the risks facing financial institutions by providing economic information and statistics at one of three levels: state, MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area), and county. Users begin by selecting a state; along with viewing state information, users may also choose to specify their information by state, county, or MSA. Data are provided by both government and private sources and include a wide array of maps, charts, and graphs. A special "shopping cart" allows users to mark a collection of data and view them at one time. RECON also offers a helpful tutorial slide show, user notes of data updates, and a data availability chart. [EM]
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Learning Resources

Building Wealth: A Beginner's Guide to Securing Your Financial Future -- FRB Dallas [.pdf]
New from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, this 31-page workbook is an informative and thoughtful introduction to developing a plan to build personal wealth. Through a combination of budgeting, saving, and investing, users will learn how to save money for their future. The workbook begins with a discussion on setting financial goals. It then explains strategies for keeping track of money, ensuring saving, investing, and controlling debt. Although the information and advice is somewhat topical, this guide is really a top-notch resource for those just beginning to think about their financial futures. [EM]
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Biz/ed Question Bank - Economics
The Biz/ed Question Bank - Economics is a interactive collection of multiple choice questions on a series of 39 topics. Subjects include National Income - Keynes and the Classics, Wages - Labour supply, and Markets - Demands. Each topic offers ten to twenty-five questions, complete with hints, explanatory answers, and information sources. Because Biz/ed is a British Website, all monetary amounts will be in British currency. [EM]
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Top 50 Financial Websites --
In order to help their users navigate around the World Wide Web, has ranked the top 50 financial sites found on the Internet. A wide list of types of sites is posted in a column on the left side of the screen, including the broad categories of Portals, Investing, and Saving and Spending. Two or three of the best sites are pithily described, and visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite financial sites. This superlative list will help users quickly find the best financial sites for their needs. [EM]
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Internet Glossary of Statistical Terms
Created by The Animated Software Company, the Internet Glossary of Statistical Terms offers definitions for terms via a standard alphabetical listing or in an innovative "Suggested Learning" order. In this latter list, users start with basic terms such as "Population" and "Histogram," before grasping more difficult ideas such as "Regression" and "Confounding Factor." In addition to the standard definition of each term, every glossary entry provides examples, visual aides, and links to related terms. [EM]
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Focused on management theory and practice, is a management portal created and maintained by MCB UP Ltd. A range of "Expert Channels" explore in-depth management issues including Leadership, Time Management, Training, and Customer Relationship Management. Each channel provides lengthy articles, advice, and profiles of successful managers, along with a collection of carefully annotated links. New articles and breaking news are recorded on the site's Homepage, as are daily featured articles, management quotes, and conference calls. Information rich and well organized, will be a welcome addition to any manager's bookmark collection. [EM]
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Compiled by Thelen Reid & Priest LLP, a construction law practice, this metasite bills itself as "the nation's most comprehensive guide to architecture, engineering, and construction resources on the Internet," with annotated links to over 3,000 sites. the links are organized by topic under four broad headings: organizations, industry topics, resources, and prior issues. Some of the topics break down further to help users find the relevant resources more quickly. The most useful offerings at the site include sites for building codes and industry standards, licensing information, research resources at colleges and universities, job and career information, and professional organizations for engineers, among many others. Well-organized and easy to use, this is the most comprehensive site for architecture, engineering, and construction resources that the Scout Project has ever come across. [MD]
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General Interest

Business a.m.
For Scottish business news and information, look no farther than Business a.m., a new daily online newspaper. The first national daily newspaper in Scotland in over 100 years, Business a.m. promises to "combine high quality news, analysis, and commentary on business, politics, law, media, accountancy, commercial property, leisure, and new technology." The Website seems to still be in stages of development and is somewhat lacking in content. It does, however, include articles from the print version of this newspaper, daily market reports, and columns and opinion pieces. [EM]
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Dot.coms: What Have We Learned -- Fortune Magazine
Perhaps a bit prematurely, Fortune Magazine offers an in-depth post mortem on the sudden rise and fall of the Dot-conomy. This five-part series examines some of the main lessons learned from the US's start-up fever, including "If it doesn't make cents, it doesn't make sense," "Investors are not your customers," and "The Internet changes your job." Six interviews with start-up veterans give perspectives on how working for dot.coms changed their lives; interview subjects include those who continue to work for dot.coms, left the industry, or made their fortunes in the Internet. "Fifty Lessons" offers a compilation of short lessons learned and mistakes made. [EM]
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Global Agenda --
New from the, Global Agenda "provides rolling coverage and analysis on six to eight of the most important business and political topics each day." Written by Economist staff writers, each world topic includes a short paragraph summary of the issue, as well as a mid-length article examining the issue in greater detail. Related items, found in a column on the right side of the screen, include links to Economist articles, newswires, and accompanying Websites. These dynamic articles are updated as events occur; dramatic changes will be noted in red. [EM]
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Advanced Stock Information
The mission of Advanced Stock Information is to help "investors and analysts by offering access to high quality investment research information." Featured on the site is the stock research search tool. Enter a ticker symbol into the search field, and the site will insert that company into a huge collection of outside stock information Websites. The site also contains a helpful list of top stock information sites, as determined by Advanced Stock Information staff editors. The sites are grouped into "Top Ten" lists in categories including Financial Portals, Stock Screening Tools, and IPO Information Sites. [EM]
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Franchise Zone's new service, Franchise Zone, claims to be the "Online Franchise Authority." Featured on the site is Franchise Zone's collection of over 900 franchise opportunities, ranging from financial services to pet businesses. Browseable by name of company as well as by company sector, each franchise is described in detail, including its products or services, company background, costs and fees, number of national and international units, and corporate information. The site also offers news and advice for those looking to buy into a franchise including news-making franchises, the Entrepreneur's Guide to Franchising, an expert advice column, and interactive discussions. [EM]
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United States Court of International Trade [.pdf]
In 1980, the United States Customs Court was renamed the United States Court of International Trade and given expanded status, jurisdiction, and powers. The court's powers include exclusive jurisdiction over "any civil action against the United States, its officers, or its agencies arising out of any law pertaining to international trade," as well as "certain civil actions brought by the United States under the laws governing import transactions." While considerable attention has been paid to the World Trade Organization and other international trade bodies, little notice is given to the role and function of this court. At the site, visitors can learn about the Court's procedures, calendar, personnel, and its judges. Best of all, they can read the full text of the Court's slip opinions from 1999 and 2000 in .pdf format. [MD]
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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]
Log-Periodogram Estimation of Long Memory Volatility Dependencies with Conditionally Heavy Tailed Returns
The Use and Abuse of "Real-Time" Data in Economic Forecasting

Federal Reserve System [.pdf]:
FRB Atlanta Working Papers
A Theory of Transactions Privacy
The Determinants of the Flow of Funds of Managed Portfolios: Mutual Funds versus Pension Funds
Derivatives on Volatility: Some Simple Solutions Based on Observables

FRB Minneapolis Staff Reports
Technology (and Policy) Shocks in Models of Endogenous Growth
Habit Persistence, Asset Returns and the Business Cycle

FRB Philadelphia Working Papers
Capitalization of Federal Taxes, the Relative Price of Housing, and Urban Form: Density and Sorting Effects
Nonconvex Factor Adjustments in Equilibrium Business Cycle Models: Do Nonlinearities Matter?
Sectoral Shocks and Metropolitan Employment Growth

FRB Richmond Working Papers
Optimal Monetary Policy

Other Institutions:
National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers [.pdf]
Japan Premium and Stock Prices: Two Mirrors of Japanese Banking Crises
Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry
Consumption and Risk Sharing Over the Life Cycle
Wages, Productivity, and the Dynamic Interaction of Businesses and Workers
Fear of Floating
Private Inflows when Crises are Anticipated: A Case Study of Korea
Asset Location for Retirement Savers
Sex, Drugs, and Catholic Schools: Private Schooling and Non-Market Adolescent Behaviors
Using Studies of Treatment Response to Inform Treatment Choice in Heterogeneous Populations

Bank of International Settlements Working Papers [.pdf]
The impact of corporate risk management on monetary policy transmission: some empirical evidence
Corporate hedging: the impact of financial derivatives on the broad credit channel of monetary policy
Trading volumes, volatility and spreads in foreign exchange markets: evidence from emerging market countries

International Monetary Fund Working Papers [.pdf]
An Interest Rate Defense of a Fixed Exchange Rate?
Inflation Targeting Under Potential Output Uncertainty
What Caused the 1991 Currency Crisis in India?
Inside the Crisis: An Empirical Analysis of Banking Systems in Distress

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Papers [.pdf]
A multi-gas assessment of the Kyoto Protocol$FILE/00085067.PDF

Wharton Financial Institutions Center Working Papers [.pdf]
Risk Factor Analysis and Portfolio Immunization in the Corporate Bond Market
Searching for the Value of Quality in Financial Services

Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance [.pdf]
How Fast Do Banks Adjust? A Dynamic Model of Labor-Use with an Application to Swedish Banks
Designing Efficient Institutions for Science-Based Entrepreneurship: Lesson from the US and Sweden
A median voter model of health insurance with ex post moral hazard
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB BOG)
Beige Book
November 1, 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 regional reports, the district economies all have continued to show a moderate growth rate. [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston
Bank Notes
November 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.

FRB Chicago
Detroit FedPoints
September/ October 2000
Articles in the September/ October 2000 Detroit FedPoints include "Automobile Sales Remain Strong Despite Economic Slowdown," "Michigan's Banking Ahead of the Pack, but for How Long?," and "The Upside of Trade Deficits." [EM]

FRB Cleveland [.pdf]
Economic Trends
November 2000
A publication of the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends includes recent trend information on gold, operating balances, and exchange rates. [EM]

FRB Dallas [.pdf]
Houston Business
November 2000
The November 2000 issue of Houston Business explores the technology and oil businesses in an article by Robert W. Gilmer entitled "Texas Rides Oil and Technology to New Highs." [EM]

FRB Philadelphia [.pdf]
Business Review
November/December 2000
The current issue of Business Review from FRB Philadelphia includes the articles "A New Look at Economic Indexes for the States in the Third District" and "From Centralization to Deconcentration: People and Jobs Spread Out." [EM]

FRB Richmond
Regional Focus
Fall 2000
Regional Focus's Fall 2000 issue includes articles on outerspace becoming commercialized, urban renewal in Washington DC, and a profile of a local businessman. [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include the October 30, 2000 speech given by Jurgen Stark, Vice-President of the Deutsche Bundesbank on the new image of European banking; a speech by Otmar Issing, member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, about the central bank system; and a speech on Europe's business and economic outlook, given by Willem F Duisenberg, President of the European Central Bank, on October 26, 2000. [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: Labour Economics (Vol 7, No 6), Journal of Asian Economics (Vol 11, No 2), Pacific-Basin Finance Journal (Vol 8, No 3-4), Economics Letters (Vol 69, No 3), Journal of Econometrics (Vol 99, No 2), and World Development (Vol 28, No 11). [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 European Association of Labour Economists (EALE) annual meeting, September 13-16, 2001, in Jyvaskyla, Finland; the Far Eastern Meeting of the Econometric Society, July 20-22, 2001, in Kobe, Japan; and the Conference Society for Computational Economics (SCE), June 28-30, 2001, in New Haven, Connecticut. [EM]

European Society for Population Economics
June 14-16, 2001
Athens, Greece

Work 2001: First International Conference Employment Creation in Development
April 2-5, 2001
Johannesburg, South Africa
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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

The BIS consolidated international banking statistics -- Bank of International Settlements
BIS presents its end-June 2000 consolidated statistics on the "maturity, sectoral, and nationality distribution of the international bank lending." The full 30-page document is available, as is the statistical annex. [EM]
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Personal Income and Outlays: September 2000 -- Bureau of Economic Analysis
In September 2000, personal income increased 1.1 percent, or $90.3 billion. Disposable personal income also increased 1.1 percent, rising $77.7 billion. [EM]
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Consumer Price Index -- Bureau of Labor Statistics
Released on October 20, 2000, the Consumer Price Index for September 2000 shows that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased to 173.7, or 0.5 percent. The CPI-U rose 3.5 percent in the twelve-month period ending in September. [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 November 2000 include Cotton: World Markets and Trade. This monthly report shows that the production estimates for the major cotton exporting countries, including Greece, Syria, and the African Franc Zone, are the lowest since 1996-1997. [EM]
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In The News

Oil Prices Expected to Increase
1) "No Change: OPEC Ministers Say Oil Production Will Stay Steady" -- ABC News
2) "OPEC holds output quotas" -- CNNfn
3) "Opec turns deaf ear to fuel pleas" -- The Guardian,3604,397198,00.html
4) The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
5) The World Oil Market -- US Department of Energy
6) Government Fuel Information
7) Still More Gas Prices
On Sunday, November 12, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided against pumping more oil, because of their fear of oil prices dramatically dropping after the cold winter months. The Oil Cartel, which met in Vienna, Austria, plans to keep oil prices between $22 to $28 a barrel. The news that OPEC would not be increasing oil production caused the price of light crude oil in the US to increase 46 cents to $34.48 a barrel, and Brent crude oil rose 41 cents to $32.43 a barrel. OPEC has already raised the quotas for crude production four times in the past year in an attempt to keep prices at a reasonable level. The next planned meeting for OPEC will be held on January 17, 2001 to review oil output levels. The eleven nations of OPEC, including Libya, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia, supply nearly 40 percent of the world's oil.

ABC News (1) and CNNfn (2) offer news and information about OPEC's Sunday decision. The Guardian(3) considers the impact of oil prices on the UK. The official Website for OPEC (4) features news and press releases from the oil cartel, as well as a helpful, albeit defensive, explanation as to why oil is so expensive. The US Department of Energy's World Oil Market (5) site provides news, information, and resources about the demand for oil, prices, and production projections, while the Government Fuel Information Website (6) supplies the latest news and advice for British citizens who are facing fuel shortages. Finally, Still More Gas Prices (7) is a bank of fuel-related editorial cartoons from newspapers around the country. [EM]
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Research Roundup
Research Roundup is a publication of the Financial Markets Center. In the November 2, 2000 Scout Report for Business and Economics it was incorrectly attributed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. [EM]

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The Scout Report for Business & Economics
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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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