The Scout Report for Business & Economics - November 30, 2000

November 30, 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


Mastering the Challenge -- Social Security Administration [.pdf]
The Social Security Administration presents Mastering the Challenge, a 72-page strategic plan for the Social Security program from 2000 to 2010. According to the section "The Message of This Strategic Plan," the SSA's priorities over the next five years include a commitment to customer service; program integrity; and investing, data, and policy analysis. This customer-based plan highlights five basic goals: responsive programs, world-class service, valued employees, program integrity, and public understanding, all in careful detail. Geared towards the American people, this report very clearly explicates the SSA's goals and visions for the near future. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

"How does public spending affect growth and poverty? The experience of China" -- Global Development Network [.pdf]
This paper, submitted to the Second Annual Global Development Network Conference in December 2000, by Sheggen Fan, Linxie Zhang, and Xiaobo Zhang, reports that, in the past two decades, the number of poor in China has dropped from 260 million people in 1978 to 50 million in 1997. "How does public spending affect growth and poverty" examines the role of public funding in this decline. The authors describe their "simultaneous equation model," which estimates "the direct and indirect effects of different types of government expenditures on rural poverty and productivity growth in rural China." The paper concludes that government spending on product enhancing investments including agriculture R&D, education in rural areas, and the creation of roads, electricity, and communication have all contributed to rural poverty reduction by way of agricultural production growth. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

"Keynes and Australia" [.pdf]
This recently recovered and released paper by Donald J Markwell of the Reserve Bank of Australia was presented at a seminar at the Reserve Bank of Australia in September 1985. The paper discusses with John Maynard Keynes's dealings with Australian government officials mainly during the period between World War I and World War II, a time of great "economic and social turmoil." The paper covers five main topics including the early impact of Keynesian economics in Australia, Keynes and the Australian Prime Minister, William Morris Hughes's views of the demands against Germany after the Great War, and the influence of Keynes in Australia's handling of its economic Depression. Albeit fifteen years old, this paper's conclusions are still quite relevant amd topical today. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Building Local Bond Markets: An Asian Perspective -- International Financial Corporation [.pdf]
Building Local Bond Markets: An Asian Perspective is a 291-page collection of research papers presented at the South Asian Debt Market Symposium of October 1999. The book is intended to be a "part of the IFC'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 papers are divided into two main sections. The Introduction and Framework section sets up the problems and covers some of the main, overarching theories of local bond markets. The second section provides ten case studies of local bond markets in Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Korea. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

OECD Economic Outlook 68: Preliminary Edition [.pdf]
Released this month, this report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development offers a comprehensive assessment of the economic outlook for the next two years for both member and non-member nations. The report provides a detailed general assessment of the macroeconomic situation and individual discussions of developments in member countries as well as regional overviews of non-member nations. The report concludes that "global economic growth appears to have peaked during the first half of 2000, but world economic prospects remain relatively bright, despite higher oil prices and a weakening in many equity markets." The document is made available in .pdf format, with a hypertext table of contents in HTML. One caution: we noted some typographical irregularities in the free .pdf version. Researchers requiring absolute accuracy will want to purchase the text from the OECD bookshop. [DC]
[Back to Contents]

Committee of Donor Agencies for Small Enterprise Development
Established in 1979, the Committee of Donor Agencies promotes the development of small enterprise in developing countries. This site offers numerous working and research papers about the Committee of Donor Agencies and its members. Showcased on the site are the Committee's Donor Business Development Services Case Studies. The Case studies are browseable by several categories including Region, Country, Theme, and Member Agency. Also provided are the Donor Committee Guidelines and links to member agencies's sites. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Learning Resources Industry Center's impressive Industry Center contains "in-depth and updated" profiles, news, and events for over 50 industries. The industries are organized in alphabetical order. Clicking on the title of each industry gives a basic overview of the related resources. For example, the Aerospace and Defense category includes a directory of aerospace and defense business Websites, breaking news, and industry resources. All resources are complete with pithy annotations. Clicking on the "news" heading under the same category gives daily time-stamped news briefs from leading industry-related publications, a page-long profile overviewing the industry, and the events section, which offers a wide selection of conferences and events. More than a standard directory, the Industry Center is a truly information-rich and carefully constructed resource. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Annuities: Ordinary? Due? What do I do? [.pdf]
Created and maintained by John M. Wachowicz, Jr., Professor of Finance at the University of Tennessee, Annuities: Ordinary? Due? What do I do? is a wonderful tutorial that will help students of finance "better identify, understand, and calculate future and present values of both ordinary annuities and annuities due." The tutorial begins by citing resources found on the Internet, including online lectures and tutorials to start building users's basic knowledge of annuities. The second page covers the definitions of "annuity," "ordinary annuity," and "annuity due," and leads users through calculations to figure out what kind of annuities they are dealing with. The final page offers a multiple choice quiz, complete with a detailed answer key. [EM]
[Back to Contents] is a full-service Internet portal specializing in Canadian business issues. The Website is built around the elements of a train station, including Routes, offering eleven in-depth business areas, a Newsstand of online Canadian business publications, and the official storage section, Garage, which houses the site's archives, links, and business tools. also has two tutorials, one on using the Web and one on MS Windows, led by's bus driver, Driver Ed. The section names are not particularly intuitive, so users may have to spend a little more time browsing through this site to find the information they need. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Rational Expectations
Rational Expectations was set up by Ralph Lazar, former strategist and economist for Goldman Sachs, Barings & Credit Suisse First Boston, as a "resource for anyone interested in [emerging markets] economics -- students, teachers, lecturers, journalists, professionals, or just the curious." A fully comprehensive guide to the people, places, and events of the economics world, Rational Expectations includes an searchable database of over 1,000 organizations and institutions in OECD countries and emerging markets, a conference calendar, and job listings. The site also links to academic, professional, and government organizations, as well as a huge suggested publication list and macroeconomic and financial market data. Rational Expectations will be a welcome resource for anyone interested in emerging markets economics. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

E-commerce parallel session
The resources on this Website are all related to the 2000 Institutional Web Management Workshop held at the University of Bath in September 2000. Along with the results of an August/ September 20000 survey exploring ecommerce system usage in the HE sector, the site also contains two slide shows from the parallel session and reports and feedback from the conference. In addition, the site links to three organizations involved in the conference. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

General Interest

The Checkers Bank
The Checkers Bank is a fictitious online bank created by the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors in order to aid in the education and understanding of the "application of consumer regulations to Internet banking." The banking site is set up as an actual bank. There are, however, violations of federal consumer protection regulations intentionally added to each of the pages. The site doesn't point out the violations; rather, a small blue Federal Reserve Bank icon on bottom left side of each page gives information on the possible violations for each page, including offering hints about the violation, explaining the findings, a review of the regulations, and suggested changes to the Webpage. The Checkers Bank offers an excellent hands-on, and even fun, learning experience about consumer regulations and Internet banking. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

This new service from the online technology magazine Red Herring is a huge database of start-up companies. The database is browseable by company name, name of a person, industry, or funding stage, as well as being keyword-searchable. Information on each company in Herringtown is presented in several layers. The first offers general information such as company contact information, year founded, and number of employees. The second layer provides business information such as product or service information, industry sector, and strategic partners. The Financials section explains the company's funding situation, and the Team section gives profiles of the company's officers. Although filing through these layers is somewhat cumbersome, Herringtown offers a thorough overview of these start-ups. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

MBA Depot
MBA Depot founder Jeff Blum created this site during his own MBA program at the University of Texas at Austin as a way to help MBA students and alumni learn "the tools to succeed," or the elements of success not taught in the classroom. MBA Depot's flagship service is its new information filtering system which sorts news briefs and articles by topic or by publication. The site also contains a comprehensive list of MBA programs with online components. MBA Depot contains some excellent resources. It is still, however, in its infancy. As the site continues to fill out its sections, it should become a welcome resource for new and newly graduated MBAs. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Financial Traders Resource Center
From the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Financial Traders Resource Center offers a wide array of links to valuable online resources for financial traders. The links are laid out in no-nonsense grids in categories including economic research, financial news, prices and charts, and currency resources. The resources are all fairly standard, but users will appreciate having them all in one place. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

"Best Cities to Start and Grow a Company in Now" --,,ART21110_CNT53,00.html
Location. Location. Location. Inc. Magazine rates the best 50 US cities in which to start a business. After factoring in such elements as "available capital, a skilled labor pool, the enriching atmosphere created by universities, advanced transportation facilities, and good roads," Inc. has chosen Phoenix, AZ as its top choice. Along with the rankings, Inc. includes an article on how the right locations have benefited companies in a number of industries, a checklist of key issues to keep in mind when relocating a business, and a case study of Loudoun, VA. In italics at the bottom of the first page is a link to "the cities on the list"; this hidden gem offers links to 100 US cities's chambers of commerce and other business-related information. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

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 (FRB BOG)
The Flypaper Effect Unstuck: Evidence on Endogenous Grants from The Federal Highway Aid Program
Bankruptcy in General Equilibrium
Parameterizing Credit Risk Models With Rating Data
Empirical Evidence on Human Capital Spillovers
A Study of the Finite Sample Properties of EMM, GMM, QMLE, and MLE for a Square-Root Interest Rate Diffusion Model
Credit Scoring and Mortgage Securitization: Do They Lower Mortgage Rates?
Factor Supplies and Specialization in the World Economy
Using Treasury STRIPS to Measure the Yield Curve
An Analysis of European Banks SND Issues and Its Implications for the Design of a Mandatory Subordinated Debt Policy
Testing for Market Discipline in the European Banking Industry: Evidence from Subordinated Debt

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Atlanta Working Papers
Asymmetric Shocks among U.S. States
Has Monetary Policy Been So Bad That It Is Better to Get Rid of It? The Case of Mexico
Managing the Risk of Loans with Basis Risk: Sell, Hedge, or Do Nothing?
Subordinated Debt and Bank Capital Reform
The Use of Accruals to Manage Reported Earnings: Theory and Evidence

FRB Chicago Working Papers
Why Is Productivity Procyclical? Why Do We Care?

FRB Cleveland Economic Working Papers
Gross Loan Flows
Relationship Loans and Information Exploitability in a Competitive Market: Loan Commitments vs. Spot Loans

FRB Minneapolis Staff Reports
On the Equilibrium Concept for Overlapping Generations Organizations

FRB New York Staff Reports
Is the Integration of World Asset Markets Necessarily Beneficial in the Presence of Monetary Shocks?

FRB Philadelphia Working Papers
Education and Training in an Era of Creative Destruction

FRB San Francisco Working Papers
Bank Intermediation and Liquidity Effects in the Presence of a Frictionless Bond Market table

FRB St. Louis Working Papers
Business Conditions and Asset Prices in a Dynamic Economy
Gender differences in self-employment: Panel evidence from Germany
Determinacy, Learnability, and Monetary Policy Inertia
NAFTA and the Changing Pattern of State Exports
The Practice of Central Bank Intervention: Looking Under the Hood
The Value of Inside and Outside Money

Other Institutions:
National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers
Is Foreign Direct Investment a Channel of Knowledge Spillovers? Evidence for Japan's FDI in the United States
Are Profits Shared Across Borders? Evidence on International Rent Sharing
Scale Economies and the Geographic Concentration of Industry
A Century of Purchasing-Power Parity
The Impact of Capital Gains Taxes on Stock Price Reactions to S&P Inclusion
Macroeconomic Factors and Antidumping Filings: Evidence from Four Countries
The Uneasy Marriage of Export Incentives and the Income Tax
Evolution and Revolution in the Argentine Banking System under Convertibility: The Roles of Crises and Path Dependence
The Long-Term Gains from GAIN: A Re-Analysis of the Impacts of the California GAIN Program
Fixing for Your Life
Time Use and Population Representation in the Sloan Study of Adolescents
Long Memory and Regime Switching
Social Reformers and Regulation: The Prohibition of Cigarettes in the U.S. and Canada

International Monetary Fund Working Papers
Voting on the "Optimal" Size of Government
The Disappearing Tax Base: Is Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Eroding Corporate Income Taxes?
Good, Bad or Ugly? On The Effects of Fiscal Rules with Creative Accounting
Pension Reform, Private Saving, and the Current Account in a Small Open Economy
Fiscal Policy Through Time-Varying Tax Rates: If and How
Tales From Two Neighbors: Productivity Growth in Canada and the United States
Does IMF Financing Result in Moral Hazard?
The Plutocratic Bias in the CPI: Evidence from Spain
Health Care and Its Financing in Italy: Issues and Reform Options
The Effects of Monetary and Fiscal Policy on Aggregate Demand in a Small Open Economy: An Application of the Structural Error Correction Model
The Impact of Tax and Welfare Policies on Employment and Unemployment in OECD Countries
Banks' Reserve Management, Transaction Costs, and the Timing of Federal Reserve Intervention
Forecasting Inflation in Chile Using State-Space and Regime-Switching Models
Technological Adaptation, Trade, and Growth
The Russian Default and the Contagion to Brazil

Stockholm School of Economics Institute for International Economic Studies Seminar Papers
Indicator Variables for Optimal Policy
The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap
Five Fallacies in the Social Security Debate
Pensions and Contemporary Socioeconomic Change
The Young Ohlin on the Theory of "Interregional and International Trade"
EMU Effects on International Trade and Investment
On Analytics of the Dynamic Laffer Curve
The first Year of the Eurosystem: Inflation Targeting or Not?
[Back to Contents]


Federal Reserve Board of Governors [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bulletin
November 2000
A monthly publication of the staff members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the November 2000 issue of Federal Reserve Bulletin includes the article "CRA Special Lending Programs." [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston
New England Economic Review [.pdf]
July/August 2000
The abstracts and full-text of the three articles included in the July/ August 2000 issue of New England Economic Review have recently been made available. [EM]

FRB Chicago [.pdf]
Economic Perspectives
Fourth Quarter 2000
FRB Chicago's quarterly journal of in-depth reports on the Bank's research contains four articles in its fourth quarter 2000 issue: "A Record Current Account Deficit: Causes and Implications," "Effect of Auto Plant Openings on Net Migration in the Auto Corridor, 1980-97," "Why do Consumers Pay Bills Electronically? An Empirical Analysis," and "The Effect of the Run-up in the Stock Market on Labor Supply." [EM]

FRB Dallas
Houston Business
November 2000
The November 2000 issue of Houston Business consists of the article "Texas Rides Oil and Technology to New Highs." [EM]

FRB San Francisco [.pdf]
Economic Developments
November 2000
According to the November 2000 issue of Economic Developments, although the pace of growth has slowed, the Twelfth District continued to expand. [EM]

FRB St. Louis [.pdf]
International Economic Trends
November 2000
The November 2000 issue of International Economic Trends from FRB St. Louis contains the basic economic indicators for countries including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, and the US. [EM]

International Monetary Fund
Economic Issues
August 2000 (No 23)
Economic Issues is the IMF's attempt to reach an audience of nonspecialists. The August 2000 issue consists of the article "Promoting Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa Learning What Works." [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include a speech given by Willem F Duisenberg on the euro and single monetary policy; Deputy Governor of the Bank of England David Clementi's speech entitled "The Bank of England -- a central bank post-independence"; and First Deputy Governor of the Sveriges Riskbank Lars Heikensten's speech on the European Monetary Union. [EM]

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Economic Outlook
November 2000
The November 2000 issue of Economic Outlook contains the article "Bubble Trouble" which considers the dangers of stock market bubbles. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

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: Accounting, Organizations and Society (Vol 25, No 8), International Review of Financial Analysis (Vol 9, No 1), Mathematical Social Sciences (Vol 41, No 1), Labour Economics (Vol 7, No 6), Review of Radical Political Economics (Vol 23, No 1), Structural Change and Economic Dynamics (Vol 11, No 3), and World Development (Vol 28, No 12). [EM]
[Back to Contents]


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 Western Economic Association Annual Conference, July 2001, San Francisco, California; European Young Statisticians' Meeting, September 2001, Janska Dolina, Slovakia; and Portuguese Economic Society, Annual Conference, June 2001, Lisbon. [EM]

Far Eastern Meeting of Econometric Society
Kobe, Japan
July 20-22, 2001

European Conferences of the Econom[etr]ics Community
Dublin, Ireland
December 14-15, 2000
[Back to Contents]


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
[Back to Contents]

New Data

Assets and Liabilities of Insured Domestically Chartered and Foreign-Related Banking Institutions -- Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB BOG)
Published weekly, this release "provides an aggregate balance sheet for commercial banks in the United States and for several subgroups of banks." Included in the report are balance sheets on bank loans and investments as well as estimates of the major deposit and non-deposit liability terms. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, September 2000 -- Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
According to this press release, in September 2000, the goods and services deficit was at $34.3 billion, which is $4.5 billion more than in the previous month. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Employment Situation, October 2000 -- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
The BLS reports that the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.9 percent during October 2000. Non-farm employment rose by 137,000 jobs, notably with the construction sector gaining 34,000 jobs. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

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 the weekly Crop Progress Report and the Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry report. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

In The News

Internet Employees on Shaky Ground
1) "8,789 Dot-Com Workers Get Pink Slips in November" -- San Francisco Chronicle
2) "New Low for Dot-Com Workers" -- E-commerce Times
3) "Dot Dot Dot?" -- New York Times Magazine
4) "From start-up to dot woe" -- The Guardian,7558,403291,00.html
5) "Living in freefall" --
6) Dotcom Shakeout - CNNfn
7) Layoff, Retraining and Reemployment Information
According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas (CGC), 8,789 employees of Internet companies lost their jobs during November. That's a whopping 55 percent higher than in October. Since December 1999, when CGC started tracking dot-com layoffs, 383 dot-coms have let go over 30,000 workers, including 12,551 positions from dot-com service firms, 7,863 employees in ecommerce positions, and 2,505 workers in the online health and fitness industry. CGC's John Challenger explains that the high number of lay-offs in the services industry happened because dot-coms expected businesses and consumers to "change their habits" more rapidly than they actually did, which led to an "over-supply" of these kinds of companies. Challenger also predicted that dot-com layoffs would continue over the next months, as ecommerce companies begin to feel a cash drought during the after-the-holiday lull.

The San Francisco Chronicle(1) reports on the new Challenger, Gray, and Christmas report, and the E-commerce Times(2) offers an interview with John Challenger. New York Times Magazine(3) profiles a handful of newly unemployed Internet workers. Imogen O'Rorke of the UK's Guardian(4) recounts the recent closing of dot-coms, while the (5) reports on the future of big Internet sites whose share prices have fallen by as much as 90 percent. For current news and updates on failing Internet companies, bookmark CNNfn's special report Dotcom Shakeout (6), and finally, for those in need of new jobs, the Workforce Development Electronic Service Center of the Employment and Training Association (7) offers a comprehensive guide to surviving a layoff. [EM]
[Back to Contents]

Scout Report for Business & Economics Subscription Instructions

To receive the electronic mail version of the Scout Report for Business & Economics every other Thursday, join the SRBUSECON mailing list. This is the only mail you will receive from this list.

Internet Scout team member information

The Scout Report for Business & Economics
Brought to You by the Internet Scout Project

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.

Susan Calcari
Travis Koplow
Emily Missner
Pat Coulthard
Managing Editor
Technical Specialist

Below are the copyright statements to be included when reproducing annotations from The Scout Report for Business & Economics.

The single phrase below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing any portion of this report, in any format:

From The Scout Report for Business & Economics, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2000.

The paragraph below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing the entire report, in any format:

Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-2000. The Internet Scout Project (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin - Madison or the National Science Foundation.

Internet Scout
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project

Comments, Suggestions, Feedback
Use our feedback form or send email to

© 2000 Internet Scout Project
Information on reproducing any publication is available on our copyright page.