The Scout Report for Business & Economics - December 14, 2000

December 14, 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


"Global Economic Prospects and the Developing Countries 2001" -- World Bank [.pdf, RealPlayer, QuickTime]
This year's annual report on the economic prospects for developing countries focuses on international trade and the policies needed to help these nations benefit from global integration. The news is good for many developing countries, whose economic growth is expected to register "5.3 percent this year, 5 percent next year, and ease to 4.8 percent by 2002." However, the world's poorest nations, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, have not kept pace. The full report is available online, but each chapter must be downloaded separately in .pdf format. The official press release and summary are available in several languages including Chinese, German, Russian, and English. The main page also provides a slide show of the primary points and issues of the report and a video interview with the Director of the Bank's Economy Policy and Prospects program, as well as regional economic prospects and related links. [MD]
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Statistics on Depository Institutions (SDI)
New from the FDIC, the Statistics on Depository Institutions is an advanced feature of the FDIC's Institutional Directory system; SDI will help users create detailed financial reports, by either choosing between 24 predefined financial information reports or building their own custom reports. The criteria of the report may include "any combination of single FDIC-insured institutions or bank holding companies, custom peer groups of FDIC-insured institutions or bank holding companies, or standard peer groups of FDIC-insured institutions." A detailed FAQ offers help on creating reports and explains some of the terminology. [EM]
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Microeconomic Reform and the Environment
This 260-page document from the Australian Productivity Commission details the proceedings of the Microeconomic Reform and the Environment, which took place on September 8, 2000 in Melbourne, Australia. The main body of the report is broken into four main sections, each dealing with a different sector of the environment: the water sector, the electricity sector, the transport sector, and the forest sector. Each section includes a short introduction to the main issues of each sector and the related workshop presentation summary. In some cases, discussions are also given. A short summary and epilogue wrap up Microeconomic Reform and the Environment.[EM]
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The Economics of Korean Unification [.pdf]
The Institute for International Economics (IIE) presents this new Website exploring the economic ramifications of the unification of North and South Korea. The extensive collection of IIE resources on this site include speeches, testimonies, and essays, along with Websites, policy briefs, working papers, and even the full texts of books. All resources are presented on the main page of the site and span from 1996 to the present. While the titles are fairly self-explanatory, abstracts and annotations are not provided for any of the sources. [EM]
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Oxfam Reports and Accounts [.pdf]
On December 12, 2000, Oxfam released its Oxfam Reports and Accounts, which details Oxfam's statutory accounts from April 1999 to April 2000. This 44-page document contains individual reports from the Oxfam Chair, Director, and Auditors, as well as focusing on the finances of the organization including a Consolidated Statement of Financial Activities, Summary Income and Expenditure Account, Balance Sheet, and Consolidated Cash Flow Statement. According to the statement written by Oxfam Chair Lord Joffe, this has been "an eventful and dramatic year" for the NGO; along with helping with crises in Orissa, Sudan, and Mozambique, Oxfam's donors gave 124.1 million pounds. [EM]
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Learning Resources

Economic Sociology Editorial Series
This collection of editorials was first published on the economic-sociology electronic mailing list. Written by academics from such institutions as Northwestern University, the University of Pennsylvania, Stockholm University, and Princeton University, these editorials cover a range of ideas in the field of economic sociology including globalization, immigration, and the future of economic sociology. Generally informational in tone and easy to read, these short pieces offer excellent snapshots into some of the most pressing issues in economic sociology. [EM]
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The Business Ethics Training and Development Homepage
The author of the Business Ethics Training and Development Homepage, Robert A. Giacalone, is the Surtman Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics at the Belk College of Business Administration at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. On this Website, Mr. Giacalone strives to "help organizations understand the complexity of ethics training and development." The site briefly explains the six components of ethics training including elements such as component two: "Provide trainees with organizational ethical expectations and rules." Also included are three processes that will help businesses develop their ethics. A bit brief in its information, the Business Ethics Training and Development Homepage offers an introduction to this complicated subject. [EM]
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Oxford School of Learning
The Oxford School of Learning provides a selection of free tutorials on business and economics. Daily updated case studies and question sets are available. Each question set offers a short piece on a newsworthy topic followed by several thought-provoking questions. Case studies are presented in the same format with questions at the end. The Notes section includes a glossary, as well as information on a variety of topics including law, marketing, and human resources. The information on the Oxford School of Learning is in-depth and insightful; unfortunately, the site is clumsy to download and lacks navigational tools, making it difficult to use effectively. [EM]
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Fair Disclosure Express
Created and maintained by Edgar Online, Fair Disclosure Express offers news and information on the Fair Disclosure Rule that became effective on October 23, 2000. The Fair Disclosure Rule is part of the SEC's effort to level the playing field for all investors by requiring all US public companies to fully disclose material data and relevant information that may influence investment decisions to all investors at the same time, not just selectively to analysts and insiders before events occur." The site keeps users up to date with daily reports on 8-K and 425 filings, as well as basic information about Regulation FD. Fair Disclosure Express also offers a deconstruction of Regulation FD, and an impressive collection of comments, letters, and remarks about the regulation by leading heads of organizations, law firms, and corporations. Useful Links is a short list of publications from the National Investor Relations Institute. [EM]
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Glossary of Terms Used in Payments and Settlements Systems [.pdf]
This huge 53-page glossary from the Bank of International Settlements offers "in a single publication all the standard terms and their definitions that have been published in the reports of the [Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems], the European Monetary Institute, and the European Central Bank." The terms in the glossary are in alphabetical order; they date from 1992 to the present and will be updated periodically. [EM]
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General Interest

Open Secrets
The Center for Responsible Politics presents Open Secrets, a site dedicated to helping users understand the complex subject of campaign finance. The site offers three main services. The first allows users to track industries's political donations. Users create searches through a combination of pull-down windows and keywords, and they are provided with four pages of information on that industry or sector: an overview of political donations, background on the issues behind the donations, top contributors, and top recipients. For information about election resources, use the "Who's Getting" search, which allows visitors to search for congressional races by city zip code, state, or candidate's name. Finally, the third service, "Get Local!" gives a detailed regional look at campaign spending for the candidates from the November 2000 elections. For those new to the site, Open Secrets provides a thorough tour of the site. [EM]
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Newly launched by Oprah's Oxygen Network, Ka-Ching (as in the sound that money makes) offers financial and career advice for women. The site's main page contains a smorgasbord of news, feature articles, and profiles of businesses. This month, the site tackles the topics of giving and gifts, responsibility in investing, and finding worthwhile and socially responsible careers. Along with the main section, Ka-Ching has three other sections, accessible by index tabs along the top of the site. Your Money provides information on saving, spending, and investing; Your Business looks at women-owned businesses with articles and advice from leading business women; and Your Career offers the basics in job hunting, relating with co-workers, and promotion strategies. Although Ka-Ching is geared towards women, it doesn't rely on drawings of pink flowers or an over-abundance of articles on home economics. Instead the site provides first-class news, information, and advice on becoming financially and business savvy. [EM]
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The creators of BadAds believe that advertising has become far too intrusive in American lives. Along with TV, magazine, radio ads, and billboards, advertisements and commercials are popping up in movie theatres, schools, public bathrooms, and even on stickers on fruit. Four criteria determine whether advertising is intrusive: an inability to turn the ad off; its entrance into your home without your consent; your lack of choice whether or not to watch it; and ads that don't support anything in particular and may actually cost you money. Rather than just venting about intrusive advertising, BadAds urges visitors to become active in the fight against bad ads by writing complaint letters to a host of venues that support intrusive advertising including movie theaters, sporting venues, television networks, and the heads of educational institutions. BadAds offers instructions on writing complaint letters as well as many suggestions as to who should receive these letters. [EM]
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"The e-business czar: What does it take to manage an e-business transformation?"
From E-business Forum, this lengthy article explores the key elements of a successful head of e-business. The article explains that a head of ebusiness should be both autocratic and evangelical in personality, as well as be imbued with technological and business savvy. "The e-business czar" also offers advice as to how to advertise for an ebusiness czar, as well as delineating the present and future roles that they will play in traditional businesses. [EM]
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Formerly (see the June 18, 1998 Scout Report for Business and Economics), Pro2Net has been redesigned and expanded to offer its services to human resources, insurance, and legal professionals, as well as those who work in financial services. Pro2Net has fourteen main services, including Newsline, Career Center, Professional Education, and Link Library. Each category is broken into the four professions served by Pro2Net. The "Pro2Net Family of Sites" includes the Website's additional pages which offer a variety of new information in accounting, law, HR, and financial resources. [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 Finance and Economic Discussion Series [.pdf]
Monetary Policy When the Nominal Short-Term Interest Rate is Zero
Pre-Announcement Effects, News, and Volatility: Monetary Policy and the Stock Market

Federal Reserve System: [.pdf]
FRB Atlanta Working Papers
Inflation, Trade Frictions, and Productive Activity in a Multiple-Matching Model of Money

FRB Chicago Working Papers
The Effects of Geographic Expansion on Bank Efficiency
Puzzles In The Chinese Stock Market

FRB Dallas Economic Research Working Papers
Self-Selection Among Undocumented Immigrants from Mexico

FRB Kansas City Working Papers
Market Makers' Supply and Pricing of Financial Market Liquidity

FRB Minneapolis Working Papers
The 1990s in Japan: A Lost Decade

FRB San Francisco Working Papers
Solving for Optimal Simple Rules in Rational Expectations Models
Steps Toward Identifying Central Bank Policy Preferences
Instability Under Nominal GDP Targeting: The Role of Expectations

Other Institutions:
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Papers
The tax system in Korea: more fairness and less complexity required$FILE/00087016.PDF

International Monetary Fund Working Papers
Transparency in Central Bank Financial Statement Disclosures
How Can Fiscal Policy Help Avert Currency Crises?
The Asymmetric Effects of Exchange Rate Fluctuations: Theory and Evidence from Developing Countries
Optimal Inventory Policies when the Demand Distribution is not Known
Corruption, Growth, and Public Finances
Globalization, Technological Developments, and the Work of Fiscal Termites
The Cost of Government and the Misuse of Public Assets
Inflation, Debt, and Default in a Monetary Union
Israeli Inflation from an International Perspective
International Debt and the Price of Domestic Assets

Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
On the Term Structure of Futures and Forward Prices
Proximity-Concentration versus Factor Proportion Explanation: The Case of Swedish Multinationals in the EU
A Return to the Convertibility Principle? Monetary And Fiscal Regimes in Historical Perspective
An alternative explanation of the price puzzle
Why not use standard panel unit root test for testing PPP
Swedish Economic Growth and Scholarly Objectivity: An objective sociologist vs. subjective economists, or the other way around?
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Beige Book
December 6, 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. [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston
Bank Notes
December 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
December 2000
FRB Chicago's Fed Letter includes the article "Recent Trends in Deposit and Loan Growth: Implications for Small and Large Banks" in its December 2000 edition. [EM]

FRB Dallas
Southwest Economy
November/December 2000
The November/ December issue of Southwest Economy contains an article that looks at the Mexican economy since the "tequila Crisis" of 1995. [EM]

FRB Minneapolis [.pdf]
Quarterly Review
Summer 2000
Quarterly Review's Summer 2000 edition includes the articles "Creating Business Cycles Through Credit Constraints" and "Knowledge of Individual Histories and Optimal Payment Arrangements." [EM]

FRB New York [.pdf]
Current Issues in Economics and Finance
December 2000
A paper on the deregulation of electricity prices is the main feature in the December 2000 issue of Current Issues in Economics and Finance.[EM]

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Summer 2000
The current issue of the OECD Observer is focused on "OECD Forum 2000: Partnerships in the New Economy." [EM]

International Monetary Fund
IMF Staff Papers
Vol 47, No 1
A quarterly publication of the International Monetary Fund staff, IMF Staff Papers includes pieces on unfunded pension systems, exchange and interest rates, economic growth, and pyramid schemes in Albania. [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include a speech on the Swedish economy given by the Governor of Sveriges Riksbank, Urban Backstrom; the introductory statement given by Willem F Duisenberg at a hearing before the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs; and Governor of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, Gazi Ercel's speech on the role of the euro from the standpoint of Turkey. [EM]

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: Journal of Accounting and Economics (Vol 29, No 2), Financial Services Review (Vol 9, No 1), Pacific-Basin Finance Journal (Vol 8, No 5), Mathematical Social Sciences (Vol 41, No 1), Japan and the World Economy (Vol 12, No 3), Journal of Public Economics (Vol 79, No 1), and Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy (Vol 51, No 1). [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 Society for Computational Economics Seventh International Conference, June 28, 2001 at Yale University in New Haven Connecticut; Western Economic Association Annual Conference, July 4-8, 2001, in San Francisco, California; and Australasian meeting of the Econometric Society (ESAM 2001), July 6-8, 2001, in Auckland, New Zealand. [EM]

Portuguese Society for Research in Economics
June 18-19, 2001
Lisbon, Portugal
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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

Personal Income, October 2000 -- Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis's Personal Income report shows that personal income decreased 0.2 percent, or $16.5 billion, and disposable personal income also decreased 0.4 percent, or $29.4 billion. [EM]
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Employment Situation, November 2000 -- Bureau of Labor Statistics
The BLS reports that payroll employment increased 94,000 in November 2000. Employment in the private sector increased by 148,000, while the unemployment rate remained at 4.0 percent. [EM]
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
2000 Agency Reports/ Schedule
USDA summarizes its report releases from various sources (the Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and the World Agricultural Outlook Board) at this calendar site. Notable data for December 2000 include the Tobacco Yearbook, which reports that flue-cured tobacco sales fell by 100 million pounds in the past year. [EM]
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Short Term Energy Outlook, December 2000 -- Energy Information Administration
The energy outlook for December 2000 shows that energy prices continue to rise, especially oil prices. Earlier in the year, oil prices were expected to fall with the expected "estimated excess production over demand rates." [EM]
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In The News

Oldsmobile Calls It Quits
1) "GM to Junk Oldsmobile" -- Washington Post
2) "End of the road for Olds" -- CNNfn
3) "General Motors Announces Phase-Out of Oldsmobile" --
4) Lansing Mourns Oldsmobile, but Happy to Still be a GM Town" --
6) Oldsmobile Start Something Advertisement -- [QuickTime]
7) "GM to axe jobs worldwide" -- BBC
8) "Oldsmobile was America's Oldest Surviving Nameplate" -- Detroit News
On Tuesday, December 12, General Motors announced that it would be phasing out its Oldsmobile line of automobiles over the next several years. The first Oldsmobile was produced in 1897, making it the oldest surviving line of cars. However, historical value was not enough to justify producing cars that now have 1.6 percent of the American car market, ranking just below Hyundai; in 1985, Oldsmobile had seven percent of the market. Oldsmobile began struggling in the late 1980s as American families started to buy imports instead of American-made cars. GM tried to update Oldsmobile's image and appeal in the mid-1990s, and they did manage to lower the average age of Oldsmobile buyers from 60 to 49 in the last four years. Twenty-five percent of American car buyers are under the age of 35, and Oldsmobile was never able to recapture that demographic. GM also announced that it would be cutting its salaried American workforce by ten percent and closed its Vauxhall car plant in Luton, England.

For in-depth coverage of the recent history and downfall of Oldsmobile, read this Washington Post article (1). CNNfn (2) reports on the GM decision to cut Oldsmobile, while (3) provides the official press release. gives the reaction of Lansing, Michigan (4), the city where Oldsmobiles are produced. (5), the official Website of the car line, offers news and product information. The Start Something advertisement (6), available through, is one of the most recent trendy Oldsmobile ads produced in hopes of attracting younger car buyers. The worldwide impact of GM's restructuring is reported by the BBC (7). And finally, Detroit News(8) has posted wonderful images of Oldsmobiles from the division's glory days. [EM]
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