The Scout Report for Business & Economics - January 25, 2001

January 25, 2001

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The target audience of the 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


Centre for Economic Policy Research [.pdf]
The London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) is a European economics research organization with uniquely wide-ranging scope and activities including development of initiatives with the producers, consumers, and sponsors of research. The CEPR Website offers a searchable database of its publications (discussion papers, policy papers, reports and books, the CEPR Bulletin, and newsletter), information on its various research projects, data links (industrial, international trade, macroeconomics, labor, public policy), links to other European financial research organizations, and more. The text of the Bulletin and newsletter may be downloaded for free, while the other papers can be downloaded or ordered via subscription. The Hot Topics page covers issues related to the IMF, WTO, and EMU, economic growth and fluctuations in the European Union, regulation of network industries in Europe, etc. Meeting announcements, contact information for researchers, and a press page are also featured. Researchers and librarians, in particular, might wish to register a profile (free) allowing for online meeting registration, custom start pages, and email subscriptions. This site is worth a look by anyone interested in international economic policy. [HCS]
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The New Basel Accord -- Bank of International Settlements (BIS) [.pdf]
Released on January 16, 2001, the New Basel Capital Accord, from BIS's Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, is a revision of the 1988 Accord. The New Basel Accord offers a flexible framework for capital adequacy which should be able to accommodate changes in the financial system. According to Chairman of the Basel Committee William J. McDonough, "the new framework is intended to align regulatory capital requirements more closely with underlying risks, and to provide banks and their supervisors with several options for the assessment of capital adequacy." The Website for the Accord includes the text of the document itself, as well as a host of accompanying resources such as a press release, explanatory note, and seven supporting documents. The Committee is seeking comments from interested parties until May 31, 2001 and plans to publish the final version of the Accord at the end of 2001, to be implemented in 2004. [EM]
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Center for the Implementation of Public Policies promoting Equity and Growth
The Center for the Implementation of Public Policies promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC) is a not-for-profit think tank that studies public policies that will affect equity and growth in Latin America, with special emphasis on Argentina. According to the CIPPEC Website, its mission is to "promote the rigorous analysis, strategic design and effective implementation of public policies that promote equity and growth." The site explains the think tank's ideas of policy, including policies for education, fiscal growth, health care, and public administration reform. For each of these categories, CIPPEC briefly introduces its philosophy and staff, and describes its programs in detail. Information on CIPPEC itself is also offered on this site. [EM]
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Business Combinations Project Summary
The staff of the Financial Accounting Standards Board presents its project summary for the Business Combinations Project. The project was founded in August 1996 in order to offer solutions to improve the "transparency of the accounting for business combinations." The Business Combinations's main objective was to consider goodwill and purchased intangible assets as they related to accounting in business combinations. Although the summary itself is quite short, it links to a rich collection of supporting projects and documents including working papers, related projects, and Websites. [EM]
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"Driven to Spend: The Impact of Sprawl on Household Transportation Expenses" [.pdf]
"Driven to Spend" is a new report from the Surface Transportation Policy Project and Center for Neighborhood Technology, which considers the economic impact of transportation in highly sprawling areas. According to this 44-page report, American families that do live in areas of urban sprawl may pay thousands of dollars more per year for transportation than people who live in more dense populations. The study found that Americans pay an astounding eighteen cents out of every dollar for transportation, more than what they spend on health care, education, or food. Along with the complete report, both in HTML and .pdf formats, the site also contains an executive summary and press release. Fact-sheets on transportation costs of nearly 30 US metro regions are also included, providing information on regional transportation expenditures, household expenditures, and transportation choices. This eye-opening report will urge readers to think about their own transportation choices. [EM]
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Learning Resources

World Bank Experts Guide
Created with reporters and editors in mind, the World Bank Experts Guide provides World Bank experts that are available to comment on to the media on a wide variety of topics. The list of experts may be viewed by name of expert or by subject. Each expert is given his or her own Webpage, which includes a short biography, expertise, and languages spoken, along with a photograph and related links. For ease of use, several "hot topics" are highlighted including AIDS/HIV and debt relief. This site gives an awe-inspiring look at the variety of experts working for the World Bank. [EM]
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Current Business-related Publications about the Pittsburgh Region
An excellent example of an online guide to local business resources, Current Business-related Publications about the Pittsburgh Region is the brainchild of Adele Barsh, a Business and Economics Librarian at Carnegie Mellon University. According to the introduction, the guide includes over 150 publications from over 60 resources including city, county, and state agencies as well as private and nonprofit organizations. All documents are current and include "reports and regional analysis, statistical data, budgets, and directories." Publications may be browsed in four ways, by subject, publishing agency, name of publication, or geographic focus. While not all readers will be interested in Pittsburgh-related publications, this guide is an impressive example of a successful regional directory. [EM]
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InvestorGuide, first reviewed in the May 21, 1998 Scout Report for Business and Economics, has gotten a facelift. Originally the site was primarily a links page of personal finance and investment; now InvestorGuide has expanded into a full service investment portal. The new site features a news wire of investment news, stemming from reputable sources such as CNNfn, Washington Post, Forbes, and MSNBC. Users may sign up for either a daily or weekly newsletter, along with "Tomments and Tommentary," the comments and commentary of InvestorGuide CEO Tom Murcko. The site tour is highly recommended. Although it only takes a few minutes to complete, it gives a thorough introduction to this large Website. [EM]
[Back to Contents] is a "knowledge sharing community and human-powered search tool" for those running and serving small businesses. The advice network is based on the knowledge management systems of large businesses, meaning that they expect community members to informally share their successes and failures. Users are encouraged to ask for advice on a variety of business topics. Advisors answer questions, and those looking for advice rate the advisor's advice. Free registration to the site allows for easier knowledge sharing. While the idea behind is a noble one, it's somewhat disquieting to see that advisors do not need any kind of certification and are not even required to give much information about themselves. [EM]
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"Reserve Bank Boards in 2001" [.pdf]
The Financial Market Center offers its fifth annual analysis of the new members of the Federal Reserve Bank Board directors. Just nine pages in length, this document is a well-written, easy-to-understand introduction to the people on the Board. After explaining the structure of the FRB, including the number of members, length of term, and whom the members represent, "Reserve Bank Boards in 2001" offers an information-rich snapshot for each of new public directorships. The site also includes a list of the public directors of the regional Federal Reserve Banks as well as additional information to help readers understand more about the Fed. [EM]
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General Interest

B-SPAN [RealPlayer]
This new "Webcasting station" from the World Bank lets users anywhere tune in to the numerous seminars, workshops, and conferences the Bank holds in its Washington headquarters. At present, there are only a few archived interviews and presentations, but in the future, the site will feature numerous live broadcasts as well as a virtual library of video segments on development and poverty issues. [MD]
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Intelligent Investing -- Philadelphia Inquirer
Intelligent Investing is a special section from the Philadelphia Inquirer. The site includes a large collection of annotated articles from the newspaper's pages. Covering an extensive range of topics dealing with finance and business, the articles provide background, news, and advice on such subjects as retirement funds, the allure of technology stocks, and mutual funds. The site also includes information on related conferences and workshops in the Philadelphia area. [EM]
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Center for a New American Dream
The Center for a New American Dream is a nonprofit agency dedicated to helping individuals and institutions "reduce and shift consumption to enhance our quality of life and protect the environment." The site highlights the Center's successful campaigns including Kids and Commercialism, which explains the ways that advertisers and marketers target children in order get them to pressure their parents into buying a range of products and services. Declare Your Independence from Junk Mail explores the reasons why junk mail hurts the environment, gives an easy online form that allows users to remove themselves from mailing lists, and provides information and facts on junk mail. The site also describes the center's philosophy in detail, explaining how a variety of elements, including commercial culture, community, work, money, and transportation, all fit together to help reduce consumption. [EM]
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The MouseDriver Insider Collection,,ART21730_CNT56,00.html
Can't get enough of dotcom start-up culture? offers the collected works of two online entrepreneurs, Kyle Harrison and John Lusk, who have documented their start-up adventures in a newsletter MouseDriver Insider. MouseDrivers are computer mice shaped like the driver golf club heads. According to, the newsletter has gathered a "surprisingly influential readership." The first newsletters span from September 3, 1999 to December 11, 2000 and offer a peak into the successes and failures of starting a business. [EM]
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Find-It! Consumer
From the Washington State Library, Find-It! Consumer provides links to and information about over 100 consumer safety and protection Websites. Annotated Websites concerning Washington State or the entire United States may be searched by keyword or browsed by topic. The librarians have included a wonderful section on Top Searches, which gives guides to information and resources on a broad range of subjects, from insecticide in food to choosing an Internet service provider. Up-to-date recalls and new consumer information are also highlighted. [EM]
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On the Rail
On the Rail offers a fascinating and candid look at the food services industry. The site provides a space for food professionals to share their successes and war stories. In the Weeds is a bulletin board that allows users to discusses such restaurant-related issues such as menu description, the possibilities of online reservations, and tipping policies. Be sure to check out the Soup Opera, a fictional series about life in a fashionable restaurant. [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 (FRB BOG) Finance and Economics Discussion Papers [.pdf]
Estimating the Value and Interest Rate Risk of Interest-Bearing Transactions Deposits
Do the Rich Save More?

Federal Reserve System: [.pdf]
FRB Chicago Working Papers
Impact of Independent Directors and the Regulatory Environment on Bank Merger Prices: Evidence from Takeover Activity in the 1990s
Equilibrium Lending Mechanism and Aggregate Activity
What are the Short-Run Effects of Increasing Labor Market Flexibility?
Supplier Relationships and Small Business Use of Trade Credit
Recent Evidence on the Relationship Between Unemployment and Wage Growth
Data revisions and the identification of monetary policy shocks
What Can Account for Fluctuations in the Terms of Trade?
The Pitfalls in Inferring Risk from Financial Market Data

FRB Kansas City Research Working Papers
The Effect of Old-Age Insurance on Male Retirement: Evidence from Historical Cross-Country Data
Government Budgetary Policies, Economic Growth, and Currency Substitution in a Small Open Economy
Estimation of Adjustment Costs in a Model of State-Dependent Pricing
Risk Sharing and Industrial Specialization: Regional and International Evidence
Can out-of-Sample Forecast Comparisons Help Prevent Overfitting?
Consumption and Aggregate Constraints: Evidence from US States and Canadian Provinces

FRB Minneapolis Staff Reports
Public Trust and Government Betrayal

FRB San Francisco Working Papers
Optimal Simple Targeting Rules for Small Open Economies

FRB St. Louis
The Relationship Between the Federal Funds Rate and the Fed's Federal Funds Rate Target: Is It Open Market or Open Mouth Operations?
Risk-Adjusted, Ex Ante, Optimal, Technical Trading Rules in Equity Markets
Intraday Technical Trading in the Foreign Exchange Market
Risk and Return: Some New Evidence
Regime Switching and Monetary Policy Measurement

Other Institutions:
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Papers [.pdf]
Central Control of Regional Budgets: Theory with Applications to Russia

Bank of International Settlements Working Papers [.pdf]
Information Flows During the Asian Crisis: Evidence from Closed-end Funds

International Monetary Fund Working Papers [.pdf]
Effects of Volatile Asset Prices on Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Data
Emerging Market Spreads-Then Versus Now
To "B" or not to "B" -- A welfare Analysis of Breaking Up Monopolies in an Endogenous Growth Model
Endogenous Money Supply and Money Demand
Poverty, Inequality, and Unethical Behavior of the Strong

Wharton Financial Institutions Center Working Papers
Banking and Markets

Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance [.pdf]
Reputation in Team Production
Subordinates as Threats to Leaders
On the Causality between GDP and Health Care Expenditure in Augmented Slow Growth Model
Income Security Programs and Retirement in Sweden

National Bureau of Economic Research
Does Firm-specific Information in Stock Prices Guide Capital Allocation?
The Stock Market's Reaction to Unemployment News: Why Bad News is Usually Good for Stocks
Annuity Values in Defined Contribution Retirement Systems: The Case of Singapore and Australia
Accidents Will Happen? Unintentional Injury, Maternal Employment, and Child Care Policy
The Overlooked Corporate Finance Problems of a Microsoft Breakup
Intermediaries in Entrepot Trade: Hong Kong Re-Exports of Chinese Goods
Competition, Monopoly, and Aftermarkets
The Minimum Inflation Rate for Euroland
A Wolfram in Sheep's Clothing: U.S. Economic Warfare in Spain, 1940-1944
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB BOG)
Federal Reserve Bulletin
January 2001
Federal Reserve Bulletin is a monthly publication written and compiled by staff members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, reporting and analyzing economic developments, data, and bank regulatory issues. The January 2001 issue of this publication contains the article "Retail Fees of Depository Institutions, 1994-99." [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston
Bank Notes
January 2001
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
Chicago FedLetter
January 2001
"A retrospective on the Asian Crisis of 1997: Was it foreseen?" is the main article in the January 2001 issue of the Chicago FedLetter.

FRB Cleveland
Economic Trends
January 2001
The January 2001 issue of Economic Trends includes analysis on long-term federal budget projections and defined contribution pension plans. [EM]

FRB Dallas
Houston Business
January 2001
The current issue of FRB Dallas's Houston Business looks at horizontal drilling and three-dimensional seismology -- two technologies that have greatly helped to reduce the cost of discovering oil in Texas. [EM]

FRB Kansas City
Financial Industry Perspectives
Financial Industry Perspectives is an annual collection of articles from the Supervision and Risk Management Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. This year's articles include the topics of Internet banking, rural development, and enhancing the value of community banks. [EM]

FRB St. Louis
National Economic Trends
January 2001
The lead article in the January 2001 edition of National Economic Trends examines the results of Census 2000, with special interest in the 13.2 percent increase in population in the United States. [EM]

United States International Trade Commission
International Economic Review
October/November/December 2000
The current issue of International Economic Review contains the following articles "U.S. Trade with the Beneficiaries of the Andean Trade Preference Act," "New EU Agreements With African Countries Liberalize Two-way Trade," and "Rising U.S. Wage Inequality: Is International Trade the Cause?" [EM]

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Banking Review
Volume 13, Number 2
The latest issue of Banking Review contains three articles: "A Historical Perspective on Deposit Insurance Coverage," "The Cost of the Savings and Loan Crisis: Truth and Consequences," and "Recent Developments Affecting Depository Institutions." [EM]

International Monetary Fund
Finance and Development
December 2000
A quarterly publication of the IMF, Finance and Development has devoted its December 2000 issue to the topic "How Can We Help the Poor." [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: Journal of Financial Economics (Vol 59, No 3), Journal of Economics and Business (Vol 52, No 6), International Review of Financial Analysis (Vol 9, No 3), Journal of International Economics (Vol 54, No 1), and Mathematical Social Sciences (Vol 41, No 2). [EM]
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Inomics Conference Calls:
Email Conference Alert
Conference Search
The economics research service Inomics (described in the June 18, 1998 Scout Report for Business & Economics) includes a conference alert service. Interested parties may specify their interests and receive email notifications of up-coming events, or they may search the Inomics conference database by date, geographic location, or JEL classification. [EM]

Conferences with Econometric Interest
The Royal Economics Society's Econometrics Journal site lists conferences in econometrics at this Econometric Links section. [EM]

35th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Economics Association
May 31, 2001-June 3, 2001
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

First Nordic Econometric Meeting
May 25-27, 2001
Sandbjerg, Denmark
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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

State Personal Income -- Bureau of Economic Analysis
The third quarter 2000 statistics for state personal income show that North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, and Kansas -- all Plains states -- had the fastest growth in personal income in the country. This is due mainly to the fact that "substantial increases in farm proprietors' income that were due to the timing of specially authorized federal farm subsidy payments, boosted personal income growth in these five states." [EM]
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The Livingston Survey -- FRB Philadelphia
According to this survey, which is conducted twice each year, economic forecasters predict that the US economy will slow down "significantly" in the next two years. [EM]

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Consumer Price Index -- Bureau of Labor Statistics
In December 2000, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) fell 0.1 percent. However, in comparison to December 1999, the CPI-U is 3.4 percent higher. [EM]
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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
2001 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 January 2001 include the Peanut Stocks and Processing report and the weekly Dairy Products Prices. [EM]
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In The News

Greenspan Backs Bush's Tax Cuts
1) Outlook for the federal budget and implications for fiscal policy
2) "Greenspan eyes tax cuts" -- CNN
3) "Greenspan to back tax cuts Fed chief 'apt to change' stance on how best to use surplus" -- USA Today
4) "Bush Tax Cut Faces Spending Pressures" -- Washington Post
5) "Taxpayers finally get a friend in W." -- Chicago Sun Times
6) The Bush tax agenda --
This morning in an address before the US Senate's Committee on the Budget, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors Alan Greenspan announced that the rising estimates of US budget surpluses could allow space for tax reduction plans. Greenspan did not actually endorse President Bush's $1.6 trillion, ten-year tax cut plan, explaining that he did not think it would be appropriate for him to comment on "political decisions." Nonetheless, he was agreeable to some kind of tax reduction plan. Greenspan is a strong advocate of using budget surpluses to pay down national debt, but he said government estimates of the national surplus would allow for both debt relief as well as a tax cut for Americans. Greenspan, however, does not believe that tax cuts should be used as a weapon against the possibility of a recession. "I would not perceive of employing tax cuts to, in the sense, get in front of weakening forces which could eventually lead to a recession because history tells us it doesn't work"; instead monetary policy is a proven effective measure.

The transcript for Alan Greenspan's testimony before the Committee on the Budget (1) is provided by the Federal Reserve Board Website. This brief article from CNN (2) concisely summarizes Greenspan's speech. Before the actual meeting this morning, USA Today(3) predicted that Greenspan would support the new president's tax cuts. The Washington Post(4) reports that Bush's large tax reduction plan is much too ambitious and examines the ways in which the plan may fail. This opinion piece from the Chicago Sun Times(5) advocates for Bush's tax cut plans. Jack Kemp's (6) recent column on Bush's tax agenda also agrees with the president and wonders how long it will take to for the measures to be put in place. The Website for the unofficial Alan Greenspan fan club (7) offers news and information about Greenspan and the Fed. [EM]
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