The Scout Report for Business & Economics - February 8, 2001

February 8, 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

New from Internet Scout


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News

New from Internet Scout

Open Letter to Our Readers
Dear Readers: Here at the Internet Scout Project, we have been working on securing a new source (or sources) of funding for the Scout Reports. We are soliciting your ideas in an Open Letter to Readers that has been sent to the subscriber mailing lists and is available on our Website. Please read the letter at the address above and send us your ideas.
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Leadership for the New Millennium: Third Annual Report -- US Government Working Group on Electronic Commerce [.pdf]
Released on January 16, 2001, the third and final annual report of the US Government Working Group on Electronic Commerce outlines the "Clinton-Gore Administration's record of digital progress and prosperity, and [efforts in] preparing the United States for the Information Age of the 21st century." The 105-page congratulatory document demonstrates the ways in which the five principles laid out by President Clinton and Vice-President Gore in 1997 are still relevant four years later. The report shares the successes of this initiative in government and the private sectors, as well as looking at the large steps taken towards digital equality in the US. Growth in the marketplace and ecommerce are also highlighted. [EM]
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Feasibility and Desirability of Mandatory Subordinated Debt -- Federal Reserve Board [.pdf]
A report from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Secretary of the US Department of Treasury, The Feasibility and Desireability of Mandatory Subordinated Debt considers the possibility of using "subordinated debt to increase market discipline at depository institutions and to protect the deposit insurance funds." Along with a clearly written introduction and conclusion, this report concentrates on answering the question "Is a Mandatory Subordinated Debt Requirement of Large Banking Organizations Feasible and Appropriate?" The authors reach three major conclusions: 1) that there is sufficient evidence to continue to use subordinated debt to encourage market discipline, 2) that there is a good possibility that mandatory subordinated debt insurance policies may help market discipline and safety, and 3) that the FRB BOG and the Secretary of the US Department of Treasury will continue to analyze research about subordinated debt gathered from market practices, research, and supervisory experience and will suggest new legislation as needed. [EM]
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World Employment Report 2001: Life at Work in the Information Economy -- International Labour Organization [.pdf]
Recently released by the International Labour Organization, the World Employment Report 2001 "examines the impact of the new information and communication technologies on life at work at a time when the global employment situation still remains of considerable concern." Currently, only the overview and the statistical annex are available online. These resources are, however, both quite thorough treatments of the report. The overview touches on fourteen separate topics including the widening digital divide, the information economy's effect on the market, and the spatial distribution of employment. Each point is given several paragraphs in the overview. The statistical annex contains four large tables: Information technology indicators, Labour force participation rate, Employment to population ratio, and Unemployment rate. [EM]
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Migration: An Economic and Social Analysis [.pdf]
Migration: An Economic and Social Analysis is a report sponsored by the Research Development Statistics department of the Home Office, the UK government department of internal affairs for England and Wales. Researched and written for the purposes of discussion only, this report attempts to examine "migration in the round." It begins with background information including migration theory and trends. Then it offers a look at the current policy framework in the UK concerning the government's objectives in the highest levels and considers the social and economic outcomes of those policies. Finally, the report concludes with suggestions for further research and development. The report is divided into seven main chapters which cover aspects of migration including the economic theory of migration, the myths and realities of post-war migration, and the social and economic impact of UK policies as they relate to both the UK and to the migrants themselves. This well-written report provides an excellent base for those interested in issues involving UK government policies and migration. [EM]
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War, Chaos, and Business: Modern Business Strategy
This unique Website, hosted by Kettle Creek Corporation, offers articles and presentations on the theories of Colonel John R. Boyd, a US strategist. Boyd wrote extensively on the ideas of agility and time-based competition. The former refers to the ability "to generate ambiguity, isolation, and panic in the opposing side." Boyd advocated combining agility with time-based competition, "to operate in rapid decision cycle time," in order to win wars. On this Website, these two theories are applied to business strategy. The articles in the database may be browsed by author or title, navigating via the left side of the screen. The site also contains a large collection of case studies, business applications, and biographies of Boyd. This site seems to be a little slow to load, but for those interested in applying military theory to business strategy, it will be well-worth the wait. [EM]
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Eliminating World Poverty: Making Globalization Work for the Poor [.pdf]
Published in early December by Prime Minister Blair and the British Secretary of State Clare Short, this second White Paper from the UK government on International Development discusses strategies for making the rapid development that has accompanied globalization benefit the world's poor more. The lengthy publication presents information and makes recommendations concerning third world governance and poverty, labour supply and skills development, private finance, trade, the global environment, effective development assistance, and the International System. A short summary of the paper in .pdf format as well as the full text in HTML (with a sidebar table of contents) has been posted. A search engine, extensive glossary, and text-only version are also available. [DC]
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Learning Resources

Tax Policy and Administration -- World Bank
World Bank's new Tax Policy and Administration Website is the seventh site in a series offering in-depth bibliographies of aspects of the public sector. Tax Policy and Administration is divided into five main topics. Each of the five topics provides a collection of readings, papers, and reports. The key reading in the first topic, Institutional Framework of Tax Policy, deals with a comparative analysis of the Korean, US, and Japanese electoral tax cycles. Designing Tax Structure looks at tax design, including theory, practice, and analytic methods. The third section, The Institutional Framework of Tax Administration, examines cultural, social, economic, and legal institutions and their effects on tax administration, such as corruption, incentives, and economic development and reform. Tax administration itself is covered in the fourth topic, and the final theme, Evaluating Tax Policy and Administration, offers a collection of readings providing analysis of tax administration framework. This site's compilation is obviously carefully thought out and researched. While each reading is abstracted, only a handful of them are available in their entirety online. [EM]
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Asian Economic Forecast Overview -- Far Eastern Economic Review
The February 1, 2001 issue of Far Eastern Economic Review (reviewed in the September 6, 1996 Scout Report) contains an in-depth, country-by-country forecast of the Asian economy. Along with a broad look at the future of the Asian economy, this site offers forecasts of countries from China to New Zealand. Forecasts for each country include an analysis of the country's economic prospects along with a small chart which presents figures for 2000 as well as estimates for 2001 and 2002 for areas including Gross Domestic Product, Fixed Investment, Industrial Production, Current Account, and Budget Balance. The Asian economy's effect on both the US and Europe is also projected. [EM]
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Working -- New York Times (Free registration required) [Real Player]
A new special section in the New York Times, Working, features articles on the American worker. For example, the current issue contains stories on the contrast between the recent trend in layoffs and employers's complaints that they are unable to fill job openings; what is "retaining and motivating...the American worker"; and the shortage of qualified legal talent. The site also offers a great deal of career and job advice such as an article on non-traditional jobs, job forecasts, and office design. Interviews include an audio piece with Robert B. Reich, the former US Secretary of Labor. And of course, what would a newspaper section on work be without a link to the Dilbert comic strip? [EM]
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Labor and Labor Day [RealPlayer, .pdf]
Labor and Labor Day is a fabulous portal from the K-12 Teaching and Learning Center. This information-rich resource is geared towards elementary to high school aged students, and offers links from a wide array of reputable sources such as National Public Radio, a variety of US university and government organizations, and several online publications. The resources are organized by subject including General Resources, Labor Leaders, Child Labor, Union, and Labor Day. This site contains information that young students will understand, and its clearly written and articulate resources will be welcome in any collection of labor sources. [EM]
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Time Value of Money [PowerPoint]
This PowerPoint presentation from University of Tennessee's Suzan Murphy gives an excellent tutorial for the Time Value of Money, which is the concept that "money received sooner rather than later allows one to use the funds for investment or consumption purposes." The presentation focuses on methods of using a calculator (specifically Hewlett Packard 17B II calculator) to solve problems of Time Value. This easy-to-understand tutorial presents basic concepts, story problems, and solutions to the story problems. [EM]
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General Interest

Working For America Institute
The public face of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the Working for America Institute Website, has recently received a facelift. The Working for America Institute (WAI) is dedicated to supporting union strategies for building strong partnerships between unions and communities around the US. The site features information about the WAI's High Road Partnership program, which links "progressive community groups" and "innovative unions." Also available here are the Working for America journal, funding opportunities, and information on the upcoming WAI conference. [EM]
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Unheard Voices: American Women in the Emerging Industrial and Business Age
The Harvard Business School presents Unheard Voices: American Women in the Emerging Industrial and Business Age. This manuscript collection, housed at the Harvard's Baker Library, was extensively researched and surveyed in May 1999. Along with detailed descriptions of the collection, the site also offers a sample of digitized manuscripts. The collection is divided into four major categories: Women at Work, Women in Business, Women as Professionals, and Women's Personal Lives. An extensive bibliography offers related Websites along with print materials. [EM]
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A Short Economic History of the Post Second World War World -- Biz/ed
Written by John Birchall, a senior Economics and Business examiner and author, (as well as the author of Biz/ed's "In the Know" column), this is intended to be a first-person view of economic history in the time period directly after World War II. The history is divided into an introduction and four sections. The author explains that, as an economics teacher, he found the most difficult aspect of his job was the fact that his students lacked a general awareness of economic history, and with this document, he has attempted to show the ways in which this period of economic history affected his life. Birchall's casual writing style makes this article a fascinating and engaging read. [EM]
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The Slave Trade Archives Project
Initiated by UNESCO and funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, The Slave Trade Archives Project is "is concerned with the access to and preservation of original archive materials relating to the slave trade" in countries throughout Africa and South America, including Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal, Brazil, and Nigeria. The project is quite new, and thus, lacks a wealth of content. The strategies and plans for the archives, however, are clearly explained. Current documents for the project include a feasibility study and links to a variety of participating archives programs. [EM]
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WorldWideWeb Tax [.pdf]
Relaunched on December 1 for the new tax season, this site aims to serve as the most comprehensive online source for a broad range of tax information. While the site does offer a for-fee e-file service, it also features a wealth of free information, including IRS forms, IRS instructions, IRS publications, IRS tables, IRS rate schedules, IRS charts, and IRS worksheets. Also included are FAQs, tips and strategies, state tax information, and a glossary of tax terms. This site certainly won't make filing your tax returns fun, but it could make it easier. [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 Finance and Economic Discussion Series
Balanced Growth Revisited: A Two-Sector Model of Economic Growth
The Effects of Geographic Expansion on Bank Efficiency
Activist vs. Non-Activist Monetary Policy: Optimal Rules Under Extreme Uncertainty (A Primer or Robust Control)
NAIRU Uncertainty and Nonlinear Policy Rules

Federal Reserve System: [.pdf]
FRB Boston Working Papers
Optimal Monetary Policy in a Model with Habit Formation

FRB Minneapolis Working Papers
Exhuming Q: Market Power Capital Market Imperfections
Taxes, Regulations, and Asset Prices

FRB Philadelphia Working Papers
On the Welfare Gains of Reducing the Likelihood of Economic Crises

FRB Richmond Working Papers
Banking and the Political Support for Dollarization

Other Institutions:
National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers [.pdf]
Institutions and Geography: Comment on Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (2000)
Was the Federal Reserve Fettered? Devaluation Expectations in the 1932 Monetary Expansion
The Law of One Price: A Case Study
External Job Churning and Internal Job Flexibility
The Market for Catastrophe Risk: A Clinical Examination
Annexation or Conquest? The Economics of Empire Building
The Impact of New Deal Expenditures on Local Economic Activity: An Examination of Retail Sales, 1929-1939
The Empirical Importance of Precautionary Saving
The Pricing of Event Risks with Parameter Uncertainty
A General Analysis of Exclusionary Conduct and Refusal to Deal: Why Aspen and Kodak are Misguided

Bank of International Settlements Basel Committee on Banking Supervision [.pdf]
Customer due diligence for banks
Electronic Banking Group Initiatives and White Papers

International Monetary Fund Working Papers [.pdf]
Inflation in Albania
Day-to-Day Monetary Policy and the Volatility of the Federal Funds Interest Rate
Government Spending, Rights, and Civil Liberties
Comprehensive Measures of GDP and the Unrecorded Economy
El Nino and World Primary Commodity Prices: Warm Water or Hot Air?
Measuring Off-Balance Sheet Leverage
Cooption and Repression in the Soviet Union
What Happened to Asian Exports During the Crisis?
Dual Currency Boards: A Proposal for Currency Stability
A Panic-Prone Pack? The Behavior of Emerging Market Mutual Funds
Demand-Side Stabilization Policies: What Is the Evidence of Their Potential?
External Debt Management in Low-Income Countries
Loan Review, Provisioning, and Macroeconomic Linkages
The Inverted Fisher Hypothesis: Inflation Forecastability and Asset Substitution
Explaining Economic Growth with Imperfect Credit Markets
Northwest of Suez: The 1956 Crisis and the IMF

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Papers [.pdf]
Contributions of financial systems to growth in OECD countries$FILE/JT00101872.PDF
House prices and economic activity$FILE/JT00101870.PDF
Encouraging environmentally sustainable growth in the United States$FILE/JT00101863.PDF
Encouraging environmentally sustainable growth in Denmark$FILE/JT00101847.PDF
Making growth more environmentally sustainable in Germany$FILE/JT00102022.PDF
Central control of regional budgets: theory with applications to Russia$FILE/00087528.PDF

Stockholm School of Economics Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance [.pdf]
Constitutions and Central Bank Independence: An Objection to McCallum's Second Fallacy
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors
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 contains the article "Retail Fees of Depository Institutions, 1994-99," a look into the types of fees that banks charged their customers during this recent time period. [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Boston
Bank Notes
February 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 [.pdf]
Chicago Fed Letter
February 2001
The February 2001 issue of Chicago Fed Letter contains the article "Fostering mainstream financial access:" which explores some the pros and cons of Internet banking. [EM]

FRB Cleveland [.pdf]
Economic Review
Third Quarter 2000
Two papers are included in the Third Quarter 2000 issue of Economic Review: "Will Electricity Deregulation Push Inflation Lower?" and "Optimal Use of Scale Economies in the Federal Reserve's Currency Infrastructure." [EM]

FRB Dallas
Southwest Economy
January/February 2001
The January/ February 2001 issue of Southwest Economy includes several articles focused on issues surrounding the Texas economy, including the effects of California's difficulty with energy deregulation, rising taxes in Mexico, and the popularity of stock mutual funds. [EM]

FRB New York [.pdf]
Current Issues in Economics and Finance
January 2001
"Declining Manufacturing Employment in the New York-New Jersey Region: 1969-99" is the main article in the current issue of Current Issues in Economics and Finance.[EM]

FRB San Francisco [.pdf]
Western Economic Development
December 2000
According to the December 2000 issue of Western Economic Development from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the slow down in economic growth is reflected in the decline in income and spending in the Twelfth District. [EM]

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OECD Observer
December 2000
The December 2000 issue of OECD Observer is focused on the topic of the future of development with articles including "Cutting poverty," "Helping children survive," and "Making development sustainable." [EM]

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
AEI Economic Outlook
February 2001
The latest issue of this AEI monthly publication features an article by John H Makin: "Japan's Lost Decade: Lessons for America." [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 Public Economics (Vol 79, No 3), Labour Economics (Vol 8, No 1), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (Vol 44, No 2), Mathematical Social Sciences (Vol 41, No 2), and Resources Policy (Vol 26, No 3). [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 annual European Finance Association Meeting, August 22-28, 2001, in Barcelona, Spain; the European Meeting of the Econometric Society, August 25-29, 2001, in Lausanne, Switzerland; and the European Association of Labour Economists annual meeting, September 13-16 2001, in Jyvaskyla, Finland. [EM]

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

21st International Symposium on Forecasting
Atlanta, Georgia
June 17-20, 2001
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Job Openings from The Chronicle of Higher Education
Job Openings in Economics
Job Openings in Business and Management

Job Openings for Economists (JOE)

Inomics: Job Openings for Economists
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New Data

Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment, December 2000 -- Bureau of Economic Analysis
According to the Metropolitain Area Employment and Unemployment, in December 2000, 215 metropolitan areas recorded unemployment rates below the US average of 3.7 percent. However, 106 areas reported rates higher than the US average. [EM]
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Consolidated International Banking Statistics, February 2001 -- Bureau of Labor Statistics [.pdf]
Released on February 2, 2001, the Consolidated International Banking Statistics for February 2001 show that international bank claims stood at $7,484 billion at the end of 2000. This is $86 billion less than the third quarter of the same year, mainly because of reduced dollar values of claims denominated in euro and non-dollar currencies. [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 February 2001 include the Dry Beans Report, which showed that dry bean consumption has risen 23 percent in the past decade. [EM]
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Electric Power Monthly, January 2001 -- Energy Information Administration [.pdf]
With data from October 2000, the January 2001 Electric Power Monthly report announced that, from January to October 2000, US net generation of electricity was three percent higher than the amount reported during the same period the previous year. [EM]
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In The News

Proposed Patients's Rights Bill
1) "Lawmakers outline patient-rights plan" -- Philadelphia Inquirer
2) "Bush Urges Limited Patient's Rights" -- Washington Post
3) "Bipartisan group renews Patients' Bill of Rights debate" --
4) "McCain picks a new reform fight" --
5) "An Empty Drug Aid Plan" -- Los Angeles Times
6) Managed Care -- The Center for Responsive Politics
7) National Coalition for Patient Rights
On Tuesday February 6, 2001, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by Senators Edward Kennedy (D-Mass) and John McCain (R-Ariz), proposed a patients's bill of rights plan which would allow patients the right to sue their health maintenance organizations (HMOs). The proposal would also force health insurers to cover emergency room treatment, create easier access to health care specialists, and institute appeals procedures for insurance disputes, including resolution by an independent appeals panel, before patients could sue over denied services. This proposal differs from President Bush's ideas on several key issues. Bush wants to cap punitive damages in a malpractice suit at $750,000, while the bipartisan bill has set a limit at $5 million. Bush also pushed for all malpractice suits to filed in federal courts, but the bipartisan bill asks for the cases to be heard in state court.

The Philadelphia Inquirer(1) and the Washington Post(2) offer in-depth coverage of the new bipartisan patients's bill of rights, including comparisons of the new bill with President Bush's proposals. CNN's piece, "Bipartisan group renews Patients' Bill of Rights debate" (3), provides a more concise summary of the new bill. (4) focuses on Senator McCain's role in the new patients's bill of rights. An op-ed piece from the LA Times(5) disapproves of Bush's plan. These two Webpages, Managed Care (6) and the National Coalition for Patient Rights (7), give an excellent background on the reasons why many feel the US needs a patients bill of rights. [EM]
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The Scout Report for Business & Economics (ISSN 1533-2047) 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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