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

March 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


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News


The Economic Impact of US Sanctions with Respect to Cuba -- US International Trade Commission [.pdf, 390 pages]
In response to a request last spring by the House of Representatives, the US International Trade Commission issued its report late last month on the economic impact of US sanctions towards Cuba. The comprehensive report presents an overview of US sanctions on Cuba; a description of the Cuban economy and its trade and investment trends; an analysis of the "historical impact of US sanctions on both the US and Cuban economies"; and an evaluation of the current impact of US sanctions on US - Cuba bilateral trade, investment, employment, and consumers. The report makes no recommendations concerning US policy towards Cuba and explicitly avoids anticipating any change in the current sanctions regime. [DC]
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United Nations Committee on Information Website [.pdf]
The UN Committee on Information was established to examine United Nations public information policies and activities and to promote "more effective world information and communication order intended to strengthen peace and international understanding," among other goals. At the Committee's official site, visitors can download reports on the past four sessions of the General Assembly as well a selection of reports of the Secretary-General to the Committee in .pdf format. In addition, the site offers the full text of selected resolutions, statements, and press releases. General information on the Committee and its membership is also provided. [MD]
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Sustainable Development Strategy 2000-2003 -- Industry Canada [.pdf]
This report was released last month by Industry Canada, a department of the Canadian government dedicated to improving economic conditions in that country. The Strategy is the second report of its kind to be released by Industry Canada (the first was in 1997), and it outlines the Canadian plan to promote sustainable development as a major component of its general economic development efforts. The Strategy discusses in depth three main objectives: promoting eco-efficient practices among Canadian industries, facilitating the development of environmental technologies, and bringing sustainable development concerns to the decision-making process. The report also describes recent progress toward sustainable development in Canada, and discusses how these latest objectives will be implemented and measured. [SW]
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Annual Report to Congress on Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage, 2000
This document, prepared by the National Counterintelligence Center, reports on "the threat of foreign economic collection and industrial espionage" in the year 2000. The main findings of the report conclude that there was "no reduction in attempts by foreign government, corporations, and individuals to acquire US proprietary economic information." The report contains short sections on a variety of related topics including targeted US defense information and technology, collection methods, and the responses of several US government departments. [EM]
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National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) [.pdf]
A project of the Urban Institute Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, the NCCS is "is the national repository of data on the nonprofit sector in the United States," charged with developing and providing quality data on "nonprofit organizations and their activities for use in research on the relationships between the nonprofit sector, government, the commercial sector, and the broader civil society." At the site, visitors will find a number of tools and resources related to nonprofits. These include databases, a data guide, glossary, fact sheets, state profiles, IRS forms, and a bibliography. Also provided are a list of related mailing lists (including the NCCS mailing list) and general information about the Center and its activities. [MD]
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International Food Policy Research Institute [.pdf]
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is dedicated to identifying and analyzing "policies for sustainably meeting the food needs of the developing world." IFPRI's research interests include economic growth and the alleviation of poverty in developing countries, improving the well-being of poor people, and management of natural resources instrumental in the support of agriculture. The IFPRI Website is packed with food policy research information, including a collection of African food security data sets (compiled in the 1990s); information on IFPRI research searchable by region or by subject; and IFPRI's many publications which are available in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. The site offers a links section, which points users to cooperating organizations in developing countries around the world. [EM]
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Learning Resources

Two from Biz/Ed
Virtual Developing Country - Biz/ed [.xls, .csv]
Internet Catalogue
Biz/ed recently unveiled two new resources. The first, Virtual Developing Country, introduces users to "many of the issues and ideas that are of interest in the field of development economics" by offering a virtual tour of the African country Zambia. On the field trip, users make stops to visit places and meet people that help illustrate economic and development theory. Five field trips are offered: The Rural Life and Agriculture Tour, The Copper Tour, The Trade Tour, The Aid Tour, and The Wildlife Tour. Throughout the tours, users are introduced to the people, places, and sites of Zambia, along with the economic issues related to each tour. Each stop is accompanied by key data and economic theory, photographs, worksheets, and a glossary. The teacher's guide gives a detailed description of the program and offers advice to how to effectively use it in the classroom. This interactive site is an outstanding example of the innovative ways the Web can be used as a teaching tool. The second new site is a directory of over 2,200 (unannotated) sites of interest to "students, researchers and practitioners in the areas of business, management and economics." Users may browse the directory by category and topic and list the sites alphabetically or by resource type. A keyword search engine and a list of the latest additions are also provided. [EM][MD]
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Canadian Financial Network
The Canadian Financial Network (CFN) is designed to help Canadian and global investors find quality information about the Canadian market. Featured on the site is the CFN Collection, a Web directory of over 6,000 financial Websites for investors. The sites are organized by subject and include lengthy annotations; Canadian resources are noted with a red maple leaf. The sites may be searched by keyword, with a special feature to limit the search to only Canadian sites. [EM]
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Created and maintained by Ulrich Hommel of Investment and Risk Management of the European Business School in Germany, offers a varied collection of resources on real options, which are options that "capture the value of managerial flexibility to adapt decisions in response to unexpected market developments." The site is focused on German resources but written in English. Featured on the site are several comprehensive bibliographies of books and articles on real options. also offers several real options software recommendations and directories of German researchers and consultants and links to international real options Websites. [EM]
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Project Finance Portal
Benjamin Esty at the Harvard Business School (HBS) has created this all-encompassing portal intended to serve as a reference guide for project finance students, faculty, and researchers. The resources on the site are divided into two main sections. The Research and Publications list is directed at the academic community and includes bibliographies of articles, books and book chapters, and trade magazines, as well as syllabi from business and law school courses from the top schools around the world, case studies, and rating agency information. The other section, Project Finance Links, functions as a standard portal, with over 800 annotated links to related Websites. All references to books, case studies, and articles are linked to the Harvard Business School online catalog for easier access by the HBS community. For librarians and Webmasters, the Project Finance Portal will serve as a stellar model of a portal for a library community. [EM]
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New from the International Labour Organization, the Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV) was created to "strengthen representative, independent and democratic trade unions in all countries, to enable them to play their role effectively in protecting workers' rights and interests and in providing effective services to their members at national and international levels." The Website reports on ACTRAV's general and regional activities, as well as offering an interesting selection of publications. [EM]
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General Interest

Dollar_Hack [.pdf]
Cathy Davies, the artist behind (reviewed in the July 29, 1999 Scout Report for Business & Economics) has created this thought-provoking piece of online political art. Dollar_Hack "lets you print corporate logos directly onto dollar bills -- making it appear as if Disney, Microsoft, Marlboro, and seven other multi-nationals are paid corporate sponsors -- of money!" Using Dollar_Hack's instructions and an inkjet printer, users theoretically may print brand logos including the McDonalds' arch, the Nike swoosh, and Microsoft Windows emblem on US dollar bills. Also included on the site are several links to articles and Websites about US currency. Users beware: the Dollar_Hack Website is covered in warnings and disclaimers about the legality of using the program. [EM]
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The Catholic - Labor Network
The Catholic-Labor Network aims to be a resource for Catholics involved with union work or labor issues. The site offers an email list for users to share information, inspiration, and prayer; a large selection of writings divided into topics such as Catholic Schools & Labor, Papal Social Encyclicals, and General Articles of Interest; and a list of unannotated related links. A welcome resource for "those who share the common concern for the proclamation of the Church's social teaching and welfare and dignity of working people." [TK]
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Entertainment Law Resources for Film, TV, and Multimedia Producers
Insider knowledge from a real industry player -- a veteran entertainment attorney -- whose practice includes work in the areas of copyright, trademark, contract, multimedia law, and intellectual property. Covered here are essays and advice for both the current and aspiring practitioner delivered in easily readable language. Topics include a filmmaker's Bill of Rights, a frank and humorous look at how to break into show business, the Internet distribution of film and multimedia works, negotiating an electronic publishing agreement, project financing tips and strategies, movie merchandising and product placement, and copyright registration of scripts. Mark Litwak has several books on entertainment marketing and law, and all are for sale through this site. [DJS]
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Massachusetts Business and Economic Development Reference Online Center for Knowledge (MassBedrock) is a portal featuring business and economic Websites of use to libraries and businesses within the state of Massachusetts. A service of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the site features a large, cataloged collection of links, organized by subject and fully searchable. Interested users may subscribe to a monthly newsletter, which contains descriptions of featured sites, answers to frequently asked questions, and news about MassBedrock. At present, the directory only includes 450 sites. The sites chosen are, however, of the highest quality. [EM]
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A Blueprint for New Beginnings -- A Responsible Budget for America's Priorities [.pdf]
HTML Version
Both the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the White House have posted copies of the President's budget plan for FY 2002. The 207-page plan is a summary and will be followed by the traditional and more detailed budget documents in April. At the OMB site, users may also download numerous other budget documents, including the final two official statements from the Clinton White House: The Economic Report of the President and the FY 2002 Fiscal Outlook. [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 Economics Discussion Series
Optimal Portfolio Allocation in a World Without Treasury Securities
The Pavlovian Response of Term Rates to Fed Announcements
A Primer on the Economics and Time Series Econometrics of Wealth Effects
Estimates of the Productivity Trend Using Time-Varying Parameter Techniques
Transition Dynamics in Vintage Capital Models: Explaining the Postwar Catch-Up of Germany and Japan
Production Function Estimation With Industry Capacity Data
Patterns of Plant Adjustment

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Atlanta Working Papers
Does Science Discriminate against Women? Evidence from Academia, 1973-97
Self-Selection among Undocumented Immigrants from Mexico

FRB Kansas City Working Papers
How Does Openness to Capital Flows Affect Growth?
Is the Speed of Convergence Constant?

Other Institutions:
Bank of International Settlements Working Papers
Money and inflation in the Euro Area: A case for monetary indicators?

National Bureau of Economic Research
Did the Malaysian Capital Controls Work?
International Liquidity Illusion: On the Risks of Sterilization
Does Inequality in Skills Explain Inequality in Earnings Across Advanced Countries?
How Severe is the Time Inconsistency Problem in Monetary Policy?
Perfect Taxation with Imperfect Competition
Exchange Rates and Wages
The Real Balance Effect
Asymptotic Methods for Asset Market Equilibrium Analysis

Wharton Financial Institutions Center
Modeling and Forecasting Realized Volatility

Stockholm School of Economics
Prisoners' Other Dilemma
Demand vs. Supply Driven Innovations: US and Swedish Experiences in Academic Entrepreneurship
Using A Trade-induced Catch-up Model to Explain China's Provincial Economic Growth 1978-97
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors [.pdf]
Federal Reserve Bulletin
February 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 February 2001 issue contains the article "Supervision of Large Complex Banking Organizations" which examines innovations in banking systems over the past ten years. [EM]

Federal Reserve System:
FRB Chicago
Chicago Fed Letter
March 2001
A publication of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the March Chicago Fed Letter focuses on the effects of the Internet on the banking industry. [EM]

FRB Kansas City
Economic Review
Fourth Quarter 2000
Written by the economic research staff of FRB Kansas City, Economic Review contains articles on "business, finance, agriculture, and related policy topics." This issue contains articles on global economic integration, the P/E ratio, and news of the farm slump. [EM]

FRB New York [.pdf]
Current Issues in Economics and Finance
February 2001
The latest issue of Current Issues in Economics and Finance contains the article "The Effects of a Booming Economy on the US Trade Deficit" which looks at the effects of the growth of the US economy from 1996-1999. [EM]

FRB St. Louis [.pdf]
International Economic Trends
February 2001
International Economic Trends covers basic economic indicators for Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, including long-term and short-term trends. [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include Alan Greenspan's semi-annual monetary policy report before the US Congress given on February 13, 2001; a speech on ecommerce given by Roger W. Ferguson, Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board; and the remarks of Governor of the Banque de France Jean-Claude Trichet on the current situation of the Euro. [EM]

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
AEI Economic Outlook
March 2001
The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, publishes _AEI Economic Outlook every month. This edition considers the dangers of denying that the US economy is heading into a recession. [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: Financial Services Review (Vol 9, No 2), Energy Economics (Vol 23, No 2), Food Policy (Vol 26, No 2), Global Finance Journal (Vol 11, No 1-2), European Journal of Political Economy (Vol 17, No 1), Information Economics and Policy (Vol 13, No 1), and Emerging Markets Review (Vol 1, 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 Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis, July and August 2001, in Colchester, England; Conference on Econometric Modelling for Africa, July 2001, in Pretoria, South Africa; and Royal Statistical Society, Annual Meeting, July 2001, in Glasgow, England. [EM]

2001 North American Summer Meetings of the Econometric Society
June 21-24, 2001
University of Maryland

Fourth International Conference on Enterprise in Transition
May 24-26, 2001
Dalmacija, Croatia
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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 and Outlays, January 2001 -- Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
According the Personal Income and Outlays report for January 2001, both personal income and disposable personal income rose during the first month of the year. The boost was caused by cost-of-living adjustments for a variety of federal transfer payment programs as well as because of pay raises for federal military and civilian personnel. [EM]
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Mass Layoff, January 2001 -- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Contrary to the belief that mass layoffs are on the rise, in January 2001, 1,522 mass layoff actions were reported. This is the lowest number of mass layoff events for January in the six-year history of this statistical series. [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 March 2001 include the Hogs and Pigs report and the weekly report on dairy products prices. [EM]
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Crude Oil Prices -- Energy Information Administration
Crude oil prices during the first three months of 2001 have continued to fall, according to the EIA. This site displays the price of crude and selected products as well as retail price for diesel and gasoline. [EM]
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In The News

Death of the Clinton Ergonomics Rule
1) "House Scraps Ergonomics Regulation: New Alignment Nets Big Win for Business" -- Washington Post
2) "House votes to repeal ergonomics rules" -- USA Today
3) "House Joins Senate in Repealing Rules Issued by Clinton on Work Injuries" -- New York Times (free registration required)
4) "Senate Votes to Overturn New Workplace Safety Rules" -- National Public Radio [RealPlayer]
5) OSHA Ergonomics Standard-Final -- Occupational Safety and Health Administration Website [.pdf]
6) "Fear Keeps Many Quiet About Injuries" -- Los Angeles Times
7) UCLA Ergonomics
8) Office Ergonomics
9) CTDNews
Following on the heels of a 56 to 44 vote in the US Senate on Tuesday March 6, 2001, the House voted Wednesday, 223 to 206, to kill the Clinton administration's workplace safety regulations. The regulations would have required employers to ergonomically redesign workplaces and compensate employees for work-related, repetitive-motion injuries. The rules would have forced employers to provide their employees with information about the possibility of work-related injuries and risk factors, review workers' complaints, and ensure access to medical care. The regulations were opposed by many business groups who saw the measures as unworkable and too expensive. The estimated costs of updating US workplaces were as much as $100 billion. However, labor organizations that lobbied for the regulations believe they are essential because they could prevent as many as 500,000 injuries each year. The rules would have also forced corporations to focus on the prevention of common workplace injuries that debilitated workers for months, if not years. The repealing of the rules, in the Senate in particular, is seen as a great victory for the Bush administration, uncertain about its power in a Senate split 50/50 between the two parties. In order to kill the rules, the House and Senate used the Congressional Review Act, an obscure law that allows Congress to overturn any federal regulation less than 60 days old that it opposes. The White House issued a statement on Tuesday explaining that the regulations "would cost employers, large and small, billions of dollars annually while providing uncertain new benefits."

The Washington Post(1), USA Today(2), and New York Times(3) offer coverage of the recent votes as well as reactions from business and labor organizations and members of Congress. National Public Radio (4) featured a four-minute piece on the Senate's overturning of the rulings, including interviews with employers and employees who would be affected by the bill. OSHA (5) has posted its standards for ergonomic education. The LA Times(6) reports on the blue-collar laborers who would be affected by the bill and why they often don't report their repetitive stress related injuries. For information on ergonomically safe workspaces, University of California Los Angeles (7) and F-One Ergonomics (8) of Ann Arbor, Michigan provide tip sheets and guides for protecting oneself against work-related injuries. Finally, CTDNews(9) is a semi-monthly newsletter for "cumulative trauma disorder (CTDs) injuries and workplace repetitive stress injuries, from carpal tunnel syndrome to low back pain." [EM]
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