The Scout Report for Business & Economics - April 5, 2001

April 5, 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


Statistics on Payment Systems in the Group of Ten countries [.pdf]
Recently published by the Bank of International Settlements, Statistics on Payment Systems in the Group of Ten countries offers financial data on countries including the United States, Sweden, Japan, and Italy. There are fifteen tables for each country, such as "Settlement media used by non-banks," "Banknotes and coin," "Number of payment cards in circulation," and "Indicators of use of various cashless payment instruments: value of transactions." Comparative tables include "Notes and coins in circulation," "Transferable deposits held by non-banks," and "Institutional framework." All data cover 1995-1999. [EM]
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Aid and Reform in Africa: Lessons from Ten Case Studies -- World Bank [.pdf]
Released on March 28, this new World Bank report investigates the impact of development aid on economic policy in ten African countries. Among the findings is the discovery that in nations where political leaders are not committed to reform, aid can actually hinder development by insulating these countries from the need to adopt reforms. The report also concludes that using "conditionality" to force reforms has largely failed and that, by and large, successful economic policies and reforms have been developed domestically by committed political leaders rather than introduced from the outside. Users may download the full text of this 696-page report by chapter in .pdf format at the World Bank site. [MD]
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Handbook for Defining and Setting up a Food Security Information and Early Warning System -- Food and Agriculture Organization [.pdf]
Last week, the Economic and Social Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations released this 135-page document. The handbook focuses on the Food Security Information and Early Warning System (FSIEWS), and includes treatment of the system's structure, advantages, and didactic approach. A FSIEWS "relies on existing monitoring systems for information on the availability of staple production, the stability of supplies, access for all to these supplies and the biological utilization of food." The handbook is divided into three main sections. The first offers an explanation of the FSIEWS method -- definitions, descriptions, and goals of the system. The lengthy second section characterizes the process involved with setting up a Food Security Information and Early Warning System, and provides helpful advice on troubleshooting problems that may arise in creating such a system. The final chapter explains the global importance of FSIEWS. [EM]
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Development Initiatives [.pdf]
Development Initiatives is an English independent organization focusing on issues of poverty, aid, development, and international relations. Updated regularly, the Development Initiatives Website contains the organization's reactions to development policy and links and commentary on other agencies' reports. The site also contains detailed information on the Finance and Development Research Programme including an extensive collection of working papers, newsletters, and links and related literature. Also included on the site are articles from the Development Initiatives' publication, Reality of Aid, an "independent review of poverty reduction and development assistance." Although the site's navigation is a little bit disorganized, it is well worth some exploration by those interested in development issues. [EM]
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Women's Economic Independence and Security: A Federal/Provincial/Territorial Strategic Framework [.pdf]
Press Release:
In honor of International Women's Day 2001, Canada's Status of Women Ministers released their latest report earlier this month, Women's Economic Independence and Security: A Federal/Provincial/Territorial Strategic Framework. The 40-page document "examines social and economic conditions for women in Canada, and points to priorities for advancing women's economic equality.... The Strategic Framework presents socio-economic trends that affect women's opportunities, including market globalization and changes in the labour market and family structures" as well as examining factors such as education, the wage gap, balancing home and work responsibilities, unpaid work, and issues of power and leadership. The audience of the report includes not only federal, provincial, and territorial government officials, but women's groups, and "interested readers." [DC]
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US Trade Internet System
Announced on April 2, this new site from the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) will allow anyone access "to the most up-to-date trade data on US exports and imports of agricultural, fishery, and forestry products." Visitors may search for a commodity by keyword or code or select from over 20 commodity groupings of interest. Searches in the latter are easily customized with numerous options, including year range, country, and specific commodity, among others. In addition, the data for exports and import date back to 1989, allowing users to track specific trade trends. The most recent data, for February 2001, will be added on April 18. [MD]
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Learning Resources

Stock Markets Performance
This informative portal is a section of NYU associate professor of economics and international business Nouriel Roubini's Global Macroeconomic and Financial Policy site (reviewed last in the September 21, 2000 issue of the Scout Report for Business & Economics). The site investigates recent US stock market activity and tries to understand whether we are currently experiencing the "crash of a bubble." Along with an introduction extrapolated from a recent issue of The Economist, this site links to a number of new articles and readings from a variety of reputable sources including The Financial Times,Wall Street Journal, the BBC, and Bloomberg. The site is updated nearly daily and is an excellent source for commentary on the US stock market. [EM]
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The Knowledge Guide to the Euro
The Knowledge Guide to the Euro, created and maintained by the library and Information Service of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, celebrates the two-year anniversary of the creation of the Euro with this information-rich guide to information sources on the currency. The first section Euro Implementations details some of the controversies surrounding the Euro, as well as the timetable for the European market, and several key sites for finding business tools and discussions of Euro issues. The middle part offers a tremendous collection of Euro-related links including official and unofficial sources of news and information, links to European banks and accountancy bodies and firms. A special section details Irish implementation of the Euro. Data on the Euro, highlighted in the third section, are taken from a variety of good sources. The Further Reading section links to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales' library online catalog. A second reading list will be added shortly and will detail institute publication and documents on the Euro. [EM]
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The Berkeley Electronic Press [.pdf]
A new electronic publishing company, The Berkeley Electronic Press (, was launched in December 2000 by three University of California, Berkeley economics professors. The press was created in reaction to the frustration over the traditional publishing world by founder Bob Cooter, the Herman Selvin Professor of Law at UC-Berkeley. features four scholarly journals The B. E. Journals in Theoretical Economics,The B. E. Journals in Macroeconomics,The B. E. Journals in Economic Analysis and Policy, and Global Jurist. For a limited time only, the full text for all of these journals is free. [EM]
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Consumer Financial Literacy
Recently, research findings concluded that the highest-ranked states for numbers of annual personal bankruptcies fined per household include Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. In order to combat this statistic, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta developed a personal finance curriculum for middle-school students. The Consumer Financial Literacy Website displays the new curriculum's objectives, strategies, and tools. This site features an astronomical collection of stellar financial tutorials. The lesson plans fall into four categories: Budgeting, Goal Setting, Spending and Credit, and Saving and Investing. Each section begins with a basic overview and glossary of related terms and includes an assortment of well-designed financial calculators, quizzes, and informational worksheets to help users understand the importance of financial literacy and planning. [EM]
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On the Case
New from BizEd, On the Case helps students develop their business and economics skills by applying theory to case studies pulled from the Financial Times Website. In the Website tour, Biz Ed suggests that users pick a case study that interests them and work through the variety of accompanying resources and worksheets. Economics case studies look at international, markets, firms, and unemployment and inflation, while business case studies include accounting and finance, external influences, and business activities. [EM]
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General Interest

Project Money Smart
Geared towards consumers, Project Money Smart from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago provides helpful tools and information in order to help people learn how to make wise financial choices. Lessons on a wide array of topics include understanding mortgages, the importance of credit ratings, and how to pick a credit card. Most of the lessons have been created by FRB Chicago. However, there are also links to information from the Federal Reserve Bank, the Federal Trade Commission, and the other regional Federal Reserve banks. Featured on the site is "My MoneySmart Game Plan," an overarching guide to understanding personal finance management. [EM]
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Medieval Technology Pages
The Medieval Technology Pages, created and maintained by New York University chemistry professor Paul M Gans, "attempt[s] to provide accurate, referenced information on technological innovation and related subjects in western Europe during the Middle Ages." This fascinating Website offers insight into the history of technology with short lessons about inventions from stirrups to arabic numbers. Each brief entry includes basic information about the invention as well as links to reference sources. The site also contains a timeline of technological innovations from 500 to 1600 AD. An interesting and well produced Website, the Medieval Technology Pages is a truly engaging stop on the Information Superhighway. [EM]
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QuickMBA is a handy cheat sheet that will help businesses quickly find the knowledge tools they need. Along with business news and information from CBS Market Watch and Business 2.0, QuickMBA showcases a comprehensive list of resources and guides on topics usually covered in a typical MBA program including supply chain management, business legal structure, corporate finance, and Permutations and Combinations. Information for each topic is provided by a short tutorial from QuickMBA or from a link to an educational source. [EM]
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A division of New Generation Research, offers a variety of free services for those interested in bankruptcy research. Featured on the site is a large collection of news resources including daily and weekly news roundups and a daily email news service. The site also contains a helpful compilation of links to federal bankruptcy court districts, including the state supreme courts and the district courts of appeal. [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 International Finance Discussion Papers
Predictable Uncertainty in Economic Forecasting
Fiscal Federalism and European Integration: Implications for Fiscal and Monetary Policies

Federal Reserve System: [.pdf]
FRB Atlanta Working Papers
Forces That Shape the Yield Curve: Parts 1 and 2
FRB Boston Working Papers
Time Present and Time Past: A Duration Analysis of IMF Program Spells
Transition Dynamics in Vintage Capital Models: Explaining the Postwar Catch-Up of Germany and Japan

FRB Cleveland Economic Working Papers
Market- vs. Bank-Based Financial Systems: Do Investor Rights Really Matter?

FRB Minneapolis Staff Reports
Financial Collapse and Active Monetary Policy: A Lesson from the Great Depression
Building Blocks for Barriers to Riches

FRB Philadelphia Working Papers
Employment Deconcentration: A New Perspective on America's Postwar Urban Evolution
Checking Accounts and Bank Monitoring

Other Institutions:
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Encouraging environmentally sustainable growth in Canada

International Monetary Fund Working Papers
Toward a Framework for Assessing Data Quality
A Quest for Revenue and Tax Incidence in Uganda
Competitiveness and the Equilibrium Exchange Rate in Costa Rica

National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers
An Empirical Investigation of the Competitive Effects of Domestic Airline Alliances
Integrating Expenditure and Tax Decisions: The Marginal Cost of Funds and the Marginal Benefit Of Projects
The Comovements between Real Activity and Prices in the G7
Are Trade Linkages Important Determinants of Country Vulnerability to Crises?
Home Bias in Portfolios and Taxation of Asset Income
The Life Cycle of US Economic Expansions
Identification and Estimation of Cost Functions Using Observed Bid Data: An Application to Electricity Markets
Mental Accounting, Loss Aversion, and Individual Stock Returns
Expenditure Competition
Terms of Trade Shocks and Economic Performance 1870-1940
Negative Alchemy? Corruption, Composition of Capital Flows, and Currency Crises
After Columbus: Explaining the Global Trade Boom 1500-1800
What can the take-up of other programs teach us about how to improve take-up of health insurance programs?
A Case for Quantity Regulation
Public Versus Secret Reserve Prices in eBay Auctions: Results from a Pokeman Field Experiment
Exhuming Q: Market Power vs. Capital Market Imperfections
Taxation and Economic Efficiency
Forecasting Output and Inflation: The Role of Asset Prices
International Franchising: Evidence from US and Canadian Franchisors in Mexico
The Great Reversals: The Politics of Financial Development in the 20th Century
The Influence of the Financial Revolution on the Nature of Firms
Empirical Bayes Forecasts of One Time Series Using Many Predictors
A Graphical Analysis of Some Basic Results in Social Choice
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Federal Reserve Bulletin
March 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 March 2001 edition of this publication includes the following articles: "Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," "Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization: The 2000 Annual Revision," and "Treasury and Federal Reserve Foreign Exchange Operations." [EM]

FRB Boston
Bank Notes
March 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 Philadelphia
Business Review
First Quarter 2001
On a new quarterly publication schedule, Business Review includes an introduction by FRB Philadelphia president Anthony Santomero, as well as articles on volatility, the structure of the electric power industry, and patents in the New Economy. [EM]

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Regional Outlook
First Quarter 2001
Regional Outlook, a quarterly publication from the FDIC, provides analysis of national and regional trends affecting the risk exposure of insured depository institutions. Along with the national edition, eight regional issues are also included. [EM]

International Monetary Fund
Finance and Development
March 2001
Finance and development from the IMF examines the reform and restructuring of the economic monetary fund of Asia with six articles on that topic. [EM]

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
BIS Review [.pdf]
Recently released articles and speeches from the BIS Review include the remarks of Roger W Ferguson, Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board on understanding financial consolidation; a speech on the new Basel capital proposal given by Laurence H. Meyer, Member of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System; and Governor of the Sveriges Riksbank Villy Bergstrom's speech on the Riksbank's role in the economy. [EM]

United States International Trade Commission
International Economic Review
January/February 2001
The January/ February 2001 issue of International Economic Review includes articles on Preferential Trade Agreements and the ASEAN free-trade area discussions in Asia. [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]
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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 upcoming 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 European Meeting on Applied Evolutionary Economics, September 13-15, 2001, in Vienna, Austria; International Atlantic Economic Society Fall Conference, October 11-14, 2001, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and ECAS course in Bayesian Statistics and Financial Econometrics, October 7-13, 2001, in Lugano, Switzerland. [EM]

Third International Conference on Money, Investment and Risk
November 1-2, 2001
Nottingham, England

Productivity Growth: A New Era?
November 2, 2001
New York, New York
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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

NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index,2873,0,00.html
The NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index "measures the growth of online shopping based on data collected from online shoppers." According to the March 29, 2001 update, total spending on online sales rose from $3 billion to $3.4 billion in February 2001. Online consumers spent $19 more per person in February than in the previous month. [EM]
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Personal Income and Outlays -- Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
According to the February 2001 Personal Income and Outlays report, both personal income and disposable personal income increased at a rate of 0.4 percent. [EM]
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Consumer Price Index -- Bureau of Labor Statistics
In February 2001, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4 percent. In total, the CPI-U has increased 3.5 percent from February 2000 to February 2001. [EM]
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Scheduled Agency Reports and Summaries, April 2001 -- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
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 April 2001 include the Crop Progress Report which features the states with the largest winter wheat crops. [EM]
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In The News

Survey Says American Women Still Make Less than Men
1) "Equal Pay Day" --
2) "Women Still Earn Less Than Men" -- Chicago Sun Times
3) "Women Still Make Less, Survey Says" -- New York Times (free registration required)
4) "Harken Calls for an End of Wage Discrimination Against Women"
5) "Equal Pay Law Is 38 Years Old, But Women Lagging Far Behind" -- Salt Lake Tribune
6) Working Women Working Together -- AFL-CIO
7) "Pay inequity still exists, largely for those older than 35" -- Atlanta Business Chronicle
On Tuesday, Equal Pay Day, the US Department of Labor released a draft of a report finding women earn $0.76 for every $1 men make. The report includes population data from 1979, 1989, and 1999; Equal Opportunity reports analysis from 1975 to 1998; and a survey of nearly 5,000 federal contractors about new employment opportunities. After controlling for such elements as occupation, experience, region, industry, and race, the study still found an overall wage gap between men and women. Even when males and females work at the same job, have the same race and experience, and work in the same industry and region at firms of equal size, women still make, on average, $0.89 for every dollar earned by men. However, a January 16, 2001 memo from the Office of Management and Budget reports that the data in the report are flawed and "do little to improve our understanding of the gender wage page. They have serious errors that could lead to false conclusion." The draft report was released by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) as evidence of the need for a bill he introduced which would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to require employers to provide equal pay in all jobs that are equal in terms of skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions. (1), the Chicago Sun Times(2), and the New York Times(3) all offer basic news and information about the results of the study, as well as some of the controversies over the data. This press release from Sen. Tom Harkin (4) touts his new legislation that would close the pay gap. This article from the Salt Lake Tribune(5) provides some historical perspectives and trends about the lack of equal pay for women. Working Women Working Together (6) is a program from the AFL-CIO which offers information, news, and a forum for working women on issues of equality. Finally, the Atlanta Business Chronicle(7) examines the career choices women make and how those choices affect their earning capabilities. [EM]
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