Current Social Science Research Report--Economics #10, April 10, 2007.

CSSRR-Economics is a weekly email report produced by the Data and Information Services Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It seeks to help social science researchers keep up to date with the latest developments in the field. This report will contain selected listings of new: reports, articles, bibliographies, working papers, tables of contents, conferences, data, and websites. For more information, including an archive of back issues and subscription information see:


CSSRR-Economics is compiled and edited by Jack Solock and Charlie Fiss.


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Index to this issue:















1. Office of the US Trade Representative Report: "2007 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers" (April 2007. .pdf format, 650p.). The report is linked to from a USTR news release: "Bush Administration Submits Annual Trade Report to Congress" (Apr. 2, 2007).

Click on title under "Related links" on the right side of the page for link to full text.

2. Department of the Treasury Report: "Preliminary Report on the survey of Foreign Portfolio Holdings of U.S. Securities at End-June 2006" (March 2007). The report is linked to from a Treasury news release: "Preliminary Report On Foreign Holdings Of U.S. Securities At End-June 2006" (HP-337, Mar. 30, 2007).

Click on the Internet address on line three of the news release for link to full text.

3. Energy Information Administration Various:

A. International Petroleum Monthly (IPM) February 2007 (April 2007, HTML and Microsoft Excel format, with tables and text also available in .zip compressed format).

An archive of issues back to 1996 is available at the site.

B. "Energy Analysis Briefs" are available for South Africa and Thailand (HTML and .pdf format):

South Africa:


C. "Natural Gas Year-In-Review 2006" (March 2007, .pdf format, 6p.).

4. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Various:

A. Amber Waves: April 2007 (April 2007, HTML and .pdf format).

B. "NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) at 13: Implementation Nears Completion," by Steven Zahniser (Outlook Report No. WRS-0701, March 2007, .pdf format, 49p.).

5. Library of Congress Business & Economics Research Advisor Guide Update: LC's BERA has added "International Economics & Trade" to its list of guides on business and economics topics.


6. US Government Economic Releases from the National Bureau of Economic Research: Links to releases for Apr. 3-10, 2007 are available at the site.

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US States:


Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism Periodical, Reports:

A. Monthly Economic Indicators: February 2007 (April 2007, .pdf format, 5p., with historical monthly county data back to 1990).

B. "An Economic Analysis of the Hawaii Unemployment Insurance Program: Recent Trends and Some Policy Options," by Khem R. Sharma (April 2007, .pdf format, 53p.).

Click on "Hawaii UI Report" for link to full text.

C. "The Hawaii Inter-County Input-Output Study: 2002 Benchmark Report," by Binsheng Li and Khem R. Sharma (March 2007, .pdf format, 91p., with accompanying tables in Microsoft Excel format).

Links to full text and tables are at the bottom of the page.


Commerce and Labor Report: "Hispanic Buying Power in Idaho for 2007" (March 2007, .pdf format, 7p.).

New Jersey:

Department of Labor and Workforce Development Report: "PMSA/County/Labor Area Estimates" (2006, Microsoft Excel format).


Bureau of Economic and Business Research Report: "Demographic and Socioeconomic Study Completed to Prepare Salt Lake County Government for Coming Age Wave," by Pamela S. Perlich (December 2006, three parts: "Salt Lake County: Demographic and Economic Overview"; "Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics of Salt Lake County: Sub-County Analysis"; and "Salt Lake County's Distinctive Demographics: Implications for the Aging Population" (all .pdf format, 48, 109, and 51p. respectively).

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NGOs and Other Countries

United Nations:

Economic Commission for Africa Report: "Economic Report on Africa: 2007: Accelerating Africa's Development through Diversification" (2007, .pdf format, 163p.).


International Monetary Fund Country Reports: The latest Country Reports span the time period from Apr. 3, 2007--Apr. 6, 2007 (Nos. 07/138-07/139).


European Central Bank Occasional Paper: "The ECB survey of professional forecasters (SPF) -- A review after eight years’ experience," by Carlos Bowles, Roberta Friz, Veronique Genre, Geoff Kenny, Aidan Meyler and Tuomas Rautanen (Occasional Paper No. 59, April 2007, .pdf format, 68p.).


Eight years have passed since the European Central Bank (ECB) launched its Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF). The SPF asks a panel of approximately 75 forecasters located in the European Union (EU) for their short- to longer-term expectations for macroeconomic variables such as euro area inflation, growth and unemployment. This paper provides an initial assessment of the information content of this survey. First, we consider shorter-term (i.e., one- and two-year ahead rolling horizon) forecasts. The analysis suggests that, over the sample period, in common with other private and institutional forecasters, the SPF systematically under-forecast inflation but that there is less evidence of such systematic errors for GDP and unemployment forecasts. However, these findings, which generally hold regardless of whether one considers the aggregate SPF panel or individual responses, should be interpreted with caution given the relatively short sample period available for the analysis. Second, we consider SPF respondents’ assessment of forecast uncertainty using information from their probability distributions. The results suggest that, particularly at the individual level, SPF respondents do not seem to fully capture the overall level of macroeconomic uncertainty. Moreover, even at the aggregate level, a more sophisticated evaluation of the SPF density forecasts using the probability integral transform largely confirms this assessment. Lastly, we consider longer-term macroeconomic expectations from the SPF, where, as expectations cannot yet be assessed against so few actual realisations, we provide a mainly qualitative assessment. With regard to inflation, the study suggests that the ECB has been successful at anchoring longterm expectations at rates consistent with its primary objective to ensure price stability over the medium term. Long-term GDP expectations -- which should provide an indication of the private sector’s assessment of potential growth -- have declined over the sample period and the balance of risks reported by respondents has generally been skewed to the downside. Consistent with this, respondents have generally reported the balance of risks to their long-term unemployment expectations to be to the upside citing concerns as to whether required structural reforms in the labour market will be undertaken as the main factor behind this risk assessment.


European Commission:

Eurostats Periodicals: Eurostats has released two new Statistics in Focus They are:

A. "Farm structure in France -- 2005," by György Benoist and Pol Marquer (No. 42/2007, April 2007, .pdf format, 8p.).,46587259&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&p_product_code=KS-SF-07-042

B. "Farm structure in Bulgaria -- 2005," by György Benoist and Pol Marquer (No. 43/2007, April 2007, .pdf format, 8p.).,46587259&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&p_product_code=KS-SF-07-043

Note: at the time this week's CSSRRs were released, these Internet addresses were not working. If you cannot get these reports, please try again later.


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Policy Brief: "Economic Survey of the Slovak Republic 2007," (April 2007, .pdf format, 11p.).



Instituto Brasiliero de Geografia e Estatistica Social Communication: "GDP grows by 3.7% and reaches 2.3 trillion Reals (1.1 trillion US dollars) in 2006" (Mar. 28, 2007).



Ministry of Statistics and Programme Information Reports: Note MSPI requires free registration before providing reports:

A. "Employment and Unemployment Situation Among Social Groups in India 2004-05" (National Social Survey, 61st Round, July 2004 -- June 2005 (Report No. 516, December 2006, .pdf format, 357p.).

B. "Employment and Unemployment Situation in Cities and Towns in India 2004-05" (National Social Survey, 61st Round, July 2004 -- June 2005 (Report No. 520, December 2006, .pdf format, 163p.).

C. "Employment and Unemployment Situation among Major Religious Groups in India 2004-05 (National Social Survey, 61st Round, July 2004 -- June 2005 (Report No. 521, December 2006, .pdf format, 229p.).

All three reports are available at:

Scroll to the report numbers, near the bottom of the page.



Statistics Norway Compendium: Agricultural Statistics 2005 (April 2007, .pdf format, 120p.).



Scottish Executive Report: "Households Below Average Income in Scotland 2005-06" (March 2007, .pdf format, 6p.).



Statistical Office News Release: "Crop production, Slovenia, 2006" (Apr. 6, 2007). The news release links to updated tables in SO's Stat-SI database.

Follow the "Agriculture and Fishing" link to the items under "Crop Production."



Bureau of Statistics Report: "Key Economic Indicators -- 2nd Quarter 2006/2007 (64th Issue, March 2007, .pdf format, 60p.).

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Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Georgia) Periodical: EconSouth, Vol. 9, No. 1, First Quarter 2007 (April 2007).


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (Missouri) Periodical: National Economic Trends (April 2007, .pdf format).


American Enterprise Institute Periodical: Economic Outlook (April 2007, HTML and .pdf format, 4p.). The topic of this month's issue is "Recession in 2007?" by John H. Makin.


Conference Board News Release: "Online Advertised Job Vacancies Up Over the Year, The Conference Board Reports Today" (Apr. 2, 2007, HTML and a more extensive news release, .pdf format, 24p.).

More information on CB:


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Report: "Growing Number Of States Considering A Key Corporate Tax Reform," by Michael Mazerov (April 2007, HTML and .pdf format, 9p.).

More information about CBPP:

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Federal Reserve Banks:

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (Massachusetts):

A. "Impatience and Credit Behavior: Evidence from a Field Experiment," by Stephan Meier and Charles Sprenger (WP 07-3, March 2007, .pdf format, 42p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "Using Unexpected Recalls to Examine the Long-Term Earnings Effects of Job Displacement," by Yolanda K. Kodrzycki (WP 07-2, March 2007, .pdf format, 50p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available from:

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Missouri): "Optimal Inflation for the U.S.," by Roberto M. Billi (RWP 07-03, April 2007, .pdf format, 35p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

Click on title at the top of the page for link to full text.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (Minnesota):

A. "Does Regulation Reduce Productivity? Evidence From Regulation of the U.S. Beet-Sugar Manufacturing Industry During the Sugar Acts, 1934-74," by Benjamin Bridgman, Shi Qi, and James A. Schmitz, Jr (Staff Paper 389, April 2007, .pdf and PostScript format, 39p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "Time Consistent Monetary Policy with Endogenous Price Rigidity," by Henry E. Siu (Staff Paper 390, April 2007, .pdf format and PostScript format, 43p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

C. "Openness, Technology Capital, and Development," by Ellen R. McGrattan and Edward C. Prescott (Working Paper 651, April 2007, .pdf and PostScript format, 33p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (California): "Robust Monetary Policy with Imperfect Knowledge," by Athanasios Orphanides and John C. Williams (WP 2007-08, March 2007, .pdf format, 47p.).


We examine the performance and robustness properties of monetary policy rules in an estimated macroeconomic model in which the economy undergoes structural change and where private agents and the central bank possess imperfect knowledge about the true structure of the economy. Policymakers follow an interest rate rule aiming to maintain price stability and to minimize fluctuations of unemployment around its natural rate but are uncertain about the economy's natural rates of interest and unemployment and how private agents form expectations. In particular, we consider two models of expectations formation: rational expectations and learning. We show that in this environment the ability to stabilize the real side of the economy is significantly reduced relative to an economy under rational expectations with perfect knowledge. Furthermore, policies that would be optimal under perfect knowledge can perform very poorly if knowledge is imperfect. Efficient policies that take account of private learning and misperceptions of natural rates call for greater policy inertia, a more aggressive response to inflation, and a smaller response to the perceived unemployment gap than would be optimal if everyone had perfect knowledge of the economy. We show that such policies are quite robust to potential misspecification of private sector learning and the magnitude of variation in natural rates.


California Center for Population Research (University of California, Los Angeles):

A. "Family Wealth Distribution in California," by Paul Ong (CCPR-006-07, March 2007, .pdf format, 6p.).

B. "Longitudinal Analysis of Annual Income Dynamics in California," by Paul Ong, R. Varisa Patraporn and Douglas Houston (CCPR-008-07, March 2007, .pdf format, 10p.).


National Bureau of Economic Research: NBER has released the following working papers for the weeks of Mar. 19-26, 2007 and Mar. 26-Apr. 2, 2007 :


New papers are: 12995-13016


International Monetary Fund: IMF has added two working papers on. The papers are Nos. 07/75--07/85


World Bank Development Programme: WDP has recently released several new working papers. See the list at:

New Papers are: 4188-4198

and click on "More" for the rest.


Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) [University of Bonn, Germany]: IZA has recently released several new working papers.

The new working papers are: 2725-2739


New Economic Papers (NEP)-ALL. The latest list of New Economic Papers (Mar. 31, 2007) is available at:


AgEcon Search: This week's new working papers from AgEcon Search at the University of Minnesota are available at:

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JOURNAL TABLES OF CONTENTS (check your library for availability):

Economic Inquiry (Vol. 45, No. 2, April 2007). Note: Full electronic text of these journals are available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

Economic Journal (Vol. 117, No. 518, March 2007).

Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control (Vol. 31, No. 5, May 2007).

Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (Vol. 170 A, Pt. 2, 2007).

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US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service: "Feed Grains Database" (March 2007, HTML,.pdf, and Microsoft Excel format). "This database contains statistics on four feed grains (corn, grain sorghum, barley, and oats), foreign coarse grains (feed grains plus rye, millet, and mixed grains), hay, and related items. This includes data published in the monthly Feed Outlook and previously annual Feed Yearbook. Data are monthly, quarterly, and/or annual depending upon the data series.

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US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service: "Farm Bill Issues: ERS Research and Analysis" Agricultural policy affects not only the economic well-being of farm households, but also our food supply, the environment, and the future of rural communities. The current farm law (the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002) remains in force only through 2007. A proposal for a new farm bill was released by the Bush administration at the end of January, and other proposals have been made by various stakeholder groups. The agriculture committees in Congress have begun to debate these ideas and develop their own proposals. In the upcoming months, they will be crafting legislation that will eventually become the next farm law. ERS analysts examine the economic effects of current farm legislation on producers, consumers, taxpayers, and rural communities, and evaluate potential effects of alternative policies and programs. Included here is a selection of recent ERS research and analysis on issues that the farm bill debate will address. Revisit this site as the farm bill takes shape and as new research and resources are added."

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