Current Social Science Research Report--Economics #50, February 12, 2008.

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. Bureau of Labor Statistics Periodical: Monthly Labor Review (Vol. 131, No. 1, January 2008, .pdf format).

Note: this is a temporary address. When the next MLR is released, this one, along with all others back to 1981, will be available at:

2. U.S. Congress, Joint Economic Committee News Releases.

A. "Expect No Relief From Opec," (No.110-19, February 2008,.pdf format, 3p.)

B. "Employment Recession Probability Index," (No.110-20, February 2008,.pdf format, 3p.)

3. Department of the Treasury, Office of Comptroller of the Currency Report: "Low-Income Housing Tax Credits: Affordable Housing Investment Opportunities for Banks." (February 2008,.pdf format, 28p.).

4. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service Report:"Farms, Land in Farms, and Livestock Operations - 2007 Summary," (February 2008,.pdf format, 42p.)

5. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service Periodical: Amber Waves (February 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 40p.).

6. Small Business Administration Report: "Research Publications, 2007" (January 2008,.pdf format, 20p.) This report documents the importance of entrepreneurship to the American economy and with highlighting policy issues of relevance to small firms.

7. Energy Information Administration: "Country Analysis Brief." (February 2008. Full report available in HTML and .pdf format, 17p.)

8. US Government Economic Releases from the National Bureau of Economic Research: Links to releases for Feb. 5-12, 2008 are available at the site.

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US States:


Department of Labor & Workforce Development Reports:

A. "Nonresidents Working in Alaska: 2006" (January 2008, .pdf format, 34p.).

B. "Residency Analysis of Alaska's Workers by Firm: 2006 (January 2008, .pdf and Microsoft Excel format, 61p.).



C. "Unemployment Insurance Actuarial Study and Financial Handbook 2006," by James Wilson and Sara Verrelli (November 2007, .pdf format, 57p.).


Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism Slide Presentation: "Economic Causes of Hawai‘i Greenhouse Gas Emissions," by Mike Hamnett, Paul Bernstein, Denise Eby Konan, and Terry Surles (Presentation to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Task Force, Nov. 30, 2007, .pdf format, 37 slides).


State Data Center Updates: The SDC has updated the following files (.pdf and Microsoft Excel format: State of Iowa: "State government finances (Summary): 2000-2006"; "State government finances (Detail): 2000-2006"; State government tax collections: 2000-2006". U.S. and States: "Income and apportionment of state-administered lottery funds: 2000-2006"; "State government revenue and expenditure: 2000-2006."

See under Feb. 8, 2008 listing.

North Dakota:

State Data Center Periodical: Population Bulletin (Vol. 24, No. 2, February 2008, .pdf format, 3p.). The topic of this issue is: "Compensation of North Dakota Employees: 2006."


Office of Workforce Development Periodical: Labor Market Review (December 2007, .pdf format, 39p.).

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NGOs and Other Countries:

International Monetary Fund Country Repots: The latest Country Reports span the time period from Feb. 5-Feb. 8, 2008 (No. 08/56-08/58):



Statistics Canada/Statistique Canada Economic Analysis Research Paper, Report:

A. "Agglomeration Economies: Microdata Panel Estimates from Canadian Manufacturing," by John R. Baldwin, W. Mark Brown and David L. Rigby (February 2008, .pdf format, 30p.).

B. "Financial and Taxation Statistics for Enterprises" (February 2008, .pdf format, 263p.).

Click on "View" and follow the "PDF" link to full text.



National Bureau of Statistics Report: "Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (1-4 Quarters, 2007)" (January 2008).



Federal Statistics Office Press Release: "German foreign trade in 2007: Exports +8.5%; imports +5.0%" (Feb. 8, 2008).,templateId=renderPrint.psml



Statistical Office First Release: "External trade: First estimate, January-December 2007 (Feb. 8, 2008, .pdf format, 1p.).



Statistics Iceland News Release: "Purchasing power parities 2005-2006" (No. 17/2008, Feb. 6, 2008). The news release links to a SI Report: "Purchasing Power Parities, final results for the year 2005 and preliminary results for 2006" (February 2008, .pdf format, 31p., in Icelandic, with an English summary, and table and chart heads in Icelandic and English. There is also a link "Statistics" to five relevant interactive tables, all available in English, with multiple download formats).



Centrals Statistics Office/An Phriomh-Oifig Straidrimh Report: "Output, Input and Income in Agriculture: 2007 - Preliminary estimate" (February 2008, .pdf format, 4p.).



Central Bureau of Statistics Report: "Income Survey 2006" (December 2007, .pdf format, 101p., with ancillary material in Microsoft Word format, and tables in Microsoft Excel and .zip compressed Microsoft Excel format).



Statistics Lithuania News Release: "Foreign Trade in Lithuania, 2007" (Feb. 8, 2008).



Statistics Netherlands Press Release: "Fewer individual insolvencies and company liquidations in 2007" (Feb. 8, 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 1p.).



Statistics Norway News Releases:

A. "Labour Force Survey, Q4 2007: Higher labour force participation" (Jan. 30, 2008). The news release links to 21 topical tables.

B. "Fisheries. Preliminary figures, 2007: Slight increase in landed catch and value" (Feb. 7, 2008). The news release links to three topical tables.



Ministry of National Economy Periodical: Economic Review (3rd Quarter 2007, .pdf format, 14p.).



Central Statistical Office Compendium: Statistical Yearbook of Industry 2007 (February 2008, .pdf and .zip compressed .pdf format, 561p.). The compendium is in Polish and English.



National Institute of Statistics Periodical: Prices Statistical Bulletin (No. 12, December 2007, January 2008, .pdf format, 68p.). The periodical is in Romanian and English.

Click on the title page icon below the title.



Scottish Government Report: "Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics 2006-07" (February 2008, .pdf format, 36p.).



Statistical Office Report: "The Number of employment in 2007: Annual Average" (January 2008, .pdf format, 10p.).



Statistics Sweden Press Releases:

A. "Labour Force Survey (LFS), 4th quarter 2007" (Feb. 8, 2008).

B. "Tax assessment 2007" (Feb. 7, 2008).



State Statistical Committee Tables:

A. "Registered unemployed, by cause of unemployment: 2007" (February 2008).

B. "Demand of enterprises for employees, by type of economic activity" (February 2008).

C. "Job placement of individuals not engaged in labor activity, by type of economic activity" (February 2008).

D. "Procedures held to purchase commodities, operations and services through the government funds, 2007" (February 2008).



Department of Work and Pensions Research Report: "Mothers' participation in paid work: the role of 'mini-jobs,' by Jon Hales, Sarah Tipping and Nick Lyon (Research Report 467, 2007, .pdf format, 142p.).

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Urban Institute Report, Periodical:

A. "How Much Does the Federal Government Spend to Promote Economic Mobility? And for Whom?" by Adam Carasso, Gillian Reynolds, and C. Eugene Steuerle (February 2008, .pdf format, 48p.).

B. facts and nonpartisan perspectives on the issues (Decision Points '08, No. 4, Feb. 5, 2008). The topic of this issue is: "The Subprime Mortgage Crisis."


Federal Reserve Board of St. Louis (Missouri) Periodical: National Economic Trends (February 2008, .pdf format, 27p.).


Science Article Abstract: "Prioritizing Climate Change Adaptation Needs for Food Security in 2030," by David B. Lobell, Marshall B. Burke, Claudia Tebaldi, Michael D. Mastrandrea, Walter P. Falcon, and Rosamond L. Naylor (Vol. 319, No. 5863, Feb. 1, 2008, p. 607-610).

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Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs [Princeton University]: "Heterogeneous Risk Preferences and the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles," by Sam Schulhofer-Wohl (Economics Discussion Paper No. 235, January 2008, .pdf format, 41p.).


I study the welfare cost of business cycles in a complete-markets economy where some people are more risk averse than others. Relatively more risk-averse people buy insurance against aggregate risk, and relatively less risk-averse people sell insurance. These trades reduce the welfare cost of business cycles for everyone. Indeed, the least risk-averse people benefit from business cycles. Moreover, even infinitely risk-averse people suffer only finite and, in my empirical estimates, very small welfare losses. In other words, when there are complete insurance markets, aggregate fluctuations in consumption are essentially irrelevant not just for the average person - the surprising finding of Lucas (1987) - but for everyone in the economy, no matter how risk averse they are. If business cycles matter, it is because they affect productivity or interact with uninsured idiosyncratic risk, not because aggregate risk per se reduces welfare.


National Bureau of Economic Research: NBER has released the following working papers for the week of Jan. 27-Feb. 9, 2008:

The new issues are: 13723-13787


United Nations World Institute for Development Economics Research:

A. "Entrepreneurial Ventures and the Developmental State: Lessons from the Advanced Economies," by William Lazonick (Discussion Paper No. 1, January 2008, .pdf format, 44p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

B. "Globalization, Literacy Levels, and Economic Development," by Alok Bhargava (WIDER Research Paper 2008-04, January 2008, .pdf format, 16p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

C. "Aid and Growth in Fragile States," by Mark McGillivray and Simon Feeny (WIDER Research Paper 2008-03, January 2008, .pdf format, 20p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:


International Poverty Centre [United Nations Development Programme]: "Is all Socioeconomic Inequality among Racial Groups in Brazil Caused by Racial Discrimination?" by Rafael Guerreiro Osório (Working Paper No. 43, February 2008, .pdf format, 42p.).


European Central Bank:

A. "Income distribution determinants and public spending efficiency", by António Afonso, Ludger Schuknecht, and Vito Tanzi (Working Paper No. 861, January 2008, .pdf format, 53p.).


In this paper we examine the impact of public spending, education, and institutions on income distribution in advanced economies. We also assess the efficiency of public spending in redistributing income by using a DEA (Data Envelopment Analysis) nonparametric approach. We find that public policies significantly affect income distribution, notably via social spending, and indirectly via high quality education/human capital and via sound economic institutions. Moreover, for our set of OECD countries, and within a two-step approach, several so-called non-discretionary factors help explaining public social spending inefficiencies.

B. "Housing and equity wealth effects of Italian households," by Charles Grant and Tuomas A. Peltonen (Working Paper No. 857, January 2008, .pdf format, 28p.).


The study quantifies stock market and housing market wealth effects on households' non-durable consumption using Italian household panel data (SHIW) of 1989-2002. We found all households react similarly to aggregate housing and stock market gains. We also found statistically and economically significant housing wealth effects with a marginal propensity to consume out of idiosyncratic housing wealth gains to be over 8 percent. The results from idiosyncratic equity wealth effects were lower, at around 0.4 percent. We also found that older households react more to changes in housing wealth.


Luxembourg Income Project:

A. "Government Benefits, Inequality and Employment," by Lane Kenworthy (Working Paper No. 472, January 2008, .pdf format, 45p.).


Redistribution is one of the principal mechanisms through which countries secure low income inequality. Maintaining moderately high wage levels at the low end of the distribution may be increasingly difficult and perhaps even counterproductive from an egalitarian perspective (Kenworthy 2008, ch. 5). If so, redistribution is likely to become even more critical. Redistribution can be achieved through the tax system, via government transfers, or both. In practice, however, very little redistribution is accomplished via taxation, and a shift toward greater use of taxes to achieve redistributive ends is unlikely. Benefits, therefore, may be the key to successful pursuit of low inequality for affluent countries. But generous benefits can create employment disincentives. This produces a bind for policy makers. Generous benefits secure the redistribution countries need to get low inequality. Because of aging and capital mobility, a high employment rate is needed to finance those benefits. But if benefits are generous, they may reduce the employment rate. Is there a way out of this dilemma? I begin by examining the relationship between government benefits and inequality and between benefits and employment. I explore these issues in a comparative fashion, focusing on the experiences of twelve countries - Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States - since the 1970s. In doing so I utilize a new approach to measuring comparative benefit generosity. I then outline a policy package that can potentially provide generous benefits to working-age individuals and households who need them without creating excessive employment disincentives. The package features generous transfers to those unable to work due to involuntary job loss, sickness, disability, or family responsibilities. However, benefits provided on a temporary basis should be of relatively short duration, and eligibility criteria for those provided on a permanent basis should be fairly strict. In exchange for this strictness, extensive support should be provided for those entering or returning to the work force, in the form of training, job placement, public employment, and child care. A key component of the benefit package is an employment-conditional earnings subsidy.

B. "Sources of Equality and Inequality: Wages, Jobs, Households, and Redistribution," by Lane Kenworthy (Working Paper No. 471, January 2008, .pdf format, 27p.).


It is helpful to think about inequality of earnings and income at three levels: 1. Inequality of earnings among employed individuals. This is frequently referred to as "earnings inequality," "pay inequality," or "wage inequality." 2. Inequality of earnings and investment income among households. This is often termed "pretax-pretransfer income inequality" or "market income inequality." 3. Inequality of income among households when government taxes and transfers are included. This is typically referred to as "posttax-posttransfer income inequality" or "disposable income inequality." In my view, the most important of these is the third: posttax-posttransfer income inequality among households. Earnings are pooled (albeit not always equally) within households, and certainly the money available after taxes and transfers is of more relevance to households than their market income. If there is a level of inequality on which we should focus the most attention, this is it. What are the principal sources of posttax-posttransfer inequality in affluent countries? To what extent do inequality of individual earnings, inequality of market household incomes, redistribution, and other factors influence the posttax-posttransfer income distribution? And what do the answers to these questions tell us about the best route to low posttax-posttransfer inequality? I explore these issues in a comparative fashion, focusing on the experiences of twelve countries - Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States - since the 1970s.

C. "Labour Market Institutions and Income Inequality," by Daniele Checchi and Cecilia García-Peñalosa (Working Paper No. 470, January 2008, .pdf format, 63p.).


The recent debate on trends in inequality in industrial countries has been marred by the lack of consensus about the relevant concept of inequality. Labour economists are concerned with inequality in earnings, macroeconomists with movements in the wage share, while policy-makers tend to focus on household income inequality. We provide a unifying framework to study the relationship between these three concepts of inequality and the way in which labour market institutions affect them. Institutions emerge as a key determinant of inequality, yet they play different roles depending on the extent to which they complement or substitute each other. As a result, we are able to propose a set of inequality minimizing institutions. Institutions that decrease inequality are, however, associated with higher unemployment, and our analysis allows us to quantify the magnitude of this trade-off.


Luxembourg Wealth Study: "Homeownership Inequality and the Access to Credit Markets. Can Credit Availability Explain Cross-country Differences in the Inequality of Homeownership across Income of Young Households?" by Alena Bicáková and Eva Sierminska (Working Paper No. 5, December 2007, .pdf format, 43p.).


This paper focuses on the cross-country differences in homeownership rates and the extent this variation can be explained by differences in the degree of financial development of the mortgage market. Expecting that home ownership among the young is mostly driven by their ability to borrow (against their future income) to buy their homes we focus on households 18 to 40 years of age. We use the newly developed Luxembourg Wealth Study and focus on five countries: Finland, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US.

We find that aside from Italy, homeownership rates and inequality in the four countries more or less correspond to their mortgage take up rates and its distribution across income, reflecting the different degree of size and development of their respective mortgage markets. In Italy, however, alternative ways of financing a home such as family transfers substitute the limited mortgage availability and take up rates. The mortgage market in the UK is the most open (in terms of mortgage take up) and the most equal (in terms of the distribution of mortgage take-up across household income deciles), which leads to the highest and most equally distributed homeownership in this country as well.

The mortgage market in Germany is on the other side of the spectrum with very low mortgage take-up rates and strong dependence of homeownership and mortgage take up on household income (high homeownership/mortgage income inequality). Finland and the US are in-between.

Counterfactual predictions suggest that although household characteristics play some role in explaining the observed (and predicted) variation in home ownership rates across the five countries, it is mostly the country specific effects of these characteristics determined by the institutional environment as well as the functioning of the housing and mortgage markets that drive the main result. We conclude that in the absence of alternative sources, mortgage availability is the main determinant of home ownership across countries and also across income deciles within countries.


Australian National University College of Business and Economics: "Consumer Credit In Australia During The 20th Century," by Pierre van der Eng (Working Paper No. 489, January 2008, .pdf format, 26p.).


This article surveys the growth of consumer credit in Australia during the 20th century, particularly after World War II. Until the 1970s, the regulation of Australia’s financial market caused formal consumer credit to be provided mainly by finance companies under hire-purchase contracts, largely for the purchase of cars and household durables. Deregulation of the financial market since the 1960s allowed banks to gain a dominant share in the market for personal loans. Quantification of long-term trends is difficult, but broad estimates suggest sustained growth in per capita indebtedness during 1945-2007.


Institute for Fiscal Studies [London, UK]: "Changing public sector wage differentials in the UK," by Richard Disney and Amanda Gosling (IFS Working Papers, W08/02, February 2008, .pdf format, 20p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


International Monetary Fund: IMF has recently added several new working papers. The papers are Nos. 08/34-08/40.


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

New Papers are: 4508-4516.


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

The new working papers are: 3330-3340.


Center for Economic Studies/Ifo Institute for Economic Research (CESifo) [Munich, Bavaria, Germany]: CESifo has recently released several new working papers:

and "Browse Working Paper List" for 2008.

The new papers are numbered 2208-2220


New Economic Papers (NEP)-ALL. The latest list of New Economic Papers (Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 2007).


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):

Journal of Econometrics (Vol. 143, No. 2, April 2008).

Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control (Vol. 32, No. 3, March 2008).

Journal of Economic Theory (Vol. 139, No. 1, March 2008).

Journal of Human Resources (Vol. 43, No. 1, Winter 2008). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and issue.

Journal of Public Economics (Vol. 92, No. 3-4, April 2008).

Journal of Urban Economics (Vol. 63, No. 2, March 2008).

Management Science (Vol. 54, No. 2, February 2008).

Quarterly Journal of Economics (Vol. 123, No. 1, February 2008). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and issue.

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United Nations Research Institute for Social Development: "Research Assistant in the area of Business and Social Development" (Vacancy No. RA005, closing date: Mar. 9, 2008). For more information see:


Chronicle of Higher Education:

Economic positions (Feb. 6-11, 2008).

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US House Science and Technology Committee Hearing Publication: "The Contribution of the Social Sciences to the Energy Challenge, a hearing held Sep. 25, 2007 (House Serial Publication No. 110-55, .pdf format, 77p.).

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US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service: "Season-Average Price Forecasts: Using Futures Prices to Forecast the Season-Average Price and Counter-Cyclical Payment Rate for Corn, Soybeans, and Wheat" (February 2008, Microsoft Excel format, forecast data updated for 2007/08).


UK Data Archive (Essex University, Colchester, UK): The UK Data Archive has recently added the following datasets to its holdings. Note: There maybe charges or licensing requirements on holdings of the UK Data Archive. For more information see:

SN 5783 -Small Firms and their Employees, 2003-2006

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