Current Social Science Research Report--Economics #58, April 8, 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.


To CSSRR-Soc #58

To CSSRR-Health #58



Index to this issue:
















1. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation Report: "Determinants of Asset Building," by Sondra Beverly, Michael Sherraden, Min Zhan, Trina R. Williams Shanks, Yunju Nam, and Reid Cramer (March 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 104p.).

2. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service Report: Agricultural Contracting Update, 2005," by James M. MacDonald and Penni Korb (Economic Information Bulletin No. EIB-35, April 2008, .pdf format, 37p.).

3. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition and Policy and Promotion Report: "Nutrient content of the U.S. food supply, 2005," by H.A.B. Hiza, L. Bente and T. Fungwe (Home Economics Research Report No.58. March 2008, .pdf format, 72p.).

4. Congressional Research Service Report:"Understanding Stagflation and the Risk of Its Recurrence," by Brian W. Cashell and Marc Labonte (RL34428, March 2008, .pdf format, 14p.).

5. Energy Information Administration Country Analysis Briefs:

A. "Bahrain," (March 2008. HTML and .pdf format, 7p.).

B. "Syria," (March 2008. HTML and .pdf format, 10p.).

6. Office of the United States Trade Representative Report: "2008 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers," (April 2008).

7. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy Research Report: "Changes in Family Health Insurance Coverage for Small and Large Firm Workers and Dependents: Evidence from 1995 to 2005," by Eric E. Seiber and Curtis S. Florence (March 2008, .pdf format, 60p.).

8. US Government Economic Releases from the National Bureau of Economic Research: Links to releases for Apr. 2-8, 2008 are available at the site.

Return to top


US States:


Department of Business, Economic Development, & Tourism Periodical: Monthly Economic Indicators: February 2008 (March 2008, .pdf format, 5p., with county and state data in Microsoft Excel format).

Return to top


NGOs and Other Countries:

United Nations:

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Report: "Economic Report on Africa, 2007," (March 2008, .pdf format, 166p.).


European Commission:

Eurostat Periodical: Statistics in Focus. The latest issues (8/32-8/33 .pdf format) are now available at the SIF website:,1136118&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL


International Monetary Fund Country Report, Periodical:

A. The latest Country Reports (.pdf format) span the time period from Apr. 2-Apr. 8, 2008 (No. 08/119-08/127):

B. Finance and Development (Vol. 45, No. 1, March 2008).


World Bank Report: "East Asia & Pacific Update - Testing Times Ahead," (April 2008, .pdf, HTML, and Excel format, 79p.).,,menuPK:550232~pagePK:64168427~piPK:64168435~theSitePK:550226,00.html


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Policy Briefs, Ask the Economists:

A. "Economic survey of Japan 2008," (April 2008, .pdf format, 12p.).

B. "Economic Survey of Germany 2008," (April 2008, .pdf format, 12p.).

C. "Ask the economists: Environment - what price a clean planet?" (2008).,3343,en_2649_201185_40303102_1_1_1_1,00.html



Federal Statistics Office News Release: "60% of all persons employed working in small and medium-sized enterprises" (Apr. 4, 2008).,templateId=renderPrint.psml



Central Statistics Office/An Phriomh-Oifig Staidrimh Report: "Information Society and Telecommunications, 2007" (March 2008, .pdf format, 68p.).



Statistics Bureau Report: "Labor Force Survey Time Series (March 2008, Microsoft Excel format).



Department of Statistics News Release: "6.0% GDP growth rate in 2007 and 6.5% for the fourth quarter of the same year at fixed prices" (Mar. 27, 2008).



Statistics Latvia News Release. Note: if the release is in Latvian, click on the "ENG" tab at the top right of the page for an English version. "EU-SILC (Community Statistics on Income and Life Conditions) 2006: on indicators characterising material deprivation:



Statistics Department Report: "Economic and Social Development in Lithuania: February 2008 (March 2008, .pdf format, 215p.).

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "download" next to "February 2008".



Statistics Netherlands Web Magazine Articles:

A. "Rented houses predominantly found in urban areas, owner-occupied houses in rural areas," by Bert Raets (Apr. 3, 2008).

B. "More cars exported, fewer dismantled" (Apr. 3, 2008).



Statistics Norway News Releases:

A. "Research and development (R&D) in the Norwegian business enterprise sector 2006. Final figures" (Apr. 4, 2008). The news release links to seven topical tables.

B. "Municipal accounting statistics, 2007. County municipalities, preliminary figures" (Apr. 4, 2008). The news release links to two topical tables.

C. "Municipal accounting statistics, 2007. Municipalities, preliminary figures" (Apr. 4, 2008). The news release links to three topical tables.



Statistics Portugal News Release: "Housing and Food products accounted for 42% of household expenditures in 2005/2006" (Mar. 31, 2008, HTML and .pdf format 1p.). The news release links to 31 topical tables (Microsoft Excel and comma separated value [.csv] format). The tables are in Portuguese.



National Institute of Statistics News Release: "Crop production for main crops in 2007" (Apr. 1, 2008, 3p.).



Statistical Office Communication: "2007 Household Budget Survey: Final results" (Mar. 31, 2008, .pdf format, 8p.).



Statistical Office News Release: "Persons in paid employment by amount of gross earnings, Slovenia, 2007" (Apr. 2, 2008).



Statistics Sweden News Releases:

A. "Wealth statistics 2006" (Apr. 3, 2008).

B. "Construction costs for new residential buildings" (Apr. 2, 2008).

C. "Conversion and demolition of multi-dwelling buildings" (Apr. 2, 2008).

D. "Labour market situation three years after upper secondary school" (Apr. 1, 2008).

E. "Financial assets and liabilities for municipalities and county councils" (Mar. 31, 2008).

F. "Excessive Deficit Procedure: Strong improvements for public finances in the Swedish economy in 2007" (Mar. 31, 2008).

G. "Government budget appropriations or outlays for research and development: Appropriations for R&D increase" (Mar. 31, 2008).



State Statistics Committee Report: "National Accounts of institutional sectors of economy for 2006" (April 2008).



1. Department for Work and Pensions Report: "The New Deal for Lone Parents, Lone Parent Work Focused Interviews and Working Families' Tax Credit: A review of impacts," by Andreas Cebulla and Guilio Flore with David Greenberg (Research Report No. 484, March 2008, .pdf format, 91p.).

2. National Statistics Office Periodical Data Tables: Economic & Labour Market Review: March 2008 (April 2008, tables in Microsoft Excel format).

Return to top



Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (Missouri) PeriodicalS:

A. Monetary Trends (April 2008, .pdf format, 20p.).

B. National Economic Trends (April 2008, .pdf format, 27p.).


Urban Institute Reports:

A. "Taking Back Our Fiscal Future," by Joseph Antos, Robert Bixby, Stuart Butler, Paul Cullinan, Alison Fraser, William Galston, Ron Haskins, Julie Isaacs, Maya MacGuineas, Will Marshall, Pietro Nivola, Rudolph G. Penner, Robert D. Reischauer, Alice M. Rivlin, Isabel V. Sawhill, and C. Eugene Steuerle (April 2008, .pdf format, 11p.).

B. "Health and Economic Mobility," by Jessica Kronstadt (April 2008, .pdf format, 38p.).

C. "Immigration and Economic Mobility," by Seth Zimmerman (April 2008, .pdf format, 9p.).

D. "Discrimination and Economic Mobility," by Melissa Favreault (April 2008, .pdf format, 19p.).

E. "Globalization and Economic Mobility," Seth Zimmerman (April 2008, .pdf format, 12p.).

F. "Families and Economic Mobility," by Jessica Kronstadt and Melissa Favreault (April 2008, .pdf format, 22p.).

G. "Tax and Spending Policy and Economic Mobility," by Sheila R. Zedlewski and Brendan Cushing-Daniels (April 2008, .pdf format, 19p.).


Banque de France [Paris] Occasional Paper: "Financial stability in the EU new Member States, acceding and candidate countries," by Pavel Diev and Cyril Pouvelle (Occasional Paper No. 5, February 2008, .pdf format, 17p.).


Rapid credit growth in the EU new Member States, acceding and candidate countries has raised the issue of financial stability in the region. This rapid credit growth has been accompanied by the deterioration in the current account balance and the large-scale distribution of foreign currency loans.

In the first part of this study, we analyse the overall stability of the banking sector vis-ŗ-vis the very rapid credit growth. Given the high share of foreign currency loans, we examine the exposure to exchange rate risk. We identify that the main vulnerability for the banking system stems from the open currency position held by final borrowers (households and businesses). These economic agents are generally not hedged against exchange rate risk. In the event of a depreciation in the national currency, the banking system would therefore be exposed to an increase in payment defaults on foreign currency loans. We consider this to be "indirect" credit risk for the banking system.

In the second part, we explore the likelihood of a currency crisis. We estimate an econometric model for the link between credit growth and the current account balance showing a significant negative relationship in these countries, i.e. a 1-percentage-point increase in credit flow as a percentage of GDP deteriorates the current account-to-GDP ratio by 0.5 percentage point. Consequently, excessively high credit growth would contribute to deteriorate the current account beyond a sustainable level and would increase the likelihood of a currency crisis. Currently, external vulnerability remains contained in the countries under review, though it has increased in most of them since 2000.

Lastly, we implement causality tests to evaluate the nature of credit growth. When the causality detected indicates that credit growth fuels domestic demand, and not the opposite, this could be interpreted as a potential risk for the system insofar as strong credit growth may lead to excessive demand beyond that related to a simple catching-up process. For countries where this test is signifi cant, a causal relationship from credit growth to domestic demand has been detected in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia and Poland. The causality detected in Croatia and Romania is heading in the opposite direction.

Return to top



Federal Reserve Banks:

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis [Minnesota]:

A. "Monopoly and the Incentive to Innovate When Adoption Involves Switchover Disruptions," by Thomas J. Holmes, David K. Levine and James A. Schmitz, Jr. (Staff Report 402, March 2008, .pdf and PostScript format, 30p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "Pricing-to-Market, Trade Costs, and International Relative Prices," by Andrew Atkeson and Ariel Burstein (Staff Report 402, March 2008, .pdf and PostScript format, 51p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]: "Frontiers of Real-Time Data Analysis," by Dean Croushore (Working Paper No. 08-4, March 2008, .pdf format, 35p.).


This paper describes the existing research (as of February 2008) on real-time data analysis, divided into five areas: (1) data revisions; (2) forecasting; (3) monetary policy analysis; (4) macroeconomic research; and (5) current analysis of business and financial conditions. In each area, substantial progress has been made in recent years, with researchers gaining insight into the impact of data revisions. In addition, substantial progress has been made in developing better real-time data sets around the world. Still, additional research is needed in key areas, and research to date has uncovered even more fruitful areas worth exploring.

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond [Virginia]: "Inflation Dynamics with Search Frictions: A Structural Econometric Analysis," by Michael U. Krause, Thomas A. Lubik & David Lopez-Salido (Working Paper 08-1, April 2008, .pdf format, 51p.).


The New Keynesian Phillips curve explains inflation dynamics as being driven by current and expected future real marginal costs. In competitive labor markets, the labor share can serve as a proxy for the latter. In this paper, we study the role of real marginal cost components implied by search frictions in the labor market. We construct a measure of real marginal costs by using newly available labor market data on worker finding rates. Over the business cycle, the measure is highly correlated with the labor share. Estimates of the Phillips curve using GMM reveal that the marginal cost measure remains significant, and that inflation dynamics are mainly driven by the forward-looking component. Bayesian estimation of the full new Keynesian model with search frictions helps us disentangle which shocks are driving the economy to generate the observed unit labor cost dynamics. We find that mark-up shocks are the dominant force in labor market fluctuations.


US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies:

A. "The Efficiency of Internal Capital Markets: Evidence from the Annual Capital Expenditure Survey," by Sumit Agarwal, Victor Souphom, and Guy Yamashiro (CES-WP-08-08, April 2008, .pdf format, 30p.).


We empirically examine whether greater firm diversity results in the inefficient allocation of capital. Using both COMPUSTAT and the Annual Capital Expenditure Survey (ACES) we find firm diversity to be negatively related to the efficiency of investment. However once we distinguish between capital expenditure for structures and equipment, we find that while firms do inefficiently allocate capital for equipment, they efficiently allocate capital for structures. These results suggest that when the decision will have long-lasting repercussions, headquarters will, more often than not, make the correct choice.

B. "Private Equity and Employment," by Steven Davis, John Haltiwanger, Ron Jarmin, Josh Lerner, and Javier Miranda (CES-WP-08-07, March 2008, .pdf format, 57p.).


The impact of private equity on employment arouses considerable controversy. Labor groups concerned about the fortunes of workers employed at buyout firms contend private equity firms destroy jobs. By contrast private equity associations and other groups have released a number of recent studies that claim positive effects of private equity on employment following the takeover. In this paper we conduct a comprehensive examination of the impact of private equity buyouts on the employment outcomes of firms that are taken over by these investment firms. We focus the analysis on two different dimensions. First, what are the employment outcomes of workers employed at establishments existing at the time of the buyout? Second, what is growth performance of the firm following the buyout? We conduct the analysis using a unique linked dataset covering the universe of US firms and information regarding US buyout operations between 1980 and 2005. We find targeted establishments exhibit net employment contraction, higher job destruction and establishment exit relative to controls. However, targeted firms exhibit higher greenfield entry and more acquisition and divestiture.

C. "Consistent Cell Means for Topcoded Incomes in the Public Use March CPS (1976-2007)," by Jeff Larrimore, Richard Burkhauser, Shuaizhang Feng, and Laura Zayatz (CES-WP-08-06, March 2008, .pdf format, 53p.).


Using the internal March CPS, we create and in this paper distribute to the larger research community a cell mean series that provides the mean of all income values above the topcode for any income source of any individual in the public use March CPS that has been topcoded since 1976. We also describe our construction of this series. When we use this series together with the public use March CPS, we closely match the yearly mean income levels and income inequalities of the U.S. population found using the internal March CPS data.

Both papers are available at:


Center for Financial Research [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation]: "How Do Managers Target Their Credit Ratings? A Study of Credit Ratings and Managerial Discretion," by Armen Hovakimian, Ayla Kayhan and Sheridan Titman (FDIC Center for Financial Research Working Paper No. 2008-04, February 2008, .pdf format, 53p.).


Managers choose credit rating targets by trading off the benefits associated with a high rating against the higher cost of capital associated with the additional equity required to maintain the high rating. We find that small and risky firms tend to target lower ratings, whereas firms with high growth opportunities tend to target higher ratings. In addition, firms with small boards and large blockholders tend to target lower ratings. We also find that deviations from rating targets influence subsequent capital structure choices. When observed ratings are below (above) the target, managers tend to make security issuance and repurchase decisions that reduce (increase) leverage. In addition, firms are more likely to increase dividend payouts when they have above target ratings and are less likely to make acquisitions when they have below target ratings.


National Bureau of Economic Research: NBER has released the following working papers for the week of Mar. 29-Apr. 5, 2008:

The new issues are: 13907-13925


Banque de France [Paris]:

A. "Total factor productivity and the decision to serve foreign markets: Firm level evidence from France," by Delphine Irac (Working Paper No. 205, April 2008, .pdf format, 29p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "Access to new imported varieties and total factor productivity: Firm level evidence from France," by Delphine Irac (Working Paper No. 204, April 2008, .pdf format, 35p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland [Dublin]: "Are sectoral stock prices useful for predicting euro area GDP?" by Magnus Andersson and Antonello D' Agostino (April 2008, .pdf format, 19p.).


This paper evaluates how well sectoral stock prices forecast future economic activity compared to traditional predictors such as the term spread, dividend yield, exchange rates and money growth. The study is applied to euro area financial asset prices and real economic growth, covering the period 1973 to 2006. The paper finds that the term spread is the best predictor of future growth in the period leading up to the introduction of Monetary Union. After 1999, however, sectoral stock prices in general provide more accurate forecasts than traditional asset price measures across all forecast horizons.


Banco De Mexico [Mexico City]: "An Analytical Approach to Mertonís Rational Option Pricing Theory," by Rocīio Elizondo and Pablo Padilla (Working Paper No. 2008-03, March 2008, .pdf format, p.).


In the early 70s Merton developed a theory based on economic arguments to study the properties of option and warrant prices. The main tool in his proofs was the portfolio dominance principle. In the context where the price of a contingent claim satisfies a partial differential equation we provide analytical proofs of Mertonís rational option pricing theory. We use several versions of the maximum principle as well as the sliding and the moving planes methods to prove our results. Our approach enables us to extend the theory to nonlinear models.


United Nations Development Programme: "Financial Liberalization and Domestic Resource Mobilization in Africa: an Assessment," by John Serieux (Working Paper No. 45, April 2008, .pdf format, 31p.).


International Monetary Fund: IMF has recently added new working papers. The papers are Nos. 08/84-08/87.


World Bank Policy Research Programme: PRP has recently released a new working paper. See the list at:

New Paper is: 4585.


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

The new working papers are: 3425-3435


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 2272-2277.


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

Return to top


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

Economic Development and Cultural Change (Vol. 56, No. 3, April 2008). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Elite Database. Check your library for availability of this database and issue.

Economic Journal (Vol. 118, No. 528, April 2008).

Journal of Economic Literature (Vol. 46, No. 1, March 2008). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and issue.

Management Science (Vol. 54, No. 4, April 2008).

Return to top



Chronicle of Higher Education:

Economic positions has been updated through Apr. 7, 2008.

Return to top



Luxembourg Income Study: LIS has released Wave VI data for Luxembourg (2004).


Irish Social Science Data Archive: Note: different datasets have different acquisition conditions. See the information accompanying each dataset for more information.

"Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC)" (April 2008)


Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research: ICPSR at he University of Michigan released several new datasets through Apr. 4, 2008, which may be of interest to Economics researchers. Note: Some ICPSR studies are available only to ICPSR member institutions. To find out whether your organization is a member, and whether or not it supports ICPSR Direct downloading, see:

All new and updated data in the last 90 days can be found at:


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 5799 -Measuring and Explaining Management Practices across Firms and Countries, 1994-2004

SN 5793 -National Survey of Volunteering and Charitable Giving, 2006-2007

SN 5798 -Labour Force Survey Five-Quarter Longitudinal Dataset, October 2006 - December 2007

Return to top



Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Press Release: "Dynamic Maps of Nonprime Mortgage Conditions in the United States," (Apr. 1, 2008). There is a link to the maps from the press release.

Return to top