Current Social Science Research Report--Economics #60, April 22, 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. Federal Reserve Board Periodical: The Beige Book: Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions (April , 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 51p.).

2. Bureau of Economic Analysis Periodical: Survey of Current Business (Vol. 88, No. 4, April 2008, .pdf format).

3. Energy Information Administration Country Analysis Brief: "Ecuador," (April 2008. HTML and .pdf format, 8p.).

4, Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service Report:

A. "U.S. Agricultural Trade Boosts Overall Economy," by William Edmondson (Outlook Report No. FAU-124, April 2008, .pdf format, 16p.).

B. "Impact of 2002-03 Farm Bill Restorations on Food Stamp Use by Legal Immigrants," by Everett J. Henderson, Randy Capps, and Kenneth Finegold (Contractor and Cooperator Report No. CCR-40, April 2008, .pdf format, 96p.).

5. US Government Economic Releases from the National Bureau of Economic Research: Links to releases for Apr. 16-22, 2008 are available at the site.

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US States:


Stats Indiana Update: Stats Indiana has updated the following tables: "State and County Welfare Data, February 2008 (April 2008)," and "Labor Force Estimates (Indiana counties, metros, cities), March 2008 (April 2008).

Additions are listed under "Just Released" on the right side of the page.


Department of Labor Report: "March 2008 Labor Report" (April 2008, .pdf, Microsoft Excel, or HTML format).


State Data Center Report: "Wage & Salary Jobs by Place of Work Through 2007" (April 2008, .pdf and Microsoft Excel format).

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NGOs and Other Countries:

International Monetary Fund Reports, Country Reports:

A. "World Economic Outlook: Housing and the Business Cycle" (April 2008, .pdf format, 282p.).

B. "Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa" (April 2008, .pdf format, 135p.).

C. Country Reports: The latest Country Reports (.pdf format) span the time period from Apr. 16-Apr. 22, 2008 (No. 08/130-08/132, 08/135-08/141):


European Commission:

Eurostat Periodical: Statistics in Focus. The latest issues (8/40-8/41 .pdf format) are now available at the SIF website:,1136118&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Report: "Economic survey of Ireland 2008" (April 2008). A policy brief (.pdf format, 11p.) is available free of charge. Ordering information is available at the site.,3343,en_2649_201185_40418935_1_1_1_1,00.html



National Statistical Institute Report: "Household Budgets For The 1999-2007 Period: Monetary Income of Households by Sources of Income" (April 2008).



Statistics Canada/Statistique Research Reports:

A. "Registered Apprentices: The Cohort of 1993, a Decade Later, Comparisons with the 1992 Cohort," by Denis Morissette (Culture, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics, April 2008, .pdf format, 89p.).

B. "An Examination of Public Capital's Role in Production," by Ryan Macdonald (April 2008, .pdf format, 49p.).



Statistics Finland News Release: "Official greenhouse gas inventory in 2008 to the UNFCCC" (Apr. 18, 2008). At the bottom of the news release there are five topical tables and four topical charts.



Federal Statistics Office Press Release: "Labour costs and non-wage costs for 2007 in an EU comparison" (Apr. 22, 2008). The press release links to a more detailed German language release that contains a topical table.,templateId=renderPrint.psml



Statistics Iceland News Releases: "Earnings in the private sector 2007" (Apr. 16, 2008).



State Statistical Office News Release: "GDP according purchasing power parity per head" (Apr. 14, 2008, .pdf format, 5p.).



Economic Census of Malaysia 2006 Reports:

A. "Accommodation" (April 2008, .pdf format, 4p.).

B. "Health" (April 2008, .pdf format, 6p.).

C. "Information and Communications Technology" (April 2008, .pdf format, 5p.).

D. "Education" (April 2008, .pdf format, 6p.).

All are available from:

See under "Latest Publications", "Economic Census 2006" on the left side of the page.



Statistics Netherlands Web Magazine Articles:

A. "One in five milk cows kept stabled all year round" (Apr. 17, 2008).

B. "Fewer young people unemployed," by Francis van der Mooren (Apr. 17, 2008).

C. "Electricity imports down in 2007, by Leendert Pleijsier (Apr. 17, 2008).

D. "Consumption of renewable energy stable," by Reinoud Segers (Apr. 22, 2008).

E. "Schools do not save up operating surplus, by Broos Brouwers (Apr. 22, 2008).

F. "Vehicle tax surcharge doubled since 2000," by Lia Siebeling (Apr. 22, 2008).

G. "Higher profits from oil and gas extraction help to fill government coffers," by Cor Graveland and Erik Veldhuizen (Apr. 22, 2008).


New Zealand:

Statistics New Zealand/Tatauranga Aotearoa "Hot Off the Press":

A. "Work Stoppages: December 2007 quarter" (April 2008, .pdf format, 11p., with accompanying tables in Microsoft Excel format).

B. "Information and Communication Technology Supply Survey: 2006/07" (April 2008, .pdf format, 15p., with accompanying tables in Microsoft Excel format).



Statistics Norway Report, News Release:

A. "Forestry Statistics 2006" (April 2008, .pdf format, 41p., with tables in HTML format).

B. "National accounts and the environment, 1990-2006" (Apr. 22, 2008). The news release links to two topical tables.


Palestinian National Authority News Release: "Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics releases The economic forecasts for 2008" (Apr. 16, 2008, .pdf format, 3p.).



Central Statistical Office Periodicals: All are in Polish and English.

A. Statistical Bulletin No 3/2008 (April 2008, .pdf, Microsoft Excel, and .zip compressed .pdf and Microsoft Excel format, 221p.).

B. Quarterly Of International Statistics No 1/2008 (April 2008, .pdf format, 114p.).

C. Information on socio-economic situation of voivodships - No. 4/2007 (April 2008, .pdf format, 223p.).



National Institute of Statistics Periodicals: All are in Romanian and English.

A. Monthly Statistical Bulletin - No.2 (April 2008, .pdf format, 199p.).

B. International Trade Statistical Bulletin- No.1 (April 2008, .pdf format, 119p.).

C. Prices Statistical Bulletin - No.2 (April 2008, .pdf format, 69p.).

D. Industry Statistical Bulletin - No.2 (April 2008, .pdf format, 135p.).

All are available at:

Click on the title page icon below the titles for link to full text.



Statistical Office News Releases:

A. "Regional gross domestic product, Slovenia, 1995-2005," by Bojan Mavec (Apr. 21, 2008).

B. "Maritime transport, detailed data, Slovenia, 2007," by Slavica Cerne (Apr. 21, 2008).



Statistics Sweden News Releases:

A. "Factors of business success" (Apr. 18, 2008).

B. "General assessment of real estate in 2007" (Apr. 17, 2008).



State Statistics Committee Reports:

A. "Investment into fixed capital: 1990-2007" (Apr. 16, 2008).

B. "Capital investment: 2002-2007 (Apr. 16, 2008).

C. "Investment in fixed capital, by financing sources: 2000-2007" (Apr. 16, 2008).

D. "Capital investment for 2007" (Apr. 16, 2008).

E. "Capital investment 2007, by financing sources" (Apr. 16, 2008).

F. "Investment in fixed capital by type of economic activity for 2007" (Apr. 16, 2008).



National Statistics Office Periodical: Financial Statistics, edited by Natu Somabhai Patel (No. 552, April 2008, .pdf format, 288p.).



Welsh Assembly Government/Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru Report: "Key Economic Statistics - April 2008" (April 2008, .pdf format, 15p.).

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (Missouri) Periodical: Monetary Trends (May 2008, .pdf format, 20p.).


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Report: "Pulling Apart: A State-by-State Analysis of Income Trends," by Jared Bernstein, Elizabeth McNichol, and Andrew Nicholas (April 2008, .pdf format, 68p.).

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Federal Reserve Banks:

Federal Reserve Bank of New York [New York]:

A. "Globalization and Inflation Dynamics: The Impact of Increased Competition," by Argia M. Sbordone (Staff Report No. 324, April 2008, .pdf format, 35p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Sudden Stops," by Vasco Cúrdia (Staff Report No. 323, April 2008, .pdf format, 49p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas [Texas]: "The Dynamics of Economic Functions: Modelling and Forecasting the Yield Curve," by Clive G. Bowsher and Roland Meeks (Working Paper 08-04, March 2008, .pdf format, 40p.).


The class of Functional Signal plus Noise (FSN) models is introduced that provides a new, general method for modelling and forecasting time series of economic functions. The underlying, continuous economic function (or ‘signal’) is a natural cubic spline whose dynamic evolution is driven by a cointegrated vector autoregression for the ordinates (or ‘y-values’) at the knots of the spline. The natural cubic spline provides flexible cross-sectional fit and results in a linear, state space model. This FSN model achieves dimension reduction, provides a coherent description of the observed yield curve and its dynamics as the cross-sectional dimension N becomes large, and can feasibly be estimated and used for forecasting when N is large. The integration and cointegration properties of the model are derived. The FSN models are then applied to forecasting 36-dimensional yield curves for US Treasury bonds at the one month ahead horizon. The method consistently outperforms the Diebold and Li (2006) and random walk forecasts on the basis of both mean square forecast error criteria and economically relevant loss functions derived from the realised profits of pairs trading algorithms. The analysis also highlights in a concrete setting the dangers of attempts to infer the relative economic value of model forecasts on the basis of their associated mean square forecast errors.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]: "Central Bank Institutional Structure and Effective Central Banking: Cross-Country Empirical Evidence," by Iftekhar Hasan and Loretta J. Mester (Working Paper 08-05, April 2008, .pdf format, 33p.).


Over the last decade, the legal and institutional frameworks governing central banks and financial market regulatory authorities throughout the world have undergone significant changes. This has created new interest in better understanding the roles played by organizational structures, accountability, and transparency, in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of central banks in achieving their objectives and ultimately yielding better economic outcomes. Although much has been written pointing out the potential role institutional form can play in central bank performance, little empirical work has been done to investigate the hypothesis that institution form is related to performance. This paper attempts to help fill this void.


US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies: "A Warm Embrace or the Cold Shoulder: Wage and Employment Outcomes in Ethnic Enclaves," by Roberto Pedace and Stephanie Rohn (CES-WP-08-09, April 2008, .pdf format, 38p.).


This paper examines how immigrant enclaves influence labor market outcomes. We examine the effect of ethnic concentration on both immigrant earnings and employment in high immigration states using the non-public use, 1-in-6 sample of the 2000 U.S. Census. Although we find that there is some variability in the estimated enclave effects, they exhibit an overall negative impact. Male and female immigrants from several ethnic groups tend to earn lower wages when residing in areas with larger ethnic concentrations. Similarly, for employment, most of the statistically significant effects are negative, although much smaller than the enclave impacts on earnings.


National Bureau of Economic Research: NBER has released the following working papers for the week of Apr. 13-Apr. 19, 2008:

New papers are: 13934-13969


Wharton School [University of Pennsylvania] Working Paper: "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being:Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers (April 2008,.pdf format, 71p.).


The "Easterlin Paradox" suggests that there is no link between the level of economic development of a society and average levels of happiness. We return to Easterlin’s question: "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?" and analyze multiple rich datasets spanning recent decades and a broader array of countries. We establish a clear positive link between GDP and average levels of subjective well-being across countries with no evidence of a satiation point beyond which wealthier countries have no further increases in subjective well-being. Moreover, we show that this relationship is consistent with the relationship between income and happiness within countries, suggesting a minimal role for relative income comparisons as drivers of happiness. Finally, we examine the relationship between changes in subjective well-being and income over time within countries, finding that economic growth has been associated with rising happiness.


International Monetary Fund: IMF has recently added new working papers. The papers are Nos. 08/91-08/95.


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

New papers are: 4594-4606.

and click on "More" for the rest.


Bank of England: "Network models and financial stability," by Erlend Nier, Jing Yang, Tanju Yorulmazer and Amadeo Alentorn (Working Paper No 346, April 2008, .pdf format, 28p.).


Systemic risk is a key concern for central banks charged with safeguarding overall financial stability. In this paper we investigate how systemic risk is affected by the structure of the financial system. We construct banking systems that are composed of a number of banks that are connected by interbank linkages. We then vary the key parameters that define the structure of the financial system - including its level of capitalisation, the degree to which banks are connected, the size of interbank exposures and the degree of concentration of the system - and analyse the influence of these parameters on the likelihood of contagious (knock-on) defaults. First, we find that the better capitalised banks are, the more resilient is the banking system against contagious defaults and this effect is non-linear. Second, the effect of the degree of connectivity is non-monotonic, that is, initially a small increase in connectivity increases the contagion effect; but after a certain threshold value, connectivity improves the ability of a banking system to absorb shocks. Third, the size of interbank liabilities tends to increase the risk of knock-on default, even if banks hold capital against such exposures. Fourth, more concentrated banking systems are shown to be prone to larger systemic risk, all else equal. In an extension to the main analysis we study how liquidity effects interact with banking structure to produce a greater chance of systemic breakdown. We finally consider how the risk of contagion might depend on the degree of asymmetry (tiering) inherent in the structure of the banking system. A number of our results have important implications for public policy, which this paper also draws out.


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

The new working papers are: 3451-3470.


New Economic Papers (NEP)-ALL. The latest list of New Economic Papers (Apr. 12, 15 2008).


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):

IMF Staff Papers (Vol. 55, No. 1, March 2008). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

Journal of Development Economics (Vol. 86, No. 2, June 2008).

Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control (Vol. 32, No. 5, May 2008).

Journal of Financial Economics (Vol. 88, No. 1, April 2008).

Journal of Labor Economics (Vol. 26, No. 2, April 2008). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

Journal of Law and Economics (Vol. 50, No. 3, August 2007).

Review of Economics and Statistics (Vol. 90, No. 2, May 2008). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

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Department of Economics at University of Kiel: "Income Distribution and the Family," to be held Sep. 1-3, 2008, in Kiel, Germany). "The goal of this conference is to create a forum for theoretical, empirical, policy-oriented, and methodological studies on how insights from family economics may enhance our knowledge concerning the measurement, driving forces, and evolution of economic inequality. Deadline for paper submission is June 1."

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American Statistical Association: ASA has updated its employment page with listings through Apr. 22, 2008.


Chronicle of Higher Education:

Economic positions has been updated through Apr. 21, 2008.

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US Senate Committee on Finance Hearing Testimony: "Tax: Fundamentals in Advance of Reform," a hearing held April 15, 2008 (.pdf format).

Related report created by Joint Committee on Taxation (.pdf format, 20p.):

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US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service:

A. "China Agricultural and Economic Data" (March 2008 update). "The ERS China agricultural and economic database is a collection of agricultural-related data from official statistical publications of the People's Republic of China.

Data Items. There are 250 data items available at the national level, and 45 crop, livestock, agricultural output, and population items available at the provincial level.

Years. Data are annual. Years available vary from item to item. Many national data series are from 1949 to the latest year, but some items are available only for selected years. Users should be aware that data collection methods in China have changed over time."

B. "Feed Grains Database" (Apr. 15, 2008 update). "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."


Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research: ICPSR at he University of Michigan released several new datasets from Apr. 4-22, 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:


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

2004/05 Household Budget Survey (Apr. 22, 2008).

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (Missouri) ArchivaL Federal Reserve Economic Data Addition: "ALFRED Graph." "In ALFRED Graph you can now create graphs of real time economic data by choosing vintage dates. In addition on each series page is a graph of the last 2 vintages which shows the most recent revisions."

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Panel Study Of Income Dynamics Bibliography Update: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research PSID has recently added the following item to its bibliography. The entire bibliography can be searched or browsed in various ways at:

Maurer, Jurgen and Meier, Andre. Smooth It Like the 'Joneses'? Estimating Peer-Group Effects in Intertemporal Consumption Choice. The Economic Journal. 2008; 118(527):454-476.

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