Current Social Science Research Report--Economics #65, May 27, 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 Economic Analysis Report: "Estimates of State and Metropolitan Price Levels for Consumption Goods and Services in the United States, 2005," by Bettina H. Aten (April 2008, .pdf format, 41p.).


Price deflators are commonly used in time-to-time economic series to adjust for changes in price levels across years. This paper estimates spatial price deflators that may be used for adjusting price level differences across geographic areas. The work is based on micro-level price data from the Consumer Price Index of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the American Community Survey of the Census Bureau. It uses a Bayesian two-stage spatial smoothing approach to estimate Spatial Price Indexes (SPIs) for 363 metropolitan areas and 51 states in the United States. An example of the relevance of SPIs is given by adjusting the Personal Income and Gross Domestic Product estimates by state and metropolitan area produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis for the year 2005, and comparing the results to the nominal (non-adjusted) values.

2. Internal Revenue Service Periodical: Statistics of Income (SOI) Bulletin (Vol. 27, No. 4, Spring 2008, .pdf and Excel format, 346p.).,,id=183126,00.html

3. Bureau of Labor Statistics Periodical: Compensation and Working Conditions Online. The latest articles were added May 22, 2008.

4. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy Report: "What Do We Know About the Capital Structure of Privately Held Firms? Evidence from the Surveys of Small Business Finance," by Rebel A. Cole (No. 324, May 2008, .pdf format, 58p.).

5. Department of Housing and Urban Development Report: "A Study of Closing Costs for FHA Mortgages," by Susan E. Woodward (May 2008, .pdf format, 270p.).

6. US Government Economic Releases from the National Bureau of Economic Research: Links to releases for May21-28, 2008 are available at the site.

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US States:


Stats Indiana Updates: Stats Indiana has updated the following data (May 2008).

State and County Welfare Data, Mar 2008

Consumer Confidence Index, April 2008

Building Permits with State and Local Estimates, April 2008

North Dakota:

State Data Center Periodical: Economic Brief (Vol. 17, No. 5, May 2008, .pdf format, 3p.). The topic of this issue is: "Personal Income in North Dakota: 2007 Preliminary Estimates."

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NGOs and Other Countries:

European Commission:

Eurostat Compendium, Periodicals:

A. Key Figures on Europe: 2007/08 (February 2008, .pdf format, 238p.).,46587259&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&p_product_code=KS-EI-07-001

B. Data in Focus: The latest issues: 13/08-17/08 (.pdf format) are now available on the DIF website:,62992791&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

C. Statistics in Focus. The latest issues (8/48-8/50 .pdf format) are now available at the SIF website:,1136118&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL


International Monetary Country Reports: The latest Country Reports (.pdf format) span the time period from May 22-May 28, 2008 (No. 08/165-08/169):



Bureau of Statistics Report: "Labour Force Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Estimates from the Labour Force Survey, 2007" (May 2008, .pdf format, 56p., with accompanying data in .zip compressed Microsoft Excel format).

Click on "Details" tab for link to full text and data.



Statistics Canada/Statistique Canada Periodicals, Reports, The Daily Articles:

A. Perspectives on Labour and Income (Vol. 9, no. 5, May 2008, HTML and .pdf format).

B. Canadian Economic Observer (Vol. 21, No. 5, May 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 73p.).

C. Innovation Analysis Bulletin (Vol. 10, No. 1, May 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 35p.).

D. "Outsourcing and Offshoring in Canada," by John R. Baldwin and Wulong Gu (Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series No. 55, May 2008, .pdf format, 49p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

E. "Work Absence Rates: 2007" (May 2008, .pdf format, 141p.).

F. "Human Activity and the Environment: 2007 and 2008" (April 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 159p.).

G. "Canadian Agriculture at a Glance" Update: The latest article is: "That beet is sweet!"

H. "Food Statistics: 2007" (May 2008, ..pdf format, 43p.).

I. "Retail Trade: How the Provinces Fared in 2007," by Franklin Assoumou Ndong and Lucy Chung (Analysis in Brief, May 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 19p.).

J: "Study: Canada's trade with Russia: 1998 to 2007" (The Daily, May 21, 2008).

K. "Farm income: 2007" (The Daily, May 26, 2008).



National Bureau of Statistics of China Press Release: "Statistical Communiqué on Labor and Social Security Development in 2007," (May 23, 2008).



Statistical Service Report, Periodical:

A. "Statistics on Business Services: 2006" (May 2008, .pdf format, 86p.). The report is in Greek and English.$file/Business_Services-2006.pdf?OpenElement

B. Monthly Economic Indicators: Jan-Apr. 2008 (May 2008, .pdf format, 4p.).$file/MONTHLY_ECON_IND_BULLETIN_JAN-APR2008-EN.pdf?OpenElement



Statistics Finland News Release: "Public sector environmental protection expenditure peaked in 2006" (May 28, 2008). The news release links to two topical tables.



Central Statistical Office Report: "Economy and Society, January-March 2008" (May 2008, .pdf format, 46p.).



State Statistical Office News Release: "Number of livestock, poultry and beehives in 2007" (May 23, 2008, .pdf format, 3p.). The news release is in Macedonian and English.



National Statistics Office News Release: "Energy Consumption in Malta 2000-2007" (May 22, 2008, .pdf format, 3p.).



Statistics Netherlands Web Magazine Articles:

A. "Dutch spend more on recreational trips," by Maico Hoksbergen (May 22, 2008).

B. "Most people on long-term low incomes live in major cities," by Petra Ament (May 27, 2008).



Statistics Norway News Releases:

A. "General government fiscal account, revenue and expenditure, 2007" (May 21, 2008).

B. "Central government - StatRes, 2005-2007: Increase in central government input" (May 22, 2008).

C. "Energy use by municipality. 2005 and 2006" (May 28, 2008). The news release links to six topical tables.

D. "Foreign-controlled enterprises’ activity in Norway, structural statistics, 2000-2004" (May 28, 2008). The news release links to four topical tables.



Federal Bureau of Statistics Report: "Pakistan ICT Indicators" (May 2008, .pdf format, 100p.).


Palestinian National Authority News Release: "Press Release on the Main Results of the Twelve Round of Transport Survey- the Informal Sector 2007" (May 28, 2008, .pdf format, 1p.).



National Statistics Office News Release: "Female OFWs are Younger Compared to Male OFWs: Results from the 2007 Survey on Overseas Filipinos" (May 23, 2008).



Central Statistical Office Periodical: Statistical Bulletin (No 4/2008, May 2008, .pdf format, 221p., with accompanying tables in Microsoft Excel format. .pdf and Microsoft Excel formats can also be downloaded inside one .zip compressed file). The periodical is in Polish and English.



Scottish Government Reports:

A. "Economic Report on Scottish Agriculture: 2008 Edition" (May 2008, .pdf format, 100p.).

B. "The Annual Survey of Small Businesses' Opinions 2006: Scotland (ASBS 2006)" (May 2008, .pdf format, 26p.).



Statistical Office News Release: "Construction works abroad, Slovenia, 2007," by Damjana Perovsek (May 23, 2008).



Statistics Sweden Press Releases:

A. "Structure of salaries 2007" (May 22, 2008).

B. "Sales of tenant-owned flats 2006 and 2007 (May 28, 2008).



Federal Statistical Office Report: "Environmental Accounting" (May 2008, .pdf format, 16p.).



State Statistics Committee Reports:

A. "Consolidated budget of Ukraine in 1992 - 2007" (May 21, 2008).

B. "Household income and expenditure of Ukraine: 2001-2007" (May 21, 2008).

C. "Household income and expenditure of Ukraine in 2007" (May 21, 2008).



Welsh Assembly Government/Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru Reports:

A. "Public Transport Use in Wales, 2005-2006" (May 2008, .pdf format, 11p.).

B. "Travel to Work and School, 2005-06" (May 2008, .pdf format, 10p.).

C. "Walking and Cycling Trends, 2005-06" (May 2008, .pdf format, 17p.).

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


RAND Corporation Research Brief: "What Does Economics Tell Us About Early Childhood Policy?" by M. Rebecca Kilburn, Lynn A. Karoly (RB-9352-CFP, 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 4p.).


Urban Institute Report, Briefs:

A. "Children's Savings Accounts: Why Design Matters," by Barbara Butrica, Adam Carasso, C. Eugene Steuerle, and Desmond Toohey (Report No. 4, May 2008, .pdf format, 19p.).

B. "Financial Help among Family and Friends in Vulnerable Neighborhoods: Part 1: Who Gives?" by Lynette A. Rawlings and Kerstin Gentsch (Opportunity and Ownership Facts No. 11, May 2008, .pdf format, 1p.).

C. "Financial Help among Family and Friends in Vulnerable Neighborhoods: Part 2: Who Receives?" by Lynette A. Rawlings and Kerstin Gentsch (Opportunity and Ownership Facts No. 12, May 2008, .pdf format, 1p.).

D. "Portraits of the Assets and Liabilities of Low-Income Families," by Adam Carasso, Signe-Mary McKernan (Opportunity and Ownership Facts No. 9, May 2008, .pdf format, 7p.).


Families and Work Institute Report: "2008 National Study of Employers," by Ellen Galinsky, James T. Bond, and Kelly Sakai with Stacy S. Kim and Nicole Giuntoli (May 2008, .pdf format, 44p.).

For more information about FWI:

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Federal Reserve Banks:

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta [Georgia]:

A. "Financial and Real Integration," by Scott L. Baier and Gerald P. Dwyer Jr. (Working Paper 2008-14, May 2008, .pdf format, 18p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "Issues in Central Bank Finance and Independence," by Peter Stella and Åke Lonnberg (Working Paper 2008-13, May 2008, .pdf format, 51p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston [Massachusetts]: "Household Debt Repayment Behaviour: What Role Do Institutions Play?" by Burcu Duygan-Bump and Charles Grant (QAU Working Paper No. QAU08-3, May 2008, .pdf format, 35p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis [Minnesota]: "On the Need for a New Approach to Analyzing Monetary Policy," by Andrew Atkeson and Patrick J. Kehoe (Working Paper 662, May 2008, .pdf and PostScript format, 36p.). No abstract is available for this paper.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York:

A. "Revisiting Useful Approaches to Data-Rich Macroeconomic Forecasting," by Jan J. J. Groen and George Kapetanios (Staff Report No. 327, May 2008, .pdf format, 48p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "Liquidity and Leverage," by Tobias Adrian and Hyun Song Shin (Staff Report No. 328, May 2008, .pdf format, 47p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]: "Core Measures of Inflation as Predictors of Total Inflation," by Theodore M. Crone, N. Neil K. Khettry, Loretta J. Mester, and Jason A. Novak (Working Paper No. 08-9, May 2008, .pdf format, 40p.).

Two rationales offered for policymakers' focus on core measures of inflation as a guide to underlying inflation are that core inflation omits food and energy prices, which are thought to be more volatile than other components, and that core inflation is thought to be a better predictor of total inflation over time horizons of import to policymakers. The authors' investigation finds little support for either rationale. They find that food and energy prices are not the most volatile components of inflation and that depending on which inflation measure is used, core inflation is not necessarily the best predictor of total inflation. However, they do find that combining CPI and PCE inflation measures can lead to statistically significant more accurate forecasts of each inflation measure, suggesting that each measure includes independent information that can be exploited to yield better forecasts.

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco [California]: "Learning, Expectations Formation and the Pitfalls of Optimal Control Monetary Policy," by Athanasios Orphanides and John C. Williams (Working Paper No. 2008-05, April 2008, .pdf format, 38p.).

This paper examines the robustness characteristics of optimal control policies derived under the assumption of rational expectations to alternative models of expectations. We assume that agents have imperfect knowledge about the precise structure of the economy and form expectations using a forecasting model that they continuously update based on incoming data. We find that the optimal control policy derived under the assumption of rational expectations can perform poorly when expectations deviate modestly from rational expectations. We then show that the optimal control policy can be made more robust by de emphasizing the stabilization of real economic activity and interest rates relative to inflation in the central bank loss function. That is, robustness to learning provides an incentive to employ a "conservative" central banker. We then examine two types of simple monetary policy rules from the literature that have been found to be robust to model misspecification in other contexts. We find that these policies are robust to empirically plausible parameterizations of the learning models and perform about as well or better than optimal control policies.


US Bureau of Economic Analysis: "State Retirement Income Estimates and an Alternative Measure of State Personal Income," by David G. Lenze (WP 2008-01, April 2008, .pdf format, 40p.).


This paper proposes a more complete presentation of pension transactions in state personal income data tables by adapting the System of National Accounts’ (SNA) pension framework for use in the State Personal Income Accounts. It proposes a definition of retirement income and presents some experimental estimates of retirement income by state for 1997-2002. In addition, it proposes and estimates a new aggregate income concept, tentatively called cash income. The proposed concepts and estimates are offered as supplementary information for BEA’s State Personal Income Accounts.


National Bureau of Economic Research: NBER has released the following working papers for the week of May 18-24, 2008:

New papers are: 14010-14017, 14019-14020, 14023-14024, 14026-14029


International Monetary Fund: IMF has recently added new working papers. The papers are Nos. 08/128-08/134.


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

New papers are: 4627-4637.


Asian Development Bank:

A. "Do Minimum Wages Reduce Employment and Training?" by Guntur Sugiyarto and Benjamin A. Endriga (Working Paper No. 113, May 2008, .pdf format, 35p.).


This paper examines minimum wage effects on employment and training provision for various workers in different kinds of firms using unique firm-level data. The results show negative effects on unskilled workers but not on skilled ones, with the adverse effects more severe in small firms. Minimum wages also reduce in-house training for unskilled workers while the effects on skilled workers are mixed.

The findings suggest that having been forced to pay higher wages because of binding and increasing minimum wages, firms reduce hiring and training of unskilled workers, leaving them unemployed and untrained. This should be of utmost concern as firms seem to adopt a short-term policy at a long-term cost for unskilled workers, which will further exacerbate unemployment and poverty. Moreover, the crucial role of firm characteristics in determining the adverse effects of minimum wages has raised reservations regarding previous studies that have used data from household or labor force surveys, which do not take this issue into account.

B. "Has Inflation Hurt the Poor? Regional Analysis in the Philippines," by Hyun H. Son (Working Paper No. 112, May 2008, .pdf format, 38p.).


This paper measures the impact of price changes on poverty using the Philippines as an example. The impact of price changes is captured by the price elasticity of poverty for three widely used poverty measures, namely, headcount ratio, poverty gap ratio, and severity of poverty. An empirically operational price index called the price index for the poor is developed, which indicates whether the price changes hurt the poor relatively more than the nonpoor. Furthermore, the paper develops formulae for aggregating regional price indices into the national price indices. The results show that since 2003, prices increases have led to greater suffering for the poor, particularly the ultra poor.

C. "Price Dynamics in the US Market for Apparel Imports: Impact of Quota Elimination under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing and Safeguard Restrictions on the People's Republic of China," by By W. James, and J. Hernando (Working Paper No. 114, May 2008, .pdf format, 35p.).


This paper evaluates the impact of the removal of quotas on unit prices of clothing imports from various suppliers into the second largest global market for clothing imports, the United States (US). New quota restrictions over 26 categories of clothing were introduced on 1 January 2006 and will be in place through 31 December 2008. The paper examines the impact of these new restrictions on price movements in 2006 and the first three quarters of 2007. The dynamics of change in unit prices for 26 major groups of suppliers in the US market are indicative of the adverse effects that quantitative restrictions have on US consumers. However, the restrictions have benefited other Asian clothing suppliers. The paper also examines the strategic response to elimination of quotas under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing by the US using preferential trade agreements to carve out a captive market for US textile intermediate products through large preferential margins in applied tariffs and rules of origin. The outlook for future price developments is assessed and conclusions regarding options for developing Asian suppliers to maintain their ability to compete in the US market are briefly considered.


Banco Central De Chile:

A. "Assessing Inflation Targeting in Latin America With a DSGE Model," by John McDermott and Peter McMenamin (Working Paper No. 469, May 2008, .pdf format, 69p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "Trade Liberalization and Industry Dynamics: A Difference in Difference Approach," by Roberto Álvarez and Ricardo A. López (Working Paper No. 470, May 2008, .pdf format, 50p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


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

The new working papers are: 3491-3505.


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 2300-2310.


New Economic Papers (NEP)-ALL. The latest list of New Economic Papers (May 17, 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):

Annals of Statistics (Vol. 36, No. 3, June 2008).

Economics Letters (Vol. 100, No. 1, July 2008).

Economic Modelling (Vol. 25, No. 4, July 2008).

Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control (Vol. 32, No. 6, June 2008).

Journal of Financial Economics (Vol. 88, No. 2, May 2008).

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Chronicle of Higher Education:

Economic positions has been updated through May 26, 2008.

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US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service:

A. "Eating and Health Module (ATUS)" (May 2008, HTML and Excel format).

B. "Feed Grains Database." "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." The latest update is for May 14, 2008.


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 5838 -Farm Business Survey, 2006-2007

SN 5662 -Farm Business Survey, 2005-2006

SN 5828 -Households Below Average Income, 1994/95-2005/06

SN 5825 -Workplace Employee Relations Survey Private Sector Panel, 1998-2004


Statistics Canada/Statistique Canada: "Extraction System of Agricultural Statistics (ESAS): "Extraction System of Agricultural Statistics (ESAS) is an interactive, easy-to-query database available to users on the STC website. Using the WFDB as its source, ESAS allows you to access an extensive series of tables featuring the most commonly requested disaggregated physical and financial farm data. The database offers detailed operating revenues and expenses; sources and levels of farm and off-farm income for operators and farm families; assets, liabilities and capital investment for farms; and information on land use and livestock inventories by region, farm type and revenue class." Note Users must agree to a licence agreement before using the system.

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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:

Brown, Sarah and Taylor, Karl. Household Debt and Financial Assets: Evidence From Germany, Great Britain, and the USA. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. 2008; 171(Part 3):615-643.

Huang, Jr-Tsung. The Personal Tax Exemption and Married Women's Birth Spacing in the United States. Public Finance Review. 2008; 1(March - online):1-20.

Hughes, Patricia and Luksetich, William. Income Volatility and Wealth: The Effect on Charitable Giving. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. 2008; 37(2):264-280.

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