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Specific Data Sources

State & Local Taxes

U.S. Department of Commerce. Government Finances. Doc U.S. C 3.191/2‑4

Corporate Profits before Taxes

U.S. Department of Treasury. Statistics of Income. Corporation Income Tax Returns. Internal Revenue Service.

Union Membership

BLS. Handbook of Labor Statistics. and BLS. Directory of National Unions and Employee Associations. See also Union Membership and Earnings Data Book: Compilations from the Current Population Survey , The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., Washington, DC.

Interest Rates

Federal Funds Rate = Rate at which banks borrow funds in the inter-bank market to meet reserve requirements. The funds rate fluctuates according to supply and demand and is not under the direct control of the Fed, but is strongly influenced by the Fed's actions. The Fed adjusts the funds rate via "open market operations". What actually happens is that the Fed sells US treasury securities to banks. As a result, the bank reserves at the Fed drop. Given that banks have to maintain at the Fed a certain level of required reserves based on their demand deposits (checking accounts), they end up borrowing more from each other to cover their short position at the Fed. The resulting pressure on intra-bank lending funds drives the funds rate up. The Fed has no idea of how many billions of US treasuries it needs to sell in order for the funds rate to reach the Fed's target. It goes by trial and error. That's why it takes a few days for the funds rate to adjust to the new target following an announcement.

Discount Rate = Rate charged by the Federal Reserve when banks borrow "overnight" from the Fed. The discount rate is under the direct control of the Fed. The discount rate is always lower than the Federal Funds Rate. Generally only large banks borrow directly from the Fed, and thus get the benefit of being able to borrow at the lower discount rate. Adjustments in the discount rate usually lag behind changes in the funds rate. Once the spread between the two rates gets too large (meaning fat profits for the big banks which routinely borrow from the Fed at the discount rate and lend to smaller banks at the funds rate) the Fed moves to adjust the discount rate accordingly. It usually happens when the spread reaches about 1%.

Prime Rate = Rate that large commercial banks charge to their very best customers for commercial and industrial loans.

Real Interest Rate = Calculated from the nominal interest rate using Fisher’s formula:

r = (i - π) / (1 + π)

where r = the real rate, i = the nominal rate, and π = the inflation rate (e.g., the year-to-year change in CPI). Some authors simply ignore the interaction term, (1+π) to simplify the calculations.

Mineral Prices

U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Review. U.S. Bureau of Mines (through 1994) and U.S. Geological Survey, Minerals Yearbook and Mineral Commodities Summary and Annual Reports.

Metal Prices

Some metals prices are available from Kitco: http://www.kitco.com/charts/

Gasoline and Coal Prices

U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Marketing Monthly and Annual Energy Review.

Patents

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Annual Report.

Railroads

Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC. Railroad Facts, Statistics of Railroads of Class I , and Analysis of Class I Railroads.

Foreign Exchange Rates

U.S. Dept. Of Commerce, International Trade Administration. Foreign Exchange Rates,

1991-96. See also Economic Research Service .

Poverty Threshold

Poverty thresholds adopted in 1964 by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Office of Management and Budget, and the Census Bureau for families of three or more people were set at 3.0 times the cost of the economy food plan designed by the Department of Agriculture. For families of two people, the poverty threshold was set at 3.7 times the cost of the economy food plan. Farm family poverty thresholds were set at 70 percent of the corresponding non-farm levels.

Annual changes in the SSA poverty thresholds for non-farm families are based on changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

In 1969, the farm family thresholds were raised from 70 to 85 percent of the corresponding non-farm levels. In 1981, separate thresholds for farm families were eliminated as were separate thresholds for female-householder families.

Weather Data

Annual precipitation by states is available from 1881 to 1930 from U. S. Department of Agriculture. Yearbook of Agriculture, 1932 . Temperature and rainfall data is available by states and for the U.S. as a whole since 1895 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Fertilizer Data

Commercial Fertilizers . The Fertilizer Institute

Foreign Trade

Substantial foreign trade data is available from Economic Research Service’s Agricultural Outlook: Statistical Indicators. More detailed trade data is available from various Foreign Agricultural Service statistical reports many of which are available on the internet.

The following regional demarcations are used here:

European Union ‑ Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, United Germany, and United Kingdom

Latin America ‑ Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, St. Kitts‑Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island, Uruguay, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.

East Asia ‑ Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan

Southeast Asia ‑ Brunei, Indonesia, Kampuchea, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam

South Asia ‑ Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka

Sub-Saharan Africa ‑ Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoro Islands, Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea‑Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Reunion, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, St. Helena, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

North Africa and Middle East ‑ Algeria, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spanish Sahara, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

APEC ‑ Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States.

MERCOSUR ‑ Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay

EFTA Accession States ‑ Austria, Finland, and Sweden

Former Soviet Union ‑ Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.