Office of Consumer Affairs

Office of Consumer Affairs

Date: January 1, 1998
Creator: Office of Consumer Affairs
Description: The Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) seeks to promote a better understanding between businesses and consumers, to help businesses improve the quality of their services, to educate consumers to make wise purchasing decisions, and to provide the consumer viewpoint in the development of policy. The office: assists consumers with marketplace issues and educates them about resources that are available to help them; publishes guides to help businesses respond to consumer needs; and represents and coordinates the Department's consumer affairs activities with consumer groups, other Federal, state, county, and municipal government agencies, and international organizations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Are High Interest Rates a Threat to Sustained Economic Recovery?

Are High Interest Rates a Threat to Sustained Economic Recovery?

Date: June 15, 1998
Creator: Elwell, Craig K
Description: A major question that arises in Congress during its considerations of what policies promote and what inhibit the restoration of a healthy economy is the influence that interest rates exert. In particular, are high interest rates a threat to sustained economic recovery?
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Benefit-Cost Analysis and the Discount Rate for the Corps of Engineers' Water Resource Projects: Theory and Practice

Benefit-Cost Analysis and the Discount Rate for the Corps of Engineers' Water Resource Projects: Theory and Practice

Date: June 23, 2003
Creator: Powers, Kyna
Description: Construction of large water resource projects, such as those of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), can be controversial because they involve trade-offs among various river uses, and between current and future generations. Pursuant to federal water project planning guidelines, the Corps weighs these trade-offs using benefit-cost analysis. If its analysis shows that a project’s national economic development (NED) benefits exceed its NED costs, the Corps seeks project authorization from Congress. Congress authorizes the Corps to construct some of these large water projects through (usually) biennial Water Resource Development Acts. Since the Corps rarely recommends a project that does not have a benefit-cost ratio greater than 1.0, this report describes the decisions that influence this ratio, with a focus on the role of the discount rate.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Bank Failures: Recent Trends and Policy Options

Bank Failures: Recent Trends and Policy Options

Date: July 14, 1987
Creator: Smale, Pauline
Description: During the 1980s the U.S. banking industry has experienced a rapidly growing number of failures. Many factors have contributed to this trend including deregulation, technology, individual bank management, and economic conditions. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) handles insured bank failures. Congress has been monitoring the recent trend and is concerned with the FDIC’s ability to continue to perform its supervisory and insurance operations. The present situation, information on key factors affecting the banking industry, and the FDIC’s role when a bank fails is discussed in this report. The reference section of this issue brief contains a list of CRS products providing background on the FDIC and legislative issues relevant to the agency.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Bankruptcy and Business Failure Data

Bankruptcy and Business Failure Data

Date: August 20, 1982
Creator: Scott, Oscar
Description: The purpose of this report is to provide statistical data on the actual number of businesses that are filing for bankruptcy or ceasing operations. Tabular data of both a historical and current nature concerning business failures and bankruptcies is provided.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Average Farm Subsidy Payments, by State, 2002

Average Farm Subsidy Payments, by State, 2002

Date: September 16, 2004
Creator: Womach, Jasper
Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture makes direct subsidy payments through the Commodity Credit Corporation to farmers for commodity price and income support, certain conservation and environmental activities, and some disaster losses. In 2002, these direct farm subsidy payments amounted to $12.151 billion. This report examines the distribution of these payments among states, calculates the average size of payments going to recipient farms in each state, and distinguishes between payments received by farm operators and landlords. This information is intended to aid in policy debates about subsidizing some farms but not others, changing per-person payment limits, and the altering eligibility rules for landlords to receive payments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Budget Deficits: Causes, Effects and Some Remedial Options

Budget Deficits: Causes, Effects and Some Remedial Options

Date: July 15, 1985
Creator: Grinnell, David & Cox, William A
Description: In 1981 Congress enacted extensive changes in taxing and spending policies that supporters of these changes expected to generate sufficient revenues, despite a series of tax rate cuts, to balance the budget by FY84. After the onset of recession in early 1982, however, the Reagan Administration's projections showed widening budget deficits, which culminated in an actual FY83 deficit of $195.4 billion. Despite enactment of the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, and, more recently, the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984, large deficits are expected to persist, even under continued favorable economic conditions, unless Federal taxing and spending policies are altered dramatically.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Algeria: Current Issues

Algeria: Current Issues

Date: April 24, 2006
Creator: Migdalovitz, Carol
Description: This report examines the current state of Algeria, including the country's associations with terrorism, despite steady decreases of domestic terrorism; the lessening in power of the Algerian military; and growing oil revenues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
A Summary of Prevailing Views on the Sources of Inflation

A Summary of Prevailing Views on the Sources of Inflation

Date: January 30, 1981
Creator: Cashell, Brian W
Description: It is the purpose of this paper to present the range of viewpoints concerning the causes of inflation. Inflation is defined and distinguished from changes' in relative prices. The Monetarist, Post-Keynesian, and neo-Keynesian positions are discussed to illustrate the variety of perceptions as to the sources of sustained increases in the general price level.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The analytical foundations of conservation policy

The analytical foundations of conservation policy

Date: March 1, 1994
Creator: Sutherland, R.J.
Description: The conservation paradigm is described here as: (1) reflecting the policy goal of energy efficiency, (2) the investment model that market barrier inhibit energy efficiency investments and (3) the emphasis of engineering estimates of market efficiency. In contrast, the economics paradigm emphasizes: (1) economic efficiency and equity, (2) market failures or market imperfections as impediments to achieving economic efficiency and (3) the behavior of markets to make efficient choices. Market barriers discourage investments in energy efficiency, but this is irrelevant for policy purposes where energy efficiency differs from economic efficiency. Where market barriers discourage economically efficient investments, they are of dubious significance for policy purposes unless they are market failures. The market barriers alleged in the conservation literature typically do not coincide with market failures. In a competitive and efficient market economy, investments judged efficient by engineering and present value calculations will not instantaneously achieve a market share of 100 percent. Barriers that delay diffusion are not necessarily appropriate for Government policy.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
New Zealand Asia-Pacific energy series country report

New Zealand Asia-Pacific energy series country report

Date: March 1, 1992
Creator: Yamaguchi, N.D. & Keevill, H.D.
Description: This report on New Zealand is one of a series of country studies intended to provide a continuous, long-term source of energy sector analysis for the Asia-Pacific region. This report addresses significant changes occurring due to the reform, deregulation, and privatization of the economy in general and the energy sector in particular; provides the reader with an overview of the economic and political situation; petroleum and gas issues are highlighted, particularly the implications of foreign trade in oil and gas; provides the latest available statistics and insights to energy policy that are not generally available elsewhere.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Wind Power Outlook 2004

Wind Power Outlook 2004

Date: January 1, 2004
Creator: anon.
Description: The brochure, expected to be updated annually, provides the American Wind Energy Association's (AWAE's) up-to-date assessment of the wind industry. It provides a summary of the state of wind power in the U.S., including the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. It provides summary information on the growth of the industry, policy-related factors such as the federal wind energy production tax credit status, comparisons with natural gas, and public views on wind energy.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Impacts of Western Area Power Administration`s power marketing alternatives on retail electricity rates and utility financial viability

Impacts of Western Area Power Administration`s power marketing alternatives on retail electricity rates and utility financial viability

Date: March 1, 1995
Creator: Bodmer, E.; Fisher, R.E. & Hemphill, R.C.
Description: Changes in power contract terms for customers of Western`s Salt Lake City Area Office affect electricity rates for consumers of electric power in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. The impacts of electricity rate changes on consumers are studied by measuring impacts on the rates charged by individual utility systems, determining the average rates in regional areas, and conducting a detailed rate analysis of representative utility systems. The primary focus is an evaluation of the way retail electricity rates for Western`s preference customers vary with alternative pricing and power quantity commitment terms under Western`s long-term contracts to sell power (marketing programs). Retail rate impacts are emphasized because changes in the price of electricity are the most direct economic effect on businesses and residences arising from different Western contractual and operational policies. Retail rates are the mechanism by which changes in cost associated with Western`s contract terms are imposed on ultimate consumers, and rate changes determine the dollar level of payments for electric power incurred by the affected consumers. 41 figs., 9 tabs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Industrial ecology: A basis for sustainable relations and cooperation

Industrial ecology: A basis for sustainable relations and cooperation

Date: July 19, 1996
Creator: Blades, K.
Description: The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) seeks to address, in a cooperative manner, the environmental issues affecting the North American region and understand the linkages between environment and economy. Broadly, the goal of the CEC can be thought of as an attempt to achieve a sustainable economy concomitantly with continued economic, cultural, and technological evolution. The emerging field of industrial ecology provides a useful means for balancing the environmental and economical objectives of NAFTA. As NAFTA stimulates economic cooperation and growth, we must collectively develop mechanisms that enhance the environmental quality of the region. LLNL`s effort in industrial ecology provides the scientific basis and innovative use of technology to reconcile environmental and economic concerns. Nevertheless, these are not issues which can be resolved by a single institution. Efficient use of the linkages established by NAFTA is necessary to nurture our regional partnership which forms the basis for a sustainable environment, economy and relationship.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Government`s role in energy technology R&D: A proposed model for strategic guidance

Government`s role in energy technology R&D: A proposed model for strategic guidance

Date: April 1, 1996
Creator: Perlack, R.D. & Shelton, R.B.
Description: There is very little argument that the federal government has a role in the funding of basic research. There is also consensus that the federal government should not fund research that the private sector would do on its own volition. In this paper, we examine the role of government in the ``grey`` area between these extremes. This area includes generic, crosscutting, and applied technology development and deployment. We first present some general trends in US R&D investment and make international comparisons. These trends clearly show that the amount the US spends on R&D has fallen precipitously since the 1980s. The R&D expenditure data also reveal striking differences in the shares of government R&D allocated to different social objectives between the US and other major industrialized countries. We then review the linear model--the model that characterizes much of the postwar paradigm for US technology policy-- and evaluate alternatives to it. These alternative models allow for different types of innovation and explicitly account for feedback from the marketplace and linkages to the private sector, universities, national laboratories. Based on the nonlinear model of innovation, we outline a structure for an R&D technology council that would provide guidance to DOE on energy technology ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Economic-efficiency considerations in restructuring electric markets

Economic-efficiency considerations in restructuring electric markets

Date: December 1, 1996
Creator: Hill, L.J.
Description: In response to the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission`s subsequent rulemaking on transmission access, many states are exploring options to restructure their electric industries. In their deliberations on restructuring, policymakers should consider (1) the reliability of the electric system; (2) income-distribution effects on ratepayers and utilities; (3) social consequences such as effects on energy conservation, renewable energy, and the environment; and (4) economic efficiency. We address economic-efficiency considerations in this study. Economic efficiency is important because it is one of the primary reasons that policymakers should consider restructuring in the first place: improving the electric-industry`s efficiency lowers costs and, hence, electric prices. In this study, we look at the sources of (in)efficiency in existing and proposed electric markets with the objective of guiding policymakers to design efficient electric markets. The advantages of a competitive market are well known: it leads to lower costs for the utility, lower prices for consumers, more product choices, better customer service, and often the need for less regulation by federal and state agencies. In the short run, firms who cannot produce at the market-clearing price are forced to leave the industry, ensuring that customers have the lowest price possible. ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Progress on linking gender and sustainable energy

Progress on linking gender and sustainable energy

Date: April 5, 2000
Creator: Farhar, B.
Description: The field of gender and energy has been identified as critical in global sustainable energy development and is increasingly important to decision makers. The theme of women and energy was of significance at the 1998 World Renewable Energy Congress in Florence, Italy. This paper traces further developments in this field by summarizing selected programmatic initiatives, meetings, and publications over the past 18 months.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
India's pulp and paper industry: Productivity and energy efficiency

India's pulp and paper industry: Productivity and energy efficiency

Date: July 1, 1999
Creator: Schumacher, Katja
Description: Historical estimates of productivity growth in India's pulp and paper sector vary from indicating an improvement to a decline in the sector's productivity. The variance may be traced to the time period of study, source of data for analysis, and type of indices and econometric specifications used for reporting productivity growth. The authors derive both statistical and econometric estimates of productivity growth for this sector. Their results show that productivity declined over the observed period from 1973-74 to 1993-94 by 1.1% p.a. Using a translog specification the econometric analysis reveals that technical progress in India's pulp and paper sector has been biased towards the use of energy and material, while it has been capital and labor saving. The decline in productivity was caused largely by the protection afforded by high tariffs on imported paper products and other policies, which allowed inefficient, small plants to enter the market and flourish. Will these trends continue into the future, particularly where energy use is concerned? The authors examine the current changes in structure and energy efficiency undergoing in the sector. Their analysis shows that with liberalization of the sector, and tighter environmental controls, the industry is moving towards higher efficiency and productivity. However, ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
India's aluminum industry: Productivity, energy efficiency and carbon emissions

India's aluminum industry: Productivity, energy efficiency and carbon emissions

Date: July 1, 1999
Creator: Schumacher, Katja & Sathaye, Jayant
Description: Historical estimates of productivity growth in India's aluminum sector vary from indicating an improvement to a decline in the sector's productivity. The variance may be traced to the time period of study, source of data for analysis, and type of indices and econometric specifications used for reporting productivity growth. An analysis shows that in the twenty year period, 1973 to 1993, productivity in the aluminum sector declined slightly by 0.2%. An econometric analysis reveals that technical progress in India's aluminum sector has been biased towards the use of energy, while it has been labor saving. The decline in productivity was mainly driven by a decline in the 1970s when capacity utilization was low and the energy crisis hit India and the world. From the early 1980s on productivity recuperated. The authors examine the current changes in structure and energy efficiency in the sector. Their analysis shows that the Indian aluminum sector has high potential to move towards world-best technology, which will result in fewer carbon emissions and more efficient energy use. Substantial energy savings and carbon reduction options exist.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
India's iron and steel industry: Productivity, energy efficiency and carbon emissions

India's iron and steel industry: Productivity, energy efficiency and carbon emissions

Date: October 1, 1998
Creator: Schumacher, Katja & Sathaye, Jayant
Description: Historical estimates of productivity growth in India's iron and steel sector vary from indicating an improvement to a decline in the sector's productivity. The variance may be traced to the time period of study, source of data for analysis, and type of indices and econometric specifications used for reporting productivity growth. The authors derive both growth accounting and econometric estimates of productivity growth for this sector. Their results show that over the observed period from 1973--74 to 1993--94 productivity declined by 1.71{percent} as indicated by the Translog index. Calculations of the Kendrick and Solow indices support this finding. Using a translog specification the econometric analysis reveals that technical progress in India's iron and steel sector has been biased towards the use of energy and material, while it has been capital and labor saving. The decline in productivity was caused largely by the protective policy regarding price and distribution of iron and steel as well as by large inefficiencies in public sector integrated steel plants. Will these trends continue into the future, particularly where energy use is concerned? Most likely they will not. The authors examine the current changes in structure and energy efficiency undergoing in the sector. Their analysis shows ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Government and industry meet to discuss environmental stewardship and economic development

Government and industry meet to discuss environmental stewardship and economic development

Date: May 1, 1996
Creator: Ramos, O. Jr.
Description: At the New Mexico Conference on the Environment, government and industry representatives met to address environmental stewardship and economic development, particularly as these issues relate to New Mexico. The session took place March 13, 1996, from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM, in the Cochiti/Taos room at the Albuquerque Convection Center. The first part of the session dealt with environmental stewardship. The second session discussed economic development. This paper chronicles the highlights of this unique session. It attempts to capture the essence of each speaker; therefore, rather than a strict narrative, this paper consists of a series of quotes that, when seen as a whole, provide an understanding of how government and industry view environmental stewardship and economic development. Moreover, these quotes reveal that these organizations continue to develop effective methodologies to collaborate.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Russia`s Great Game in a nuclear South Asia

Russia`s Great Game in a nuclear South Asia

Date: December 31, 1998
Creator: Pilat, J.F. & Taylor, T.T.
Description: Lost in the noise of Pakistan`s nuclear weapon tests in the western Baluchistan desert on 28 and 30 May was a surprising diplomatic move by Russia. On 23 May, Russia became the first state to express its willingness to recognize India as a nuclear-weapon state, provided that India commits itself to the international nonproliferation regime. Russia`s Ambassador to India, Albert Chernyshev, stated in the days after the Indian but before the Pakistani nuclear tests that ``India proclaimed itself a nuclear weapons power. One now hopes that India will behave as a nuclear weapons power by acting responsibly. Every nuclear weapons state has some rights. But for getting recognition it must have some obligations. Once it is ready to show these obligations by joining the nonproliferation regime, its recognition as a nuclear weapons power will follow.`` Russia`s Great Game in South Asia in pursuit of short-term economic and other interests appears to be a serious obstacle on the path to dealing effectively with the South Asian nuclear crisis. Grave damage to security, stability and nonproliferation has already resulted from India`s and Pakistan`s actions, but the situation does not have to spiral out of control. It is imperative that the international community ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Government`s response to the competitiveness problem

Government`s response to the competitiveness problem

Date: November 1, 1997
Creator: Gover, J.; Huray, P. & Carayannis, E.
Description: This paper presents an analysis of how the US government responded to the concern in the 1980`s that US companies were experiencing problems of competitiveness in international markets. By the mid 1980`s there was great and growing concern throughout the US that US companies were experiencing difficulties in international competition. Pressure on Congress to take action came from constituents seeking jobs and companies that would directly benefit (this usually means receive public money) from programs that Congress might initiate. The fact that most constituent calls to Congress were about job creation was lost in the on-rush of R&D performers seeking funds for their favorite R&D project. In response, Congress created the Advanced Technology Program, the Technology Transfer Initiative, and the Technology Reinvestment Project, expanded the responsibilities of ARPA/DARPA, increased funding for the Small Business Initiative, expanded the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, funded SEMATECH, and increased NSF funding for basic research at universities. Many of these programs were later criticized for being industrial welfare and several were cut-back or stopped. Retrospective analysis shows that few of these programs addressed the root cause of competitiveness difficulties. In fact, by the time most of these programs were in place, US companies were well on ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
National environmental/economic infrastructure system model

National environmental/economic infrastructure system model

Date: August 1, 1997
Creator: Drake, R.H.; Hardie, R.W.; Loose, V.W. & Booth, S.R.
Description: This is the final report for a one-year Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The ultimate goal was to develop a new methodology for macroeconomic modeling applied to national environmental and economic problems. A modeling demonstration and briefings were produced, and significant internal technical support and program interest has been generated. External contacts with DOE`s Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM), US State Department, and the US intelligence community were established. As a result of DOE-EM interest and requests for further development, this research has been redirected to national environmental simulations as a new LDRD project.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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