Economics Network CHEER Virtual Edition

Volume 9, Issue 2, 1995



UK ToolBook User Conference 95

The third annual UK ToolBook User Conference is to be held on the 15th - 16th November 1995 at the Hilton National Hotel, Bristol. The conference is hosted by the CTI Centre for Economics, University of Bristol and sponsored by Asymetrix.

The conference programme will be based around three parallel paper sessions and live demonstrations. In addition, there will be the opportunity for workshop sessions and special interest group meetings.

The conference organisers welcome contributions relating to all areas of the use and implementation of ToolBook and its applications. Papers, demonstrations and workshop sessions may cover any area within the conference themes. However, in selecting papers, preference will be given to case studies and practical assessments of the impact of ToolBook. The emphasis of the conference is on identifying good practice and successful implementation. For paper sessions, demonstrations, workshops and special interest group meetings, authors should provide an abstract of no more than one side of A4, outlining the scope and nature of their proposed contribution. Abstracts should detail the proposers' names, affiliations, and a contact address. At the end of the abstract the author should include a brief biographical note. A paper copy of the abstract, together with an ASCII text version on disk (IBM PC format), should be sent to the conference organisers no later than 11th August. Authors will be notified of acceptance within three weeks of submission.

Conference delegates will receive a book of abstracts with their conference programme and joining instructions. A set of proceedings will be published following the conference.

The address for all conference correspondence is:

UK ToolBook User Conference 95, Centre for Computing in Economics,
Department of Economics,
University of Bristol,
8 Woodland Road,
Bristol BS8 1TN, UK.
Tel: +44 (0) 117 928 8478
Fax: +44 (0) 117 928 8577


CATH '95 Issues in Teaching Economic History

The CATH '95 conference will be held at Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, from 5th-7th September 1995.

The theme of this year's conference is Computers and the Changing Curriculum. The conference will include workshop and poster sessions as well as formal papers. Contributors will report on practical experiences of the use of computers in teaching, and approaches taken by the teacher in integrating computing into courses, describing problems as well as successes, plus examples of student feedback.

Enquiries to: Christine Mullings, Office for Humanities, Oxford University Computing Services, 13 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN Tel: 01865-273221 Fax: 01865-273221 email:


The Third International Conference on Neural Networks in the Capital Markets will be held at the Langham Hilton, London from the 12th to 13th October 1995. In addition a day of introductory tutorials (Wednesday 11th October) will be included to familiarise audiences of different backgrounds with the financial engineering, neural networks and mathematical aspects of the field.

For further information contact Ms Busola Oguntula, London Business School, Sussex Place, Regent's Park, London NW1 4SA, UK phone (+44) (0171) 262 50 50; fax (+44) (0171) 724 78 75; e-mail:

PcGive 8.0 and Chapman & Hall

Please note that the e-mail address for Steven Reed of Chapman & Hall (publishers of Hendry and Doornok's Pc-Give and Andrew Harvey's STAMP program) has changed from the one given in the last issue of CHEER. He can now be reached at

Active Learning

Active Learning 2: "Using the Internet for teaching" will be published in June. The theme for issue no 3 of Active Learning (winter 1995) will be "TEACHING WITH MULTIMEDIA". The deadline for submissions is 15 SEPTEMBER 1995. Please request a copy of our 'Notes for Contributors' if you wish to submit an article.

'Active Learning' is a refereed journal and publishes traditional papers, case studies and opinion pieces. If you are not on the mailing list contact CTI Support Service, 13 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN, United Kingdom.

Phone: +44 (0)1865 273273 Fax: +44 (0)1865 273275 Internet:


EcoSim: A Comprehensive Economic Simulation

EcoSim is available to interested colleges and universities at no charge for a limited time. EcoSim is an economic simulation in which students play the roles of companies, groups of people, the government and the central bank. The computer software does not create the economy, but only acts as a game referee. The players create the economic forces of demand and supply as they interact with each other. Students can do almost everything within the simulation that can be done in the real world. Companies purchase materials from other companies and labor from populations to produce a product which they sell to populations or other companies. Companies can issue bonds and stock to raise money which they can invest in capital accumulation or research and development. All prices, interest rates, production and consumption levels, etc. are determined by the players themselves as they attempt to maximize profits and utilities. Many opportunities for entrepreneurship exist.

The government/central bank can impose sales and income taxes, sales quotas, issue transfer payments, alter the money supply, pass laws regulating commerce, manufacture public goods. Students playing companies and populations are graded based on the amount of profit and utility they obtain over the course of the game. Students playing the government are graded based on the number of votes they receive from the other players over the course of the game.

EcoSim is designed for use in the following courses (the same game can be used in all courses simultaneously): Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Mathematical Economics, Money & Banking, Public Sector Economics. Hardware requirements: VAX minicomputer (a windows based PC network version is currently under development).

Please send enquiries to


from TCI Software Research.

Scientific Word's Dutch distributor has released (in English) a Demo disk based on Version 2.01 of Scientific Word and Scientific WorkPlace. It comes on a single 1.44Mb 3.5" disk, expanding to 7Mb. If you'd like a copy, just send us a formatted disk with a return mailer. The demo requires a screen display of 1024x768 to run; also, you may need to turn off the sound feature, as described below in the README file. Contact Christopher Mabb, Scientific Word Ltd., UK Tel: (+44) 1978 823088; Fax: (+44) 1978 823066 Email:


The Centre for Economic Forecasting at London Business School now has a 286 version of Stephen Hall's REG-X econometric time series estimation software available on its www server.

The address is : (Now at -Web Editor)

REG-X is an interactive econometric modelling package which offeres a range of sophisticated modelling techniques within a relatively easy to use environment. The techniques offered include; Single variable analysis (stationarity test, spectral analysis and descriptive diagnostics), OLS and IV estimation with extensive diagnostic checking, Johansen Maximum likelihood estimation of cointegrated systems, GARCH-M estimation, time varying parameters, stochastic seasonality and general Kalman Filter estimation of state space models with maximum likelhood estimation.

NEW! time series email bulletin board

A new email bulletin board devoted to time series has been established. It is being operated under the auspices of "mailbase" at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne's Computing Service. There follows a summary of the list's intended remit.

Time series is enjoying vigorous and novel development due to the impact of, e.g., chaos and non-linearity. A wide range of scientists, not just statisticians, can use this list for discussion and to advertise general time series activity (workshops, preprints, ...) (but not for consultancy).

It is intended that operating protocol of the list will be similar to that of "allstat"; in particular, non-members may not broadcast to the list, although membership is open to anyone. Of course, operating protocol is not rigid, and will change according to the requirements of the list membership.

To join the list, send email to "" with the command join timeseries FIRSTNAME LASTNAME

e.g., join timeseries William Playfair

To leave the list, send email to "" with the command leave timeseries

The address for sending messages is "". Please use informative subject headings.

To obtain a compilation of "mailbase" commands, send email to "" with the command help

Jokes about economists and economics on the Web

Pasi Kuoppamaki has gathered together lots of jokes about economics and economists and put them on the Web. The URL is

If you know any other good ones that he hasn't included e-mail them to him at

As well as the inevitable light-bulb jokes and the old chestnut about the economist stranded on a desert island who finds a can of soup and says "Lets assume that we have a can-opener", there are some short snappy one liners and some long rambling stories, some too close to the truth to be completely amusing. Here are a couple of short ones to whet your appetite.

Q. What does an economist do?
A. Quite a lot in the short run, but it amounts to nothing in the long run.

Q. What's the difference between mathematics and economics?
A. Mathematics is incomprehensible; economics just doesn't make any sense.

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