ResearchPad - macroeconomics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Is poverty the mother of crime? Evidence from homicide rates in China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15772 Income inequality is blamed for being the main driver of violent crime by the majority of the literature. However, earlier work on the topic largely neglects the role of poverty and income levels as opposed to income inequality. The current paper uses all court verdicts for homicide cases in China between 2014 and 2016, as well as various inequality measures calculated from 2005 mini census data together with a host of control variables to shed light on the relationship at the detailed Chinese prefecture-level. The results suggest that it is the poverty and low income level, rather than income inequality, that is positively related to homicide rates. We show that the internal rural-urban migration from more violent localities contributes to the destination cities’ homicide rates. The poverty-homicide association implies that instead of “relative deprivation”, “absolute deprivation” is mainly responsible for violent crime. Poverty is the mother of crime. —Marcus Aurelius (121-180AD), Emperor of the Roman Empire.

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<![CDATA[Mechanical characterization of PVA hydrogels’ rate-dependent response using multi-axial loading]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13820 The time-dependent properties of rubber-like synthesized and biological materials are crucial for their applications. Currently, this behavior is mainly measured using axial tensile test, compression test, or indentation. Limited studies performed on using multi-axial loading measurements of time-dependent material behavior exist in the literature. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the viscoelastic response of rubber-like materials under multi-axial loading using cavity expansion and relaxation tests. The tests were performed on PVA hydrogel specimens. Three hyperelasitc models and one term Prony series were used to characterize the viscoelastic response of the hydrogels. Finite element (FE) simulations were performed to verify the validity of the calibrated material coefficients by reproducing the experimental results. The excellent agreement between the experimental, analytical and numerical data proves the capability of the cavity expansion technique to measure the time-dependent behavior of viscoelastic materials.

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<![CDATA[Fear and stock price bubbles]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13818 I evaluate Alan Greenspan’s claim that stock price bubbles build up in periods of euphoria and tend to burst due to increasing fear. Indeed, there is evidence that e.g. during a crisis, triggered by increasing fear, both qualitative and quantitative measures of risk aversion increase substantially. It is argued that fear is a potential mechanism underlying financial decisions and drives the countercyclical risk aversion. Inspired by this evidence, I construct an euphoria/fear index, which is based on an economic model of time varying risk aversion. Based on US industry returns 1959–2014, my findings suggest that (1) Greenspan is correct in that the price run-up initially occurs in periods of euphoria followed by a crash due to increasing fear; (2) on average already roughly a year before an industry is crashing, euphoria is turning into fear, while the market is still bullish; (3) there is no particular euphoria-fear-pattern for price-runs in industries that do not subsequently crash. I interpret the evidence in favor of Greenspan, who was labeled “Mr. Bubble” by the New York Times, and who was accused to be a serial bubble blower.

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<![CDATA[PopRank: Ranking pages’ impact and users’ engagement on Facebook]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d664d5eed0c484031d68

The advent of social networks revolutionized the way people access to information sources. Understanding the complex relationship between these sources and users is crucial. We introduce an algorithm, that we call PopRank, to assess both the Impact of Facebook pages as well as users’ Engagement on the basis of their mutual interactions. The ideas behind the PopRank are that i) high impact pages attract many users with a low engagement, which means that they receive comments from users that rarely comment, and ii) high engagement users interact with high impact pages, that is they mostly comment pages with a high popularity. The resulting ranking of pages can predict the number of comments a page will receive and the number of its future posts. Pages’ impact turns out to be slightly dependent on the quality of pages’ informative content (e.g., science vs conspiracy) but independent of users’ polarization.

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<![CDATA[Asymmetrical effects of real exchange rate on the money demand in Saudi Arabia: A non-linear ARDL approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c23ffded5eed0c484094266

This present research investigates the money demand function of Saudi Arabia using a long period 1968–2016. In addition, the asymmetrical effects of real exchange rate changes have also been explored in the estimated money demand function. Our empirical results suggest that income and inflation have positive and negative effects on money demand respectively. Further, a real appreciation of US dollar has a positive effect but a real depreciation has a negative effect on the money demand. Furthermore, income and price homogeneity hypotheses do not hold for the estimated elasticities. Moreover, the estimated model is found stable with the theoretically expected effects of money demand’s determinants. Therefore, we are suggesting money supply as a monetary policy instrument to the economy of Saudi Arabia.

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<![CDATA[Stackelberg Game of Buyback Policy in Supply Chain with a Risk-Averse Retailer and a Risk-Averse Supplier Based on CVaR]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da4bab0ee8fa60b8cbac

This paper considers a decentralized supply chain in which a single supplier sells a perishable product to a single retailer facing uncertain demand. We assume that the supplier and the retailer are both risk averse and utilize Conditional Value at Risk (CVaR), a risk measure method which is popularized in financial risk management, to estimate their risk attitude. We establish a buyback policy model based on Stackelberg game theory under considering supply chain members' risk preference and get the expressions of the supplier's optimal repurchase price and the retailer's optimal order quantity which are compared with those under risk neutral case. Finally, a numerical example is applied to simulate that model and prove related conclusions.

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<![CDATA[Degree-Strength Correlation Reveals Anomalous Trading Behavior]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadaab0ee8fa60bb95b3

Manipulation is an important issue for both developed and emerging stock markets. Many efforts have been made to detect manipulation in stock markets. However, it is still an open problem to identify the fraudulent traders, especially when they collude with each other. In this paper, we focus on the problem of identifying the anomalous traders using the transaction data of eight manipulated stocks and forty-four non-manipulated stocks during a one-year period. By analyzing the trading networks of stocks, we find that the trading networks of manipulated stocks exhibit significantly higher degree-strength correlation than the trading networks of non-manipulated stocks and the randomized trading networks. We further propose a method to detect anomalous traders of manipulated stocks based on statistical significance analysis of degree-strength correlation. Experimental results demonstrate that our method is effective at distinguishing the manipulated stocks from non-manipulated ones. Our method outperforms the traditional weight-threshold method at identifying the anomalous traders in manipulated stocks. More importantly, our method is difficult to be fooled by colluded traders.

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<![CDATA[Household crowding as a potential mediator of socioeconomic determinants of tuberculosis incidence in Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc8a3

Although many studies have identified social conditions associated with tuberculosis, contextual and individual factors have rarely been analysed simultaneously. Consequently, we aimed to identify contextual and individual factors associated with tuberculosis incidence in general population in Brazil in 2010. We also assessed whether household crowding mediates the association between socioeconomic determinants and tuberculosis incidence. Individual data of tuberculosis cases were obtained from 5,565 municipalities in Brazil in 2010 (last year of national census), and merged with contextual variables. The associations were evaluated in a multilevel analysis using negative binomial regression. After adjusting for individual factors (age, sex and race) and geographic region, the following contextual factors were associated with tuberculosis incidence rate: AIDS incidence rate [incidence rate ratio (IRR), 1.21; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.18–1.24], unemployment rate (IRR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.13–1.19), Gini coefficient (IRR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02–1.08), proportion of inmates (IRR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.09–1.14), mean per capita household income (IRR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.91–0.97) and primary care coverage (IRR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.92–0.96). Inclusion of household crowding in the multivariate model led to a loss of the associations of both Gini coefficient and mean per capita household income. In conclusion, our findings suggest that income inequality and poverty, as determinants of tuberculosis incidence, can be mediated by household crowding. Moreover, prison population can represent a potential social reservoir of tuberculosis in Brazil and should be addressed as a priority for disease control. Finally, the negative association between primary health coverage and tuberculosis incidence highlights the importance of this level of care as a strategy to control this disease.

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<![CDATA[Association between the Density of Physicians and Suicide Rates in Japan: Nationwide Ecological Study Using a Spatial Bayesian Model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e0ab0ee8fa60b6934d

Background

Regional disparity in suicide rates is a serious problem worldwide. One possible cause is unequal distribution of the health workforce, especially psychiatrists. Research about the association between regional physician numbers and suicide rates is therefore important but studies are rare. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between physician numbers and suicide rates in Japan, by municipality.

Methods

The study included all the municipalities in Japan (n = 1,896). We estimated smoothed standardized mortality ratios of suicide rates for each municipality and evaluated the association between health workforce and suicide rates using a hierarchical Bayesian model accounting for spatially correlated random effects, a conditional autoregressive model. We assumed a Poisson distribution for the observed number of suicides and set the expected number of suicides as the offset variable. The explanatory variables were numbers of physicians, a binary variable for the presence of psychiatrists, and social covariates.

Results

After adjustment for socioeconomic factors, suicide rates in municipalities that had at least one psychiatrist were lower than those in the other municipalities. There was, however, a positive and statistically significant association between the number of physicians and suicide rates.

Conclusions

Suicide rates in municipalities that had at least one psychiatrist were lower than those in other municipalities, but the number of physicians was positively and significantly related with suicide rates. To improve the regional disparity in suicide rates, the government should encourage psychiatrists to participate in community-based suicide prevention programs and to settle in municipalities that currently have no psychiatrists. The government and other stakeholders should also construct better networks between psychiatrists and non-psychiatrists to support sharing of information for suicide prevention.

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<![CDATA[Capacity Choice in a Large Market]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da19ab0ee8fa60b7c1da

We analyze endogenous capacity formation in a large frictional market with perfectly divisible goods. Each seller posts a price and decides on a capacity. The buyers base their decision on which seller to visit on both characteristics. In this setting we determine the conditions for the existence and uniqueness of a symmetric equilibrium. When capacity is unobservable there exists a continuum of equilibria. We show that the “best” of these equilibria leads to the same seller capacities and the same number of trades as the symmetric equilibrium under observable capacity.

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<![CDATA[No Spillover Effect of the Foreclosure Crisis on Weight Change: The Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da61ab0ee8fa60b90f8f

The emerging body of research suggests the unprecedented increase in housing foreclosures and unemployment between 2007 and 2009 had detrimental effects on health. Using data from electronic health records of 105,919 patients with diabetes in Northern California, this study examined how increases in foreclosure rates from 2006 to 2010 affected weight change. We anticipated that two of the pathways that explain how the spike in foreclosure rates affects weight gain—increasing stress and declining salutary health behaviors- would be acute in a population with diabetes because of metabolic sensitivity to stressors and health behaviors. Controlling for unemployment, housing prices, temporal trends, and time-invariant confounders with individual fixed effects, we found no evidence of an association between the foreclosure rate in each patient's census block of residence and body mass index. Our results suggest, although more than half of the population was exposed to at least one foreclosure within their census block, the foreclosure crisis did not independently impact weight change.

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<![CDATA[Metastable Features of Economic Networks and Responses to Exogenous Shocks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f6ab0ee8fa60b70274

It is well known that a network structure plays an important role in addressing a collective behavior. In this paper we study a network of firms and corporations for addressing metastable features in an Ising based model. In our model we observe that if in a recession the government imposes a demand shock to stimulate the network, metastable features shape its response. Actually we find that there exists a minimum bound where any demand shock with a size below it is unable to trigger the market out of recession. We then investigate the impact of network characteristics on this minimum bound. We surprisingly observe that in a Watts-Strogatz network, although the minimum bound depends on the average of the degrees, when translated into the language of economics, such a bound is independent of the average degrees. This bound is about 0.44ΔGDP, where ΔGDP is the gap of GDP between recession and expansion. We examine our suggestions for the cases of the United States and the European Union in the recent recession, and compare them with the imposed stimulations. While the stimulation in the US has been above our threshold, in the EU it has been far below our threshold. Beside providing a minimum bound for a successful stimulation, our study on the metastable features suggests that in the time of crisis there is a “golden time passage” in which the minimum bound for successful stimulation can be much lower. Hence, our study strongly suggests stimulations to arise within this time passage.

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<![CDATA[Accessibility and socio-economic development of human settlements]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5fab0ee8fa60be1167

Access to facilities, services and socio-economic opportunities plays a critical role in the growth and decline of cities and human settlements. Previous attempts to explain changes in socio-economic indicators by differences in accessibility have not been convincing as countries with highly developed transport infrastructure have only seen marginal benefits of infrastructure improvements. Australia offers an ideal case for investigating the effects of accessibility on development since it is seen as home to some of the most liveable cities in the world while, at the same time, it also has some of the most isolated settlements. We investigate herein the connectivity and accessibility of all 1814 human settlements (population centers exceeding 200 persons) in Australia, and how they relate to the socio-economic characteristics of, and opportunities in, each population center. Assuming population as a proxy indicator of available opportunities, we present a simple ranking metric for a settlement using the number of population and the distance required to access all other settlements (and the corresponding opportunities therein). We find a strikingly unequal distribution of access to opportunities in Australia, with a marked prominence of opportunities in capital cities in four of the eight states. The two largest cities of Sydney and Melbourne have a dominant position across all socio-economic indicators, compared to all the other cities. In general, we observe across all the settlements that a decrease in access to opportunities is associated with relatively greater socio-economic disadvantage including increased median age and unemployment rate and decreased median household income. Our methodology can be used to better understand the potential benefits of improved accessibility based on infrastructure development, especially for remote areas and for cities and towns with many socio-economically disadvantaged population.

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<![CDATA[Media effects on suicide methods: A case study on Hong Kong 1998-2005]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc66d

Background

Previous studies have suggested that mass media’s reports of new suicide methods will increase suicides using the same method. The same pattern seems not to apply to a conventional suicide method, unless it was used by a celebrity.

Objective

1) to examine media effects on both new and non-new suicide methods during 1998 and 2005 in Hong Kong (HK), when a new method by burning charcoal (CB suicide) was spreading in the region. 2) to examine how CB competed with non-CB methods in terms of media coverage and “recruiting” suicidal persons in the socio-economic context.

Methods

A self- and mutual- exciting process model was fitted to the data, adjusting for divorce rate, unemployment rate, and property price index. Breaking the whole period into onset, peak, and post-peak stages, the model was fitted again to examine the differences.

Results

Comparable copycat effects were found on both CB and non-CB suicide news. The only cross-method media effects were found in the onset stage when non-CB suicide news showed suppressing effect on CB suicides. CB suicides reported a significant self-excitation effect. A higher divorce rate and lower property price index were associated with significantly more suicides incidences and more suicide news.

Conclusions

The emerging of CB suicide method did not substitute media coverage of non-CB suicide in HK. Media effects in this case were not limited to new suicide method or celebrity suicide. The effects were further fueled by adverse socio-economic conditions.

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<![CDATA[Do Countries Consistently Engage in Misinforming the International Community about Their Efforts to Combat Money Laundering? Evidence Using Benford’s Law]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb857

Indicators of compliance and efficiency in combatting money laundering, collected by EUROSTAT, are plagued with shortcomings. In this paper, I have carried out a forensic analysis on a 2003–2010 dataset of indicators of compliance and efficiency in combatting money laundering, that European Union member states self-reported to EUROSTAT, and on the basis of which, their efforts were evaluated. I used Benford’s law to detect any anomalous statistical patterns and found that statistical anomalies were also consistent with strategic manipulation. According to Benford’s law, if we pick a random sample of numbers representing natural processes, and look at the distribution of the first digits of these numbers, we see that, contrary to popular belief, digit 1 occurs most often, then digit 2, and so on, with digit 9 occurring in less than 5% of the sample. Without prior knowledge of Benford’s law, since people are not intuitively good at creating truly random numbers, deviations thereof can capture strategic alterations. In order to eliminate other sources of deviation, I have compared deviations in situations where incentives and opportunities for manipulation existed and in situations where they did not. While my results are not a conclusive proof of strategic manipulation, they signal that countries that faced incentives and opportunities to misinform the international community about their efforts to combat money laundering may have manipulated these indicators. Finally, my analysis points to the high potential for disruption that the manipulation of national statistics has, and calls for the acknowledgment that strategic manipulation can be an unintended consequence of the international community’s pressure on countries to put combatting money laundering on the top of their national agenda.

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<![CDATA[Long-Term Unemployment and Suicide: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daabab0ee8fa60ba939f

Purpose

There have been a number of reviews on the association+ between unemployment and suicide, but none have investigated how this relationship is influenced by duration of unemployment.

Method

A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted of those studies that assessed duration of unemployment as a risk factor for suicide. Studies considered as eligible for inclusion were population-based cohort or case-control designs; population-based ecological designs, or hospital based clinical cohort or case-control designs published in the year 1980 or later.

Results

The review identified 16 eligible studies, out of a possible 10,358 articles resulting from a search of four databases: PubMed, Web of Knowledge, Scopus and Proquest. While all 16 studies measured unemployment duration in different ways, a common finding was that longer duration of unemployment was related to greater risk of suicide and suicide attempt. A random effects meta-analysis on a subsample of six cohort studies indicated that the pooled relative risk of suicide in relation to average follow-up time after unemployment was 1.70 (95% CI 1.22 to 2.18). However, results also suggested a possible habituation effect to unemployment over time, with the greatest risk of suicide occurring within five years of unemployment compared to the employed population (RR = 2.50, 95% CI 1.83 to 3.17). Relative risk appeared to decline in studies of those unemployed between 12 and 16 years compared to those currently employed (RR = 1.21, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.33).

Conclusion

Findings suggest that long-term unemployment is associated with greater incidence of suicide. Results of the meta-analysis suggest that risk is greatest in the first five years, and persists at a lower but elevated level up to 16 years after unemployment. These findings are limited by the paucity of data on this topic.

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<![CDATA[Distress Propagation in Complex Networks: The Case of Non-Linear DebtRank]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3aab0ee8fa60bd494f

We consider a dynamical model of distress propagation on complex networks, which we apply to the study of financial contagion in networks of banks connected to each other by direct exposures. The model that we consider is an extension of the DebtRank algorithm, recently introduced in the literature. The mechanics of distress propagation is very simple: When a bank suffers a loss, distress propagates to its creditors, who in turn suffer losses, and so on. The original DebtRank assumes that losses are propagated linearly between connected banks. Here we relax this assumption and introduce a one-parameter family of non-linear propagation functions. As a case study, we apply this algorithm to a data-set of 183 European banks, and we study how the stability of the system depends on the non-linearity parameter under different stress-test scenarios. We find that the system is characterized by a transition between a regime where small shocks can be amplified and a regime where shocks do not propagate, and that the overall stability of the system increases between 2008 and 2013.

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<![CDATA[Population control methods in stochastic extinction and outbreak scenarios]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc524

Adaptive limiter control (ALC) and adaptive threshold harvesting (ATH) are two related control methods that have been shown to stabilize fluctuating populations. Large variations in population abundance can threaten the constancy and the persistence stability of ecological populations, which may impede the success and efficiency of managing natural resources. Here, we consider population models that include biological mechanisms characteristic for causing extinctions on the one hand and pest outbreaks on the other hand. These models include Allee effects and the impact of natural enemies (as is typical of forest defoliating insects). We study the impacts of noise and different levels of biological parameters in three extinction and two outbreak scenarios. Our results show that ALC and ATH have an effect on extinction and outbreak risks only for sufficiently large control intensities. Moreover, there is a clear disparity between the two control methods: in the extinction scenarios, ALC can be effective and ATH can be counterproductive, whereas in the outbreak scenarios the situation is reversed, with ATH being effective and ALC being potentially counterproductive.

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<![CDATA[Revisiting the effect of colonial institutions on comparative economic development]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf60c

European settler mortality has been proposed as an instrument to predict the causal effect of colonial institutions on differences in economic development. We examine the relationship between mortality, temperature, and economic development in former European colonies in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. We find that (i) European settler mortality rates increased with regional temperatures and (ii) economic output decreased with regional temperatures. Conditioning on the continent of settlement and accounting for colonies that were not independent as of 1900 undermines the causal effect of colonial institutions on comparative economic development. Our findings run counter to the institutions hypothesis of economic development, showing instead that geography affected both historic mortality rates and present-day economic output.

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<![CDATA[Measuring complexity in Brazilian economic crises]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc013

Capital flows are responsible for a strong influence on the foreign exchange rates and stock prices macroeconomic parameters. In volatile economies, capital flows can change due to several types of social, political and economic events, provoking oscillations on these parameters, which are recognized as economic crises. This work aims to investigate how these two macroeconomic variables are related with crisis events by using the traditional complex measures due to Lopez-Mancini-Calbet (LMC) and to Shiner-Davison-Landsberg (SDL), that can be applied to any temporal series. Here, Ibovespa (Bovespa Stock Exchange main Index) and the “dollar-real” parity are the background for calculating the LMC and SDL complexity measures. By analyzing the temporal evolution of these measures, it is shown that they might be related to important events that occurred in the Brazilian economy.

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