SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Investment

785

Is existing provision of health services in Europe affordable during the recession or could cuts damage economic growth? This debate centres on whether government spending has positive or negative effects on economic growth. In this study, we evaluate the economic effects of alternative types of government spending by estimating “fiscal multipliers” (the return on investment for each $1 dollar of government spending).

Concepts: Medicine, Economics, Investment, Gross domestic product, Macroeconomics, Late-2000s recession, Rate of return, Government spending

287

Interoception is the sensing of physiological signals originating inside the body, such as hunger, pain and heart rate. People with greater sensitivity to interoceptive signals, as measured by, for example, tests of heart beat detection, perform better in laboratory studies of risky decision-making. However, there has been little field work to determine if interoceptive sensitivity contributes to success in real-world, high-stakes risk taking. Here, we report on a study in which we quantified heartbeat detection skills in a group of financial traders working on a London trading floor. We found that traders are better able to perceive their own heartbeats than matched controls from the non-trading population. Moreover, the interoceptive ability of traders predicted their relative profitability, and strikingly, how long they survived in the financial markets. Our results suggest that signals from the body - the gut feelings of financial lore - contribute to success in the markets.

Concepts: Risk, Economics, Decision theory, Sense, Heart rate, Investment, Stock market, Finance

196

Public sector austerity measures in many high-income countries mean that public health budgets are reducing year on year. To help inform the potential impact of these proposed disinvestments in public health, we set out to determine the return on investment (ROI) from a range of existing public health interventions.

Concepts: Public health, Investment, Net present value, Rate of return, Internal rate of return, Future value

169

The dramatic rise in chronically ill patients on permanent disability benefits threatens the sustainability of social security in high-income countries. Social insurance organizations have started to invest in promising, but costly return to work (RTW) coordination programmes. The benefit, however, remains uncertain. We conducted a systematic review to determine the long-term effectiveness of RTW coordination compared to usual practice in patients at risk for long-term disability.

Concepts: Medicine, Risk, Randomized controlled trial, Investment, Insurance, Finance, Social security, Social insurance

169

The 2008-2012 global financial crisis began with the global recession in December 2007 and exacerbated in September 2008, during which the U.S. stock markets lost 20% of value from its October 11 2007 peak. Various studies reported that financial crisis are associated with increase in both cross-correlations among stocks and stock indices and the level of systemic risk. In this paper, we study 10 different Dow Jones economic sector indexes, and applying principle component analysis (PCA) we demonstrate that the rate of increase in principle components with short 12-month time windows can be effectively used as an indicator of systemic risk-the larger the change of PC1, the higher the increase of systemic risk. Clearly, the higher the level of systemic risk, the more likely a financial crisis would occur in the near future.

Concepts: Risk, Principal component analysis, Investment, Financial crisis, Bank run, Stock market, Subprime mortgage crisis, Stock exchange

165

Ensuring an informed and effective dementia workforce is of international concern; however, there remains limited understanding of how this can be achieved. This review aimed to identify features of effective dementia educational programs. Critical interpretive synthesis underpinned by Kirkpatrick’s return on investment model was applied. One hundred and fifty-two papers of variable quality were included. Common features of more efficacious educational programs included the need for educational programs to be relevant to participants' role and experience, involve active face-to-face participation, underpin practice-based learning with theory, be delivered by an experienced facilitator, have a total duration of at least 8 hours with individual sessions of 90 minutes or more, support application of learning in practice, and provide a structured tool or guideline to guide care practice. Further robust research is required to develop the evidence base; however, the findings of this review have relevance for all working in workforce education.

Concepts: Critical thinking, Randomized controlled trial, Education, Educational psychology, Learning, Investment, Social sciences, History of education

161

In some patients who undergo presurgical workup for drug-resistant epilepsy invasive seizure monitoring is needed to define the seizure onset zone and delineate eloquent cortex. Such procedures carry risks for complications causing permanent morbidity and even mortality. In this study, prospective data on complications in a national population-based sample were analysed.

Concepts: Observational study, Neurology, Epilepsy, Investment, Seizure

158

The economic and fiscal crisis of 2008 has erupted into the debate on the sustainability of health systems; some countries, such as Spain, have implemented strong policies of fiscal consolidation and austerity. The institutional framework and governance model of the national health system (NHS) after its devolution to regions in 2002 had significant weaknesses, which were not apparent in the rapid growth stage but which have been clearly visible since 2010. In this article, we describe the changes in government regulation from the national and NHS perspective: both general changes (clearly prompted by the economic authorities), and those more specifically addressed to healthcare. The Royal Decree-Law 16/2012 represents the centerpiece of austerity policies in healthcare but also implies a rupture with existing political consensus and a return to social security models. Our characterization of austerity in healthcare explores impacts on savings, services, and on the healthcare model itself, although the available information only allows some indications. The conclusions highlight the need to change the path of linear, rapid and radical budget cuts, providing a time-frame for implementing key reforms in terms of internal sustainability; to do so, it is appropriate to restore political and institutional consensus, to emphasize «clinical management» and divestment of inappropriate services (approach to the medical profession and its role as micro-manager), and to create frameworks of good governance and organizational innovations that support these structural reforms.

Concepts: Health economics, Medicine, Universal health care, Healthcare, Law, Investment, Implementation, Social security

104

Multinational corporations use highly complex structures of parents and subsidiaries to organize their operations and ownership. Offshore Financial Centers (OFCs) facilitate these structures through low taxation and lenient regulation, but are increasingly under scrutiny, for instance for enabling tax avoidance. Therefore, the identification of OFC jurisdictions has become a politicized and contested issue. We introduce a novel data-driven approach for identifying OFCs based on the global corporate ownership network, in which over 98 million firms (nodes) are connected through 71 million ownership relations. This granular firm-level network data uniquely allows identifying both sink-OFCs and conduit-OFCs. Sink-OFCs attract and retain foreign capital while conduit-OFCs are attractive intermediate destinations in the routing of international investments and enable the transfer of capital without taxation. We identify 24 sink-OFCs. In addition, a small set of five countries - the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Singapore and Switzerland - canalize the majority of corporate offshore investment as conduit-OFCs. Each conduit jurisdiction is specialized in a geographical area and there is significant specialization based on industrial sectors. Against the idea of OFCs as exotic small islands that cannot be regulated, we show that many sink and conduit-OFCs are highly developed countries.

Concepts: United Kingdom, Investment, Identification, Finance, Tax, Corporation, Multinational corporation, Capitalism

78

It is widely known that financial markets can become dangerously unstable, yet it is unclear why. Recent research has highlighted the possibility that endogenous hormones, in particular testosterone and cortisol, may critically influence traders' financial decision making. Here we show that cortisol, a hormone that modulates the response to physical or psychological stress, predicts instability in financial markets. Specifically, we recorded salivary levels of cortisol and testosterone in people participating in an experimental asset market (N = 142) and found that individual and aggregate levels of endogenous cortisol predict subsequent risk-taking and price instability. We then administered either cortisol (single oral dose of 100 mg hydrocortisone, N = 34) or testosterone (three doses of 10 g transdermal 1% testosterone gel over 48 hours, N = 41) to young males before they played an asset trading game. We found that both cortisol and testosterone shifted investment towards riskier assets. Cortisol appears to affect risk preferences directly, whereas testosterone operates by inducing increased optimism about future price changes. Our results suggest that changes in both cortisol and testosterone could play a destabilizing role in financial markets through increased risk taking behaviour, acting via different behavioural pathways.

Concepts: Decision making, Hormone, Risk, Economics, Decision theory, Cortisol, Investment, Finance