Crises in financial markets affect humans worldwide. Detailed market data on trading decisions reflect some of the complex human behavior that has led to these crises. We suggest that massive new data sources resulting from human interaction with the Internet may offer a new perspective on the behavior of market participants in periods of large market movements. By analyzing changes in Google query volumes for search terms related to finance, we find patterns that may be interpreted as “early warning signs” of stock market moves. Our results illustrate the potential that combining extensive behavioral data sets offers for a better understanding of collective human behavior.
Over the past decade, several countries across all regions, income groups and procurement methods have been unable to secure sufficient BCG vaccine supply. While the frequency of stock-outs has remained rather stable, duration increased in 2014-2015 due to manufacturing issues and attracted the attention of national, regional and global immunization stakeholders. This prompted an in-depth analysis of supply and demand dynamics aiming to characterize supply risks. This analysis is unique as it provides a global picture, where previous analyses have focused on a portion of the market procuring through UN entities. Through literature review, supplier interviews, appraisal of shortages, stock-outs and historical procurement data, and through demand forecasting, this analysis shows an important increase in global capacity in 2017: supply is sufficient to meet forecasted BCG vaccine demand and possibly buffer market shocks. Nevertheless, risks remain mainly due to supply concentration and limited investment in production process improvements, as well as inflexibility in demand. Identification of these market risks will allow implementation of risk-mitigating interventions in three areas: (1) enhancing information sharing between major global health actors, countries and suppliers, (2) identifying interests and incentives to expand product registration and investment in the BCG manufacturing process, and (3) working with countries for tighter vaccine management.
Free trade agreements (FTAs) can affect food environments and non-communicable disease risks through altering the availability of highly-processed foods. Few studies have quantified such effects. Using a natural experiment this paper quantifies changes in Peru’s soft-drink market before/after entry into the US-Peru FTA, compared with Bolivia, a county with no such agreement.
The adequacy of provider networks for plans sold through insurance Marketplaces established under the Affordable Care Act has received much scrutiny recently. Various studies have established that networks are generally narrow. To learn more about network adequacy and access to care, we investigated two questions. First, no matter the nominal size of a network, can patients gain access to primary care services from providers of their choice in a timely manner? Second, how does access compare to plans sold outside insurance Marketplaces? We conducted a “secret shopper” survey of 743 primary care providers from five of California’s nineteen insurance Marketplace pricing regions in the summer of 2015. Our findings indicate that obtaining access to primary care providers was generally equally challenging both inside and outside insurance Marketplaces. In less than 30 percent of cases were consumers able to schedule an appointment with an initially selected physician provider. Information about provider networks was often inaccurate. Problems accessing services for patients with acute conditions were particularly troubling. Effectively addressing issues of network adequacy requires more accurate provider information.
Diet-related disease is disproportionately concentrated in low-income communities where fruit and vegetable consumption is far below guidelines. To address financial barriers, Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB)-a statewide healthy food incentive-matches Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds spent at farmers markets. However, incentive use is limited. This study examined the impact of a brief waiting room-based intervention about DUFB on program utilization and produce consumption.
The determination of honey authenticity is of importance to ensure its quality and safety. There is an urgent need of effective methods to detect adulterated honey. A simple, rapid, and effective HPLC-DAD method was developed to detect honey adulteration by rice syrup, using a characteristic compound from rice syrup, which is presently difficult to detect by current analytical methods. The characteristic compound was identified as 2-acetylfuran-3-glucopyranoside (AFGP) by MS and NMR. Based on HPLC analyses, the average concentration of AFGP was 92 ± 60 mg/kg in rice syrup. However, AFGP was not detected in any of the natural honey samples, so it could be used as a maker for the detection of honey adulteration by rice syrup. The developed HPLC-DAD method enabled a rapid detection of honey samples adulterated with 10% rice syrup. Using the developed method, 16 out of 186 honey samples from different markets were found to be adulterated with rice syrup.
Water allocation can be undertaken through administered systems (AS), market-based systems (MS), or a combination of the two. The debate on the performance of the two systems has lasted for decades but still calls for attention in both research and practice. This paper compares water users' behavior under AS and MS through a consistent agent-based modeling framework for water allocation analysis that incorporates variables particular to both MS (e.g., water trade and trading prices) and AS (water use violations and penalties/subsidies). Analogous to the economic theory of water markets under MS, the theory of rational violation justifies the exchange of entitled water under AS through the use of cross-subsidies. Under water stress conditions, a unique water allocation equilibrium can be achieved by following a simple bargaining rule that does not depend upon initial market prices under MS, or initial economic incentives under AS. The modeling analysis shows that the behavior of water users (agents) depends on transaction, or administrative, costs, as well as their autonomy. Reducing transaction costs under MS or administrative costs under AS will mitigate the effect that equity constraints (originating with primary water allocation) have on the system’s total net economic benefits. Moreover, hydrologic uncertainty is shown to increase market prices under MS and penalties/subsidies under AS and, in most cases, also increases transaction, or administrative, costs.
Roman Carrasco and colleagues propose a “cap and trade” system for global health involving a cost-effectiveness criterion and a DALY global credit market, mirroring global carbon emission permits trading markets to mitigate climate change.
The Mediterranean diet (MD) can reduce chronic disease risk and is a recommended diet for prevention and management of diabetes. Adherence to the MD in the southeast United States where obesity and diabetes are highly prevalent is unknown. The purpose of the present study was to: 1) construct a survey instrument relevant to the general population integrating both MD related nutrition knowledge and adherence questions from previously validated instruments, and 2) assess MD related nutrition knowledge and adherence in a sample population in the southest United States. Adherance was assessed using the validated short MD Adherence Screener (MEDAS). A MD nutrition knowledge (MDNK) questionnaire was developed from previously validated general nutrition knowledge questionnaires and was validated using 127 university students enrolled in three courses with varying levels of nutrition education. Cronbach’s α for internal validity of MDNK was acceptable for a short questionnaire (0.653). Test-retest reliability was established (r = 0.853). Field validation of the three-part survey instrument (MEDAS, MDNK and demographic questions) was subsequently performed in 230 adults shopping at supermarkets and farmers markets in eastern Alabama. Total MDNK and MEDAS scores were significantly higher in students with formal nutrition education and in patrons of farmers markets. Greater MD adherence, assessed by dividing MEDAS scores into thirds, was found with increasing formal nutrition education in university students (p = 0.002) and in farmers market participants (p < 0.001). There was a weak but significant association between MDNK and MEDAS scores within university students and participants in the field. Together, the MDNK-MEDAS survey instrument is an effective tool for assessing baseline knowledge and adherence and can be used to target nutritional interventions to improve MD adherence for prevention and management of diabetes and other chronic disease.
In spite of globalizing processes ‘offline’ retail drug markets remain localized and - in recent decades - typically ‘closed’, in which dealers sell primarily to known customers. We characterize drug cryptomarkets as ‘anonymous open’ marketplaces that allow the diffusion of drugs across locales. Where cryptomarket customers make stock-sourcing purchases for offline distribution, the cryptomarket may indirectly serve drug users who are not themselves cryptomarket customers, thereby increasing the drug diffusing capacity of these marketplaces. Our research aimed to identify wholesale activity on the first major cryptomarket, Silk Road 1.