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

Concept: Real estate


External regulation is an important mechanism to improve corporate behavior in emerging markets. China’s insurance governance regulation, which began to supervise and guide insurance corporate governance behavior in 2006, has experienced a complex process of reform. This study tested our hypotheses with a sample of 85 firms during 2010-2011, which was obtained by providing a questionnaire to all of China’s shareholding insurance companies. The empirical study results generally show that China’s insurance governance effectiveness has significantly improved through strict regulation. Insurance corporate governance can improve business acumen and risk-control ability, but no significant evidence was found to prove its influence on profitability, as a result of focusing less attention on governance than on management. State ownership is associated with higher corporate governance effectiveness than non-state ownership. Listed companies tend to outperform non-listed firms, and life insurance corporate governance is more effective than that of property insurers. This study not only contributes to the comprehensive understanding of corporate governance effectiveness but also to the literature by highlighting the effect of corporate governance regulation in China’s insurance industry and other emerging economies of the financial sector.

Concepts: Economics, Investment, Insurance, Business, Real estate, Corporate governance, Underwriting, Financial services


Margaret McGregor and colleagues consider Bradford Hill’s framework for examining causation in observational research for the association between nursing home care quality and for-profit ownership.

Concepts: The Association, Geriatrics, Nursing home, Nursing specialties, Real estate


Green building design is becoming broadly adopted, with one green building standard reporting over 3.5 billion square feet certified to date. By definition, green buildings focus on minimizing impacts to the environment through reductions in energy usage, water usage, and minimizing environmental disturbances from the building site. Also by definition, but perhaps less widely recognized, green buildings aim to improve human health through design of healthy indoor environments. The benefits related to reduced energy and water consumption are well-documented, but the potential human health benefits of green buildings are only recently being investigated. The objective of our review was to examine the state of evidence on green building design as it specifically relates to indoor environmental quality and human health. Overall, the initial scientific evidence indicates better indoor environmental quality in green buildings versus non-green buildings, with direct benefits to human health for occupants of those buildings. A limitation of much of the research to date is the reliance on indirect, lagging and subjective measures of health. To address this, we propose a framework for identifying direct, objective and leading “Health Performance Indicators” for use in future studies of buildings and health.

Concepts: Health, Human, Environment, Natural environment, Environmentalism, Real estate, Environmental quality, Natural building


Renal involvement with significant organ damage is common in anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV). As a result, it is independently referred to ANCA-associated renal vasculitis. Clinically, ANCA-associated renal vasculitis is characterized by rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis. Pathologically, it is defined by pauci-immune type necrotizing and crescentic glomerulonephritis. According to previous reports from all over the world, the etiology, prevalence, and prognosis of RPGN including ANCA-associated renal vasculitis varies among races and periods. To elucidate the clinical characteristics of Japanese RPGN patients, a registry derived from a questionnaire survey was established in 1999 and maintained until 2006. As a result, 1,772 cases were collected, analyzed, and reported previously. In this mini-review, we outline the characteristic clinical findings of Japanese patients (Asian) with ANCA-associated renal vasculitis, based on the registry data.

Concepts: Inflammation, Kidney, Glomerulonephritis, Windows Registry, Kidney diseases, Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, Real estate, IgA nephropathy


Previous research has shown that housing insecurity contributes to animal relinquishment and that tenants with dogs face disadvantages in the rental market. Still, little is known about how dog owners navigate rental markets, nor how landlords and property managers perceive dogs and other pets. This case study reports on in-depth interviews with younger tenants with dogs and on open-ended survey responses from landlords and property managers. In their housing searches, tenants with dogs reported feeling powerless in negotiations and feeling discriminated against. They described settling for substandard properties, often located in less desirable neighborhoods. Also, some said they felt obliged to stay put in these rentals, given how difficult it had been to find a place that would accommodate their dogs. Meanwhile, landlords and property managers indicated that listings advertised as “pet-friendly” tend to receive more applicants than listings in which pets are prohibited. Suggestions for improvement included meeting pets prior to signing the lease; getting everything in writing; steering clear from furnished units; charging utilities to tenants; and speeding up the pet approval process when dealing with condominium boards. These suggestions offer implications for future research, partnerships, and policy options to improve the prospects of pets and their people in rental housing.

Concepts: Property, Real estate, Lease, Renting, Landlord, Leasehold estate, Rental agreement, Leasing


Ethnic and gender discrimination in a variety of markets has been documented in several populations. We conducted an online field experiment to examine ethnic and gender discrimination in the private rental housing market in Finland. We sent 1459 inquiries regarding 800 apartments. We compared responses to standardized apartment inquiries including fictive Arabic-sounding, Finnish-sounding or Swedish-sounding female or male names. We found evidence of discrimination against Arabic-sounding names and male names. Inquiries including Arabic-sounding male names had the lowest probability of receiving a response, receiving a response to about 16% of the inquiries made, while Finnish-sounding female names received a response to 42% of the inquires. We did not find any evidence of the landlord’s gender being associated with the discrimination pattern. The findings suggest that both ethnic and gender discrimination occur in the private rental housing market in Finland.

Concepts: Male, Gender, Sexism, Real estate, Apartment, Renting, Landlord, Rental agreement


There is conflicting evidence about whether living with pets results in better mental and physical health outcomes, with the majority of the empirical research evidence being inconclusive due to methodological limitations. We briefly review the research evidence, including the hypothesized mechanisms through which pet ownership may influence health outcomes. This study examines how pet and non-pet owners differ across a variety of socio-demographic and health measures, which has implications for the proper interpretation of a large number of correlational studies that attempt to draw causal attributions. We use a large, population-based survey from California administered in 2003 (n = 42,044) and find that pet owners and non-pet owners differ across many traits, including gender, age, race/ethnicity, living arrangements, and income. We include a discussion about how the factors associated with the selection into the pet ownership group are related to a range of mental and physical health outcomes. Finally, we provide guidance on how to properly model the effects of pet ownership on health to accurately estimate this relationship in the general population.

Concepts: Scientific method, Empiricism, Interpretation, Ownership, Empirical research, Pet, Real estate, Cadastre


This article shows that a simple monetary incentive can dramatically reduce electric energy consumption (EEC) in the residential sector and simultaneously achieve a more desirable allocation of EEC costs. The analyses are based on data from a policy experiment conducted in 2011 and 2012 by a private housing company in about 1,800 apartments. Roughly 800 of the tenants (treatment group) were subject to a change from having unlimited EEC included in their rent to having to pay the market price for their own EEC. This change was achieved by installing EEC meters in each apartment. Tenants in the other 1,000 apartments (control group) experienced no policy change and were subject to apartment-level billing and metering during the entire study period. Using a quasiexperimental research design and daily data on EEC from 2007 to 2015, we estimate that apartment-level billing and metering permanently reduce EEC by about 25%. Moreover, we show that households reduce EEC immediately after being informed that they will be billed for EEC, the reduction is larger when the production cost is higher, and the reduction in EEC comes almost exclusively from households with very high EEC before the policy change. Finally, we show that apartment-level billing and metering are cost-effective, with a cost per reduced kilowatt hour of US$0.01, and for each invested dollar, the social value of reductions in air pollution, including CO2 emissions, is $2.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Carbon dioxide, Electrochemistry, Real estate, Apartment, Renting, Kilowatt hour, Rental agreement


We examined associations of several health outcomes with green and conventional low-income housing, where the prevalence of morbidities and environmental pollutants is elevated.

Concepts: Health insurance, Disease, Environment, Pollution, Environmentalism, Real estate, Environmental movement


We evaluated population size and factors influencing environmental justice near oil and gas (O&G) wells. We mapped nearest O&G well to residential properties to evaluate population size, temporal relationships between housing and O&G development, and 2012 housing market value distributions in three major Colorado O&G basins. We reviewed land use, building, real estate, and state O&G regulations to evaluate distributive and participatory justice. We found that by 2012 at least 378,000 Coloradans lived within 1-mile of an active O&G well, and this population was growing at a faster rate than the overall population. In the Denver Julesburg and San Juan basins, which experienced substantial O&G development prior to 2000, we observed a larger proportion of lower value homes within 500 feet of an O&G well and that most O&G wells predated houses. In the Piceance Basin, which had not experienced substantial prior O&G development, we observed a larger proportion of high value homes within 500 feet of an O&G well and that most houses predated O&G wells. We observed economic, rural, participatory, and/or distributive injustices that could contribute to health risk vulnerabilities in populations near O&G wells. We encourage policy makers to consider measures to reduce these injustices.

Concepts: Population, Population ecology, Rural area, Virtue, Justice, Real estate, Distributive justice