310 research outputs found

    Product Market Competition and Lobbying Coordination in the U.S. Mobile Telecommunications Industry

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    This paper empirically investigates market behavior and firms┬┤ lobbying in a unified structural setup. In a sequential game, where firms lobby for regulation before they compete in the product market, we derive a destable measure of lobbying coordination. Applying the setting to the early U.S. cellular services industry, we find that lobbying expenditures, as measured by campaign contributions, and market conduct were consistent with a one-shot Nash equilibrium and that price caps were binding on average. Furthermore, campaign contributions from cellular firms effectively lowered the burden of the price caps and reduced production costs.

    Product Market Competition and Lobbying Coordination in the U.S. Mobile Telecommunications Industry

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    This paper empirically investigates market behavior and firmsÔÇÖ lobbying in a unified structural setup. In a sequential game, where firms lobby for regulation before they compete in the product market, we derive a testable measure of lobbying coordination. Applying the setting to the early U.S. cellular services industry, we find that lobbying expenditures, as measured by campaign contributions, and market conduct were consistent with a one-shot Nash equilibrium and that price caps were binding on average. Furthermore, campaign contributions from cellular firms effectively lowered the burden of the price caps and reduced production costs. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Produktmarktwettbewerb und Koordination im Lobbying in der U.S. Mobilfunkindustrie) Dieses Paper untersucht Marktverhalten und Lobbying durch Unternehmen empirisch in einem vereinheitlichten strukturellen Ansatz. In einem sequentiellen Spiel, wo die Firmen f├╝r Regulierung Lobbyismus betreiben, bevor sie im Produktmarkt konkurrieren, leiten wir ein testbares Ma├č f├╝r Lobbying- Koordination her. In einer Anwendung auf den fr├╝hen US Mobilfunkmarkt zeigen wir, dass Marktverhalten und Lobbying-Ausgaben (gemessen als Parteispenden) mit einem einfachen Nashgleichgewicht vereinbar sind und die Preisobergrenzen im Durchschnitt binden. Au├čerdem waren Parteispenden offenbar ein effektives Mittel um die Preisgrenzen zu lockern und kostenbezogene Regulierung abzumildern.Collusion, Lobbying, Price Cap, Regulation, Rent-Seeking, Interest, Groups, Telecommunication

    Are product innovation and flexible technology complements?

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    "This paper revises the interdependence between flexible technology and product innovation in the context of a monopolistic firm. Previous literature argued that flexible machinery reduces the cost of incremental innovation. To take interactions beyond the fixed cost into account, we introduce a 2-period optimization model where technology, innovation and price are chosen first, then stochastic demand realizes and, finally, production is carried out. We find that flexibility increases the expected second period gain from incremental innovation in some but not all cases. Thus, the overall profit function need not be supermodular although fixed cost complementarity might be substantial. Empirical evidence from the German mechanical engineering industry suggests that fixed costs complementarity indeed does not outweigh potential adverse effects in expected operational profits." (author's abstract)"Der vorliegende Beitrag ├╝berpr├╝ft den Zusammenhang zwischen flexibler Technologie und Produktinnovation im Kontext des Monopols. Die bisherige Forschungsliteratur betonte die Eigenschaft flexibler Produktionstechnologie die Kosten f├╝r zus├Ątzliche Innovation zu senken. Um Interaktionen ├╝ber die Fixkosten hinaus zu ber├╝cksichtigen, analysieren wir ein Optimierungsmodell ├╝ber zwei Perioden, in welchem zuerst die Technologie, Innovation und Preis gew├Ąhlt werden, danach die stochastische Nachfrage eintritt und schlie├člich die Produktion stattfindet. Es zeigt sich, dass Flexibilit├Ąt den erwarteten Gewinn der zweiten Periode aus zus├Ątzlicher Innovation nicht immer steigert. Daher muss die Profitfunktion nicht notwendigerweise supermodular sein, selbst wenn die Komplementarit├Ąt in den Fixkosten erheblich ist. Empirische Belege aus dem deutschen Maschinenbausektor weisen darauf hin, dass die Fixkostenkomplementarit├Ąt tats├Ąchlich nicht ausreicht um potentiell gegenl├Ąufige Effekte aus den erwarteten operativen Gewinnen zu kompensieren." (Autorenreferat

    Market conduct and endogenous lobbying: evidence from the U.S. mobile telecommunications industry

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    "This paper empirically explores the relationship between firms' market behavior and their lobbying activities in a regulated market. In particular, we investigate whether the amount of contributions offered by cellular service providers to fund the campaigns of political parties affected market conduct in the early US mobile telecommunications industry. We structurally estimate market interactions while taking the potential endogeneity of lobbying decisions into account. Our results show that competition was more intense in those states where campaign contributions by the cellular industry have been higher. Furthermore, we reject the hypothesis that lobbying activities can be regarded as exogenous in the study of market conduct." (author's abstract)"Im diesem Beitrag wird der Zusammenhang zwischen dem Unternehmensverhalten in einem regulierten Produktmarkt und Lobbying-Aktivit├Ąten empirisch untersucht. Insbesondere wird analysiert, ob die f├╝r Wahlkampagnezwecke ausgegebenen Parteispenden von US-amerikanischen Mobilfunkunternehmen Ende der achtziger Jahre einen Einfluss auf das Markverhalten hatten. Die Autoren sch├Ątzen ein strukturiertes Produktmarktmodell unter Ber├╝cksichtigung der potentiellen Endogenit├Ąt der Lobbying-Aktivit├Ąten. Die Analyse zeigt, dass der Produktmarktwettbewerb in denjenigen U.S. Staaten intensiver war, in denen die Mobilfunkunternehmen h├Âhere Parteispenden leisteten. Des Weiteren wird die Hypothese, dass die Lobbying-Aktivit├Ąten exogen gegen├╝ber dem Marktverhalten sind, statistisch abgelehnt." (Autorenreferat

    Product market competition and lobbying coordination in the U.S. mobile telecommunications industry

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    "This paper empirically investigates market behavior and firms' lobbying in a unified structural setup. In a sequential game, where firms lobby for regulation before they compete in the product market, we derive a testable measure of lobbying coordination. Applying the setting to the early U.S. cellular services industry, we find that lobbying expenditures, as measured by campaign contributions, and market conduct were consistent with a one-shot Nash equilibrium and that price caps were binding on average. Furthermore, campaign contributions from cellular firms effectively lowered the burden of the price caps and reduced production costs." (author's abstract)"Dieses Paper untersucht Marktverhalten und Lobbying durch Unternehmen empirisch in einem vereinheitlichten strukturellen Ansatz. In einem sequentiellen Spiel, wo die Firmen f├╝r Regulierung Lobbyismus betreiben, bevor sie im Produktmarkt konkurrieren, leiten wir ein testbares Ma├č f├╝r Lobbying-Koordination her. In einer Anwendung auf den fr├╝hen US Mobilfunkmarkt zeigen wir, dass Marktverhalten und Lobbying-Ausgaben (gemessen als Parteispenden) mit einem einfachen Nashgleichgewicht vereinbar sind und die Preisobergrenzen im Durchschnitt binden. Au├čerdem waren Parteispenden offenbar ein effektives Mittel um die Preisgrenzen zu lockern und kostenbezogene Regulierung abzumildern." (Autorenreferat

    Expression of T-Cell Receptor ╬▓-Chain mRNA and Protein in ╬│/╬┤ T-Cells from Euthymic and Athymic Rats: Implications for T-Cell Lineage Divergence

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    The relationship between ╬▒/╬▓ and ╬│/╬┤ T-cell lineages was studied in rats using RT-PCR analysis of TCR╬▓ transcripts in ╬│/╬┤ T-cell hybridomas and an intracellular staining technique to detect TCR╬▓ protein in primary ╬│/╬┤ T-cells. We report the presence of functional TCR╬▓ transcripts in 2/9 ╬│/╬┤ T-cell hybridomas. About 15 % of peripheral ╬│/╬┤ T-cells and thymocytes also express TCR╬▓ protein, giving a minimum estimate for successful Tcrb rearrangement based on ex vivo single cell analysis. In athymic rats, ╬│/╬┤ T-cells expressing intracellular ╬▓ protein are present but at a lower frequency than in euthymic controls, suggesting that in the thymus, more ╬│/╬┤ T-cell precursors pass through a stage where functional ╬▓ rearrangement has occurred than in extrathymic sites. Analysis of TCR expression in purified transitory immature CD4-8+ (iCD8SP) thymocytes and their spontaneously developing CD4+8+ (DP) progeny showed that TCR╬│ mRNA is expressed in iCD8SP cells but not in their immediate DP progeny that reinitiate RAG-1 transcription and commence ╬▒/╬▓TCR expression. We conclude that rat ╬│/╬┤ T cells can separate from the ╬▒/╬▓ lineage after TCR╬▓ expression, but not after entry into the DP compartment

    How the Space Environment Affects Seed Germination and Growth

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    Understanding observed space environment effects on biological organisms such seeds are important in design of long duration space missions, such as to those planned for Mars, where appropriate storage and growth of food resources is essential. Evaluation of the effects of the real and simulated space environment on seed germination and growth in space is the purpose of this research. Preliminary tests of germination rate and growth of radish seeds in a controlled environment have identified statistically significant differences between control samples and seeds flown for 30 days in low earth orbit on the Bion M-1 launch capsule Russian research flight in 2013. Most significantly, average germination of space exposed radish seeds was 2 days less than the 6 days observed for the control seed group. Seed coats of the control group, space-exposed, and vibration-exposed seed were also inspected by LHS and USU students for physical changes. Observed changes in both the space-exposed and vibration-exposed seeds coats included the production of proteins presumably related to defense of the embryo from soil pathogens during seed germination. Previous research by others has shown production of anti-fungal proteins in radish seed coats is initiated by disturbance. Effects to germination rate from ionizing radiation up to 1 kGy were studied. Radiation exposure occurred with a custom biological exposure test chamber designed by Tsukuba students for the USU Materials Physics Group Space Survivability Test (SST) chamber, which is designed to mimic low-earth and geosynchronous orbital environments. * USU STARS! GEAR UP partnership # Partially funded by Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), and University of Tsukub

    CCL2 Expression in Tumor Cells and Tumor-Infiltrating Immune Cells Shows Divergent Prognostic Potential for Bladder Cancer Patients Depending on Lymph Node Stage

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    Bladder cancer (BCa) is the ninth most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide. Although there are several well-established molecular and immunological classifications, markers for tumor cells and immune cells that are associated with prognosis are still needed. The chemokine CC motif ligand 2 (CCL2) could be such a marker. We analyzed the expression of CCL2 by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 168 muscle invasive BCa samples using a tissue microarray. Application of a single cut-off for the staining status of tumor cells (TCs; positive vs. negative) and immune cells (ICs; ÔëĄ6% of ICs vs. >6% of ICs) revealed 57 cases (33.9%) and 70 cases (41.7%) with CCL2-positive TCs or ICs, respectively. IHC results were correlated with clinicopathological and survival data. Positive CCL2 staining in TCs was associated with shorter overall survival (OS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and relapse-free survival (RFS) (p = 0.004, p = 0.036, and p = 0.047; log rank test) and appeared to be an independent prognostic factor for OS (RR = 1.70; p = 0.007; multivariate CoxÔÇÖs regression analysis). In contrast, positive CCL2 staining in the ICs was associated with longer OS, DSS, and RFS (p = 0.032, p = 0.001, and p = 0.001; log rank test) and appeared to be an independent prognostic factor for DSS (RR = 1.77; p = 0.031; multivariate CoxÔÇÖs regression analysis). Most interestingly, after separating the patients according to their lymph node status (N0 vs. N1+2), CCL2 staining in the ICs was differentially associated with prognosis. In the N0 group, CCL2 positivity in the ICs was a positive independent prognostic factor for OS (RR = 1.99; p = 0.014), DSS (RR = 3.17; p = 0.002), and RFS (RR = 3.10; p = 0.002), whereas in the N1+2 group, CCL2 positivity was a negative independent factor for OS (RR = 3.44; p = 0.019)) and RFS (RR = 4.47; p = 0.010; all multivariate CoxÔÇÖs regression analyses). In summary, CCL2 positivity in TCs is a negative prognostic factor for OS, and CCL2 can mark ICs that are differentially associated with prognosis depending on the nodal stage of BCa patients. Therefore, CCL2 staining of TCs and ICs is suggested as a prognostic biomarker for BCa patients

    A small-molecule inhibitor of TRPC5 ion channels suppresses progressive kidney disease in animal models

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    Progressive kidney diseases are often associated with scarring of the kidneyÔÇÖs filtration unit, a condition called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). This scarring is due to loss of podocytes, cells critical for glomerular filtration, and leads to proteinuria and kidney failure. Inherited forms of FSGS are caused by Rac1-activating mutations, and Rac1 induces TRPC5 ion channel activity and cytoskeletal remodeling in podocytes. Whether TRPC5 activity mediates FSGS onset and progression is unknown. We identified a small molecule, AC1903, that specifically blocks TRPC5 channel activity in glomeruli of proteinuric rats. Chronic administration of AC1903 suppressed severe proteinuria and prevented podocyte loss in a transgenic rat model of FSGS. AC1903 also provided therapeutic benefit in a rat model of hypertensive proteinuric kidney disease. These data indicate that TRPC5 activity drives disease and that TRPC5 inhibitors may be valuable for the treatment of progressive kidney diseases.National Institutes of Health (U.S.) (Grant DK095045)National Institutes of Health (U.S.) (Grant DK099465)National Institutes of Health (U.S.) (Grant DK103658)National Institutes of Health (U.S.) (Grant DK083511)National Institutes of Health (U.S.) (Grant DK093746

    Establishing the phenotypic spectrum of ZTTK syndrome by analysis of 52 individuals with variants in SON

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    Zhu-Tokita-Takenouchi-Kim (ZTTK) syndrome, an intellectual disability syndrome first described in 2016, is caused by heterozygous loss-of-function variants in SON. Its encoded protein promotes pre-mRNA splicing of many genes essential for development. Whereas individual phenotypic traits have previously been linked to erroneous splicing of SON target genes, the phenotypic spectrum and the pathogenicity of missense variants have not been further evaluated. We present the phenotypic abnormalities in 52 individuals, including 17 individuals who have not been reported before. In total, loss-of-function variants were detected in 49 individuals (de novo in 47, inheritance unknown in 2), and in 3, a missense variant was observed (2 de novo, 1 inheritance unknown). Phenotypic abnormalities, systematically collected and analyzed in Human Phenotype Ontology, were found in all organ systems. Significant inter-individual phenotypic variability was observed, even in individuals with the same recurrent variant (nÔÇë=ÔÇë13). SON haploinsufficiency was previously shown to lead to downregulation of downstream genes, contributing to specific phenotypic features. Similar functional analysis for one missense variant, however, suggests a different mechanism than for heterozygous loss-of-function. Although small in numbers and while pathogenicity of these variants is not certain, these data allow for speculation whether de novo missense variants cause ZTTK syndrome via another mechanism, or a separate overlapping syndrome. In conclusion, heterozygous loss-of-function variants in SON define a recognizable syndrome, ZTTK, associated with a broad, severe phenotypic spectrum, characterized by a large inter-individual variability. These observations provide essential information for affected individuals, parents, and healthcare professionals to ensure appropriate clinical management
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