903 research outputs found

    Public viewpoints on new non-invasive prenatal genetic tests.

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    types: Journal ArticlePrenatal screening programmes have been critiqued for their routine implementation according to clinical rationale without public debate. A new approach, non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD), promises diagnosis of fetal genetic disorders from a sample of maternal blood without the miscarriage risk of current invasive prenatal tests (e.g. amniocentesis). Little research has investigated the attitudes of wider publics to NIPD. This study used Q-methodology, which combines factor analysis with qualitative comments, to identify four distinct "viewpoints" amongst 71 UK men and women: 1. NIPD as a new tool in the ongoing societal discrimination against the disabled; 2. NIPD as a positive clinical application offering peace of mind in pregnancy; 3. NIPD as a medical option justified for severe disorders only; and 4. NIPD as a valid expansion of personal choice. Concerns included the "trivialisation of testing" and the implications of commercial/direct-to-consumer tests. Q-methodology has considerable potential to identify viewpoints and frame public debate about new technologies.Economic and Social Research Counci

    Deriving the new quantity equation: an approach for a closed and an open economy

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    An archival case study : revisiting the life and political economy of Lauchlin Currie

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    This paper forms part of a wider project to show the significance of archival material on distinguished economists, in this case Lauchlin Currie (1902-93), who studied and taught at Harvard before entering government service at the US Treasury and Federal Reserve Board as the intellectual leader of Roosevelt's New Deal, 1934-39, as FDR's White House economic adviser in peace and war, 1939-45, and as a post-war development economist. It discusses the uses made of the written and oral material available when the author was writing his intellectual biography of Currie (Duke University Press 1990) while Currie was still alive, and the significance of the material that has come to light after Currie's death

    Fictitious Capital and Crises

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    This paper is concerned with chapters 25-35 of Part V, The Division of Profit into Interest and Profit of Enterprise, of Volume 3 of Capital. These chapters may be properly grouped in an ideal Part to be possibly titled "Credit and Crises, or Money Capital and Fictitious Capital" and is referred to in this paper as 'the unidentified Part'. This Part should be strictly considered as a follow-up of Part IV, The Transformation of Commodity Capital and Money Capital into Commodity-Dealing Capital and Money-Dealing Capital (Merchant's Capital) in the sense that while the former deals with the role played by merchant's capital, and particularly by money-dealing capital, the latter deals with the obstruction or perversion inflicted on this role by money capital being turned into fictitious capital by an improper use of credit. The paper is structured in three ideal sections. The aim of the first section is to clear the debris of 'the unidentified Part' and to reconstruct Marx's own thinking about the nature and role of credit and of fictitious capital in relation to the concept of merchant's capital and to the phenomenon of crises. On the contrary, the second section, which is mostly focused on different forms versus different sets of crises, highlights some contradictions in Marx's unsystematic treatment of the relations between financial and real crises. The third section is derived from the arguments set out in the previous two sections. Its aim is to assess Marx's similarity with Keynes on the matter of 'money as money' and of financial crises. Its conclusion (which is also the conclusion of the paper) is that this similarity, however strong with regard to the role of money as a store of value, is bound to collapse if Marx's law of the falling rate of profit is believed to be true. For in this case the fictitious-capital theory of crises developed in 'the unidentified Part' acquires a secondary importance while financial crises come to be viewed as a typical effect, rather than as the cause, of real crises

    Extinction, Persistence, and Evolution

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    Extinction can occur for many reasons. We have a closer look at the most basic form, extinction of populations with stable but insufficient reproduction. Then we move on to competing populations and evolutionary suicide

    Financial Factors in the Economics of Capitalism

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    Journal of Financial Services Research, Vol 9, No. 3-4, 197-208

    Sources of Financial Fragility: Financial Factors in the Economics of Capitalism

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    Originally, paper prepared for the conference, Coping with Financial Fragility: A Global Perspective, 7-9 September 1994, Maasdricht. (sic) Also included are handwritten and word processed pages showing original drafts of the paper

    Risk, Unexpected Uncertainty, and Estimation Uncertainty: Bayesian Learning in Unstable Settings

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    Recently, evidence has emerged that humans approach learning using Bayesian updating rather than (model-free) reinforcement algorithms in a six-arm restless bandit problem. Here, we investigate what this implies for human appreciation of uncertainty. In our task, a Bayesian learner distinguishes three equally salient levels of uncertainty. First, the Bayesian perceives irreducible uncertainty or risk: even knowing the payoff probabilities of a given arm, the outcome remains uncertain. Second, there is (parameter) estimation uncertainty or ambiguity: payoff probabilities are unknown and need to be estimated. Third, the outcome probabilities of the arms change: the sudden jumps are referred to as unexpected uncertainty. We document how the three levels of uncertainty evolved during the course of our experiment and how it affected the learning rate. We then zoom in on estimation uncertainty, which has been suggested to be a driving force in exploration, in spite of evidence of widespread aversion to ambiguity. Our data corroborate the latter. We discuss neural evidence that foreshadowed the ability of humans to distinguish between the three levels of uncertainty. Finally, we investigate the boundaries of human capacity to implement Bayesian learning. We repeat the experiment with different instructions, reflecting varying levels of structural uncertainty. Under this fourth notion of uncertainty, choices were no better explained by Bayesian updating than by (model-free) reinforcement learning. Exit questionnaires revealed that participants remained unaware of the presence of unexpected uncertainty and failed to acquire the right model with which to implement Bayesian updating
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