42 research outputs found

    Money makes the world go round ... about the necessity of nonlinear techniques in interest rate forecasting

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    One of the key variables for a bank's management is the development of the "risk-free interest rate", which is the reference for all bond and loan rates as well as an indicator for the state of the economy and therefore the bank"s future perspectives. Turning towards long-term analysis, the risk-free rate is usually supposed to be the return of a superior-rated government bond (in most cases the return of the German 10-year Government Bond). Due to the importance of this risk-free rate, nearly all large economic and financial institutions deal with the analysis of its future development. In this paper we try to find out whether modelling non-linear relationships between variables can enhance forecast ability. We apply multi-layer perceptrons (MLP) as non-linear modelling tool beside an error correction model and a basic structural model with ARMA terms. Using seasonally unadjusted monthly data from 1960-2003, we forecast the interest rate for a two year hold-out sample. The obtained results give evidence of the underlying non-linearity of the problem. The MLP outperform the classical tools with regard to different error measures.Neural Networks, Interest Rate Forecasting

    Small Sample Properties of Maximum Likelihood Versus Generalized Method of Moments Based Tests for Spatially Autocorrelated Errors

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    This paper undertakes a Monte Carlo study to compare MLE-based and GMM-based tests regarding the spatial autocorrelation coefficient of the error term in a Cliff and Ord type model. The main finding is that a Wald-test based on GMM estimation as derived by Kelejian and Prucha (2005a) performs surprisingly well. Our Monte Carlo study indicates that the GMM Wald-test is correctly sized even in small samples and exhibits the same power as their MLE-based counterparts. Since GMM estimates are much easier to calculate, the GMM Wald-test is recommended for applied researches.spatial autocorrelation, hypothesis tests, Monte Carlo studies, maximum likelihood estimation, generalized method of moments

    Smanjenje razlike u financiranju kroz poticaj: Evaluacija u─Źinaka bespovratnih sredstava za ┼żene poduzetnice

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    Several recent papers draw attention to a lack of rigorous research on public policies supporting women entrepreneursÔÇÖ competitiveness. This paper evaluates the effect of small business development gender specific matching grants using a quasi-experimental approach. The grants have a positive effect on firm survival, as well as positive effects on obtaining bank loans, turnover, value added, employment, and total factor productivity. Heterogeneous treatment effects show that the grants increase the chance of young women entrepreneursÔÇÖ firm survival and are even more effective for firms owned by mature women. Cost-benefit analysis estimates an increase in value added, which outweighs scheme-induced costs by 80% in the short-run and 170% in the long run.Nekoliko recentnih istra┼żivanja skre─çe pozornost na nedostatak analiza utjecaja javnih politika koje poti─Źu konkurentnost poduze─ça u vlasni┼ítvu ┼żena. Ovo istra┼żivanje procjenjuje u─Źinak javnog financiranja u obliku manjih bespovratnih potpora namijenjenih isklju─Źivo ┼żenama poduzetnicama. Rezultati ukazuju na pozitivan utjecaj bespovratnih potpora na pre┼żivljavanje poduze─ça, kao i pozitivne u─Źinke na dobivanje bankovnih kredita te pove─çanje poslovnih prihoda, dodane vrijednosti, zaposlenosti i ukupne faktorske produktivnosti. Heterogeni u─Źinci ukazuju na ve─çu vjerojatnost pre┼żivljavanja poduze─ça u vlasni┼ítvu mla─Ĺih ┼żena, dok u─Źinci na poduze─ça u vlasni┼ítvu starijih ┼żena poduzetnica ukazuju na ekonomski zna─Źajnije pozitivne efekte. Analiza tro┼íkova i koristi u kratkom roku procjenjuje 80% vi┼íe stvorene dodane vrijednosti od tro┼íkova uzrokovanih potporom, dok se u dugom roku procjenjuje 170% vi┼íe stvorene dodane vrijednosti od tro┼íkova uzrokovanih potporom

    Smanjenje razlike u financiranju kroz poticaj: Evaluacija u─Źinaka bespovratnih sredstava za ┼żene poduzetnice

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    Several recent papers draw attention to a lack of rigorous research on public policies supporting women entrepreneursÔÇÖ competitiveness. This paper evaluates the effect of small business development gender specific matching grants using a quasi-experimental approach. The grants have a positive effect on firm survival, as well as positive effects on obtaining bank loans, turnover, value added, employment, and total factor productivity. Heterogeneous treatment effects show that the grants increase the chance of young women entrepreneursÔÇÖ firm survival and are even more effective for firms owned by mature women. Cost-benefit analysis estimates an increase in value added, which outweighs scheme-induced costs by 80% in the short-run and 170% in the long run.Nekoliko recentnih istra┼żivanja skre─çe pozornost na nedostatak analiza utjecaja javnih politika koje poti─Źu konkurentnost poduze─ça u vlasni┼ítvu ┼żena. Ovo istra┼żivanje procjenjuje u─Źinak javnog financiranja u obliku manjih bespovratnih potpora namijenjenih isklju─Źivo ┼żenama poduzetnicama. Rezultati ukazuju na pozitivan utjecaj bespovratnih potpora na pre┼żivljavanje poduze─ça, kao i pozitivne u─Źinke na dobivanje bankovnih kredita te pove─çanje poslovnih prihoda, dodane vrijednosti, zaposlenosti i ukupne faktorske produktivnosti. Heterogeni u─Źinci ukazuju na ve─çu vjerojatnost pre┼żivljavanja poduze─ça u vlasni┼ítvu mla─Ĺih ┼żena, dok u─Źinci na poduze─ça u vlasni┼ítvu starijih ┼żena poduzetnica ukazuju na ekonomski zna─Źajnije pozitivne efekte. Analiza tro┼íkova i koristi u kratkom roku procjenjuje 80% vi┼íe stvorene dodane vrijednosti od tro┼íkova uzrokovanih potporom, dok se u dugom roku procjenjuje 170% vi┼íe stvorene dodane vrijednosti od tro┼íkova uzrokovanih potporom

    are interest groups different in the factors determining landscape preferences

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    In the last decades, rural landscape in Europe has evolved from an agricultural by-product to an important public good. This development creates not only new challenges to farming practices, it also makes participation and public involvement an indispensable tool for sustainable landscape planning. This is especially true for many European mountain regions, where tourism represents an important source of income and conflicts between locals' and tourists' interests should be avoided. In our study, we analyze whether discrepancies in the perception of the Alpine landscape can be located between locals and tourists and, if these differences exist, in which aspects these two groups are differing. A model employing three general factors able to describe landscape preferences regardless of the personal background is suggested and validated by confirmatory factor analysis. Our major finding shows that an attractive landscape for tourists does not have to be contradictory to a landscape that supports a high living quality for locals. Compromises in landscape planning between locals' and tourists' requirements seem often not to be necessary as they, generally, do not differ in the way they experience and assess the landscape

    A simple biodiversity assessment scheme supporting nature-friendly farm management

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    Farmers are important actors for regional development and biodiversity protection. Agri-environment-climate measures (AECM) are therefore a central tool of the European Union to support its biodiversity conservation policy. AECM generally reward farmers for fulfilling predefined management actions or avoiding specific practices. In contrast, result oriented AECM are intended to reward farmers for the outcome of nature friendly management practices. This approach gives more flexibility in management and hence promotes farmers engagement and autonomy. Besides educational activities and agricultural advisory services farmers need user friendly tools to assess biodiversity in order to meet result oriented AECM. Thus, we present a biodiversity assessment scheme for farmland using a set of indicators, which covers different aspects of biodiversity (flower colour index, butterfly abundance, landscape structuring degree, patch diversity index, aggregated biodiversity index) and can be applied at different spatial scales. The assessment scheme is applied on 44 farms in five countries (France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and Austria). To evaluate its appropriateness the relationship between the indicators and land-use intensity and plant species richness is investigated. Grasslands with low land-use intensity are more colourful grasslands, have significantly more butterflies and a higher aggregated biodiversity index than moderately and intensively used grasslands. The influence of management intensity on the landscape structuring degree is not significant. All indicators correlate with plant species richness at all spatial scales. The proposed assessment scheme serves as a tool for the detection of differences in biodiversity resulting from land-use practices, and can assist the monitoring of ROMs

    Longitudinal ventricular cerebrospinal fluid profile in patients with spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage

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    BackgroundSpontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a severe neurological disease that frequently requires placement of external ventricular drainage (EVD). Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) obtained via the drain is used to detect potential complications of SAH.ObjectiveThis study aimed to describe the longitudinal profile of routine CSF parameters in patients with SAH and to identify associations with neurological complications.MethodsA total of thirty-three patients with spontaneous SAH who required an EVD and had at least three consecutive CSF samples collected over a period of more than 7 days were included in this study.ResultsA median of 6 longitudinally collected CSF samples per patient were available within 1ÔÇô22 days after SAH onset. Overall, red blood cells (RBC) steadily decreased over time, whereas white blood cells (WBC) and total protein (TP) increased until days 6 and 13, respectively, and decreased thereafter. The estimated decay rates of RBC, WBC, and TP were 28, 22, and 6% per day. Distinct CSF patterns over time were linked to known complications after SAH. Patients with rebleeding showed increased RBC, TP, and phagocytosing cells compared to patients without re-bleeding. For ventriculitis, an elevated cell index with a higher proportion of granulocytes was characteristic. CSF of patients with delayed cerebral ischemia showed increased RBC and WBC compared to patients without DCI. Early CSF WBC and cell index were predictive for the occurrence of DCI and ventriculitis later during the disease course. The amount of daily CSF drainage via EVD had no impact on routine CSF parameters.ConclusionLongitudinal CSF characteristics are associated with SAH-related complications

    Climate change affects vegetation differently on siliceous and calcareous summits of the European Alps

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    The alpine life zone is expected to undergo major changes with ongoing climate change. While an increase of plant species richness on mountain summits has generally been found, competitive displacement may result in the long term. Here, we explore how species richness and surface cover types (vascular plants, litter, bare ground, scree and rock) changed over time on different bedrocks on summits of the European Alps. We focus on how species richness and turnover (new and lost species) depended on the density of existing vegetation, namely vascular plant cover. We analyzed permanent plots (1 x 1 m) in each cardinal direction on 24 summits (24 x 4 x 4), with always four summits distributed along elevation gradients in each of six regions (three siliceous, three calcareous) across the European Alps. Mean summer temperatures derived from downscaled climate data increased synchronously over the past 30 years in all six regions. During the investigated 14 years, vascular plant cover decreased on siliceous bedrock, coupled with an increase in litter, and it marginally increased on higher calcareous summits. Species richness showed a unimodal relationship with vascular plant cover. Richness increased over time on siliceous bedrock but slightly decreased on calcareous bedrock due to losses in plots with high plant cover. Our analyses suggest contrasting and complex processes on siliceous versus calcareous summits in the European Alps. The unimodal richness-cover relationship and species losses at high plant cover suggest competition as a driver for vegetation change on alpine summits

    Impact of Disease-Modifying Treatments on the Longitudinal Evolution of Anti-JCV Antibody Index in Multiple Sclerosis

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    Background: Risk of natalizumab-related progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy is associated with the presence of anti-JC-virus (JCV) antibodies.Objective: To investigate the impact of disease-modifying treatments (DMT) on the longitudinal evolution of anti-JCV antibody index.Methods: Patients with multiple sclerosis who had serum sampling at intervals of 6 ┬▒ 3 months over up to 6 years and who either started DMT (interferon-╬▓, glatiramer acetate or natalizumab) during the observation period with at least one serum sample available before and after treatment initiation or received no DMT during the observation period were included. Anti-JCV antibody serological status and index were determined by 2-step second-generation anti-JCV antibody assay.Results: A total of 89 patients were followed for a median time of 55.2 months. Of those, 62 (69.7%) started DMT and 27 (30.3%) were without therapy during the observation period. Variation of longitudinal anti-JCV antibody index ranged from 9 to 15% and was similar in patients with and without DMT. Applying a mixed model considering the combined effects of treatment and time as well as individual heterogeneity did not show a significant change of anti-JCV antibody index by the start of treatment with interferon-╬▓, glatiramer acetate, or natalizumab.Conclusion: Evaluated DMTs do not impact longitudinal anti-JCV antibody index evolution

    Vela Vellupillai, K.: Computability, Complexity and Constructivity in Economic Analysis

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