723 research outputs found

    The Labour Market Mobility of Polish Migrants: A Comparative Study of Three Regions in South Wales, UK

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    Since Polish migrants began entering the UK labour market in the post-accession period, there has been a significant amount of case study research focusing on the impact of this large migrant group on the UK economy. However, ten years after enlargement, there is still insufficient information regarding the labour market mobility of Polish migrants residing in the UK for the longer term. The available research on this topic is largely concentrated in urban settings such as London or Birmingham, and does not necessarily capture the same patterns of labour market mobility as in non-urban settings. Using qualitative data collected in three case study locations – urban, semi-urban and rural – in the South Wales region from 2008–2012, this article has two main aims. First, given the proximity of the case study locations, the article highlights the diversity of the Polish migrant characteristics through the samples used. Second, using trajectories created from the data, this article compares the variations among the labour market movements of the Polish migrants in each sample to determine what characteristics influence labour market ascent. Through this comparative trajectory analysis, the findings from this article point to the relative English language competency of migrants as the primary catalyst for progression in the Welsh labour market across all three case study regions. The secondary catalyst, which is intertwined with the first, is the composition of the migrants’ social networks, which enable, or in some cases disable, labour market progression. These findings have significant implications in the national and in the supranational policy sphere regarding the employment of migrants as well as their potential for cultural integration in the future

    Using grounded theory to examine people's attitudes toward how animals are used

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    This study uses qualitative methodology to examine why people have different attitudes toward different types of nonhuman animal use. Seventeen participants took part in a semi-structured interview. The study used Grounded Theory to analyze the interviews and developed a model that consists of 4 major themes: (a) “attitudes toward animals, ” (b) “knowledge of animal use procedures, ” (c) “perceptions of choice,” and (d) “cost-benefit analysis. ” The findings illustrate that cognitive processing, characteristics of the species of animal being used, and the type of animal use can all influence attitudes toward animal use. Because previous research has focused on participant variables such as age and gender to explain variance in attitudes toward animal use (Furnham & Pinder, 1990; Kellert & Berry, 1981) and measured attitudes toward animal use in general (rather than distinguishing between different types of use) (Armstrong & Hutchins, 1996), these findings can add to knowledge of people’s views on animal use. This paper discusses how such views may be justified and maintained. The present study used in-depth interviews that allowed participants to explore their views with greater freedom than is possible in questionnaire studies, in order to address why people have different views toward different types of nonhuman animal use. “Animal use ” refers to a range of practices that involv

    Distribution record of Tantilla alticola Boulenger, 1903 (Squamata: Colubridae) in Coclé Province, Republic of Panama

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    A single specimen of Tantilla alticola was collected from Parque Nacional G. D. Omar Torrijos Herrera of Coclé Province, Republic of Panama. This record fills in a gap in the distribution for this species within the cloud forests of Central America

    The loneliness of the hybrid worker

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    Unprecedented levels of hybrid work seem likely to persist beyond the pandemic conditions that revolutionized employers' attitudes toward flexible working arrangements. Even as offices have reopened, many employees are loath to give up the benefits of working from home at least some of the time. But some two years into what has been an unplanned global experiment in remote work, the costs of that approach are coming into sharper focus. While employees appreciate saving time, shedding the stress of commuting, and having more flexibility to balance work and personal demands, remote work has downsides that go beyond domestic distractions and blurred work-life boundaries. In particular, the quality, frequency, and nature of interactions change when colleagues are physically remote and there is less dynamic, spontaneous communication. Here, Knight et al discuss the differences of employee' experiences working at home versus in the company workplace and indicates that in-office interactions--especially with colleagues--can indeed improve employees' job satisfaction and reduce their feelings of loneliness, even when working at home

    An empirical investigation of pricing and competition in the UK credit card market

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    The UK credit card market has attracted significant interest since the late 1990s, partly because of the strong growth it has enjoyed and also because of the aggressive behaviour of a number of new entrants. The credit card market consists of two very different businesses: card issuance - the "consumer-end", which provides credit cards and bears the credit risk of the customer and merchant acquiring, and the "backroom business", which recruits outlets to accept credit cards and undertakes the processing of transactions. The two businesses are distinct and in the UK only a small number of firms operate within each segment. This thesis concentrates on issues connect to the card issuance business. Credit card issuers bundle a wide range of characteristics into their product offering. Whilst this allows issuers to differentiate their product and better satisfy consumers who have heterogeneous preferences, the Office of Fair Trading has suggested that the bundling of characteristics makes informed choice problematic because consumers do not know the price of specific credit card characteristics. A hedonic pricing model with a two-level nested error component structure is estimated. It is found that individuals who hold either a student or an initial credit card are charged a risk premium by issuers. In addition, consumers must pay higher prices to hold credit cards with certain characteristics such as introductory balance transfer offers, an annual fee, a longer than average interest free period, particular loyalty schemes, or donate money to charities. The research undertaken differentiates itself from the existing literature by testing for heterogeneities in the interest rate transmission mechanism by examining how retail credit card rates in the UK respond to changes in the Bank of England's base rate. Error-correction models are estimated to analyze long-run pass-through; long-run mark-up and the short-run spend of adjustment. A number of theoretical arguments have been put forward to explain why retail rate responses might be sluggish. These include tacit collusion between financial institutions, sunk/menu costs and dynamic price discrimination which relies on consumer inertia. Retail credit card rates are indeed found to be sticky and overshooting is commonplace. However, the adjustment process was found to vary considerably between depending upon card issuer and card type. Asymmetries in interest rates have attracted considerable attention in the financial literature, thus the interest rate transmission mechanism is investigated further by examining sign asymmetry. No evidence of asymmetric pricing was found, which suggests that credit card issuers respond to base rate increases and decreases at the same speed. The competitive price setting behaviour of UK credit card issuers is empirically analysed. A discrete choice framework is used to look for evidence of price leadership, or whether some banks systematically react to movements in input costs more quickly than other banks. No evidence is found to suggest that one issuer dominates the market and acts as a price leader or that different issuers are responsible for leading price movements in different directions. There is no general pattern of price (i.e. interest rate) leadership amongst leading issuers in the UK, however, the empirical findings do however suggest that issuers do interact with each other and that some leader follower behaviour is observed at the portfolio level. Naturally, the work undertaken suggests some policy implications for regulators, consumer bodies and government agencies. Given that approximately 70 percent of all active accounts incur interest charges every month, consumers need to be provided with clear information and to be educated further in the benefits of shopping around. It is clear that the money transmission mechanism does not impact on credit card interest rates as well as it could do. Regulatory efforts are therefore required to help reduce interest rates in the light of a decrease in the base rate, thus helping credit card revolvers to decrease their debt burden

    An empirical investigation of pricing and competition in the UK credit card market

    Get PDF
    The UK credit card market has attracted significant interest since the late 1990s, partly because of the strong growth it has enjoyed and also because of the aggressive behaviour of a number of new entrants. The credit card market consists of two very different businesses: card issuance - the "consumer-end", which provides credit cards and bears the credit risk of the customer and merchant acquiring, and the "backroom business", which recruits outlets to accept credit cards and undertakes the processing of transactions. The two businesses are distinct and in the UK only a small number of firms operate within each segment. This thesis concentrates on issues connect to the card issuance business. Credit card issuers bundle a wide range of characteristics into their product offering. Whilst this allows issuers to differentiate their product and better satisfy consumers who have heterogeneous preferences, the Office of Fair Trading has suggested that the bundling of characteristics makes informed choice problematic because consumers do not know the price of specific credit card characteristics. A hedonic pricing model with a two-level nested error component structure is estimated. It is found that individuals who hold either a student or an initial credit card are charged a risk premium by issuers. In addition, consumers must pay higher prices to hold credit cards with certain characteristics such as introductory balance transfer offers, an annual fee, a longer than average interest free period, particular loyalty schemes, or donate money to charities. The research undertaken differentiates itself from the existing literature by testing for heterogeneities in the interest rate transmission mechanism by examining how retail credit card rates in the UK respond to changes in the Bank of England's base rate. Error-correction models are estimated to analyze long-run pass-through; long-run mark-up and the short-run spend of adjustment. A number of theoretical arguments have been put forward to explain why retail rate responses might be sluggish. These include tacit collusion between financial institutions, sunk/menu costs and dynamic price discrimination which relies on consumer inertia. Retail credit card rates are indeed found to be sticky and overshooting is commonplace. However, the adjustment process was found to vary considerably between depending upon card issuer and card type. Asymmetries in interest rates have attracted considerable attention in the financial literature, thus the interest rate transmission mechanism is investigated further by examining sign asymmetry. No evidence of asymmetric pricing was found, which suggests that credit card issuers respond to base rate increases and decreases at the same speed. The competitive price setting behaviour of UK credit card issuers is empirically analysed. A discrete choice framework is used to look for evidence of price leadership, or whether some banks systematically react to movements in input costs more quickly than other banks. No evidence is found to suggest that one issuer dominates the market and acts as a price leader or that different issuers are responsible for leading price movements in different directions. There is no general pattern of price (i.e. interest rate) leadership amongst leading issuers in the UK, however, the empirical findings do however suggest that issuers do interact with each other and that some leader follower behaviour is observed at the portfolio level. Naturally, the work undertaken suggests some policy implications for regulators, consumer bodies and government agencies. Given that approximately 70 percent of all active accounts incur interest charges every month, consumers need to be provided with clear information and to be educated further in the benefits of shopping around. It is clear that the money transmission mechanism does not impact on credit card interest rates as well as it could do. Regulatory efforts are therefore required to help reduce interest rates in the light of a decrease in the base rate, thus helping credit card revolvers to decrease their debt burden

    Occurrence of lactational mastitis and medical management: a prospective cohort study in Glasgow

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    This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.Background Lactational mastitis is a painful, debilitating condition that if inappropriately managed, may lead women to discontinue breastfeeding prematurely. The aim of this paper is to report the incidence of mastitis in the first six months postpartum in a Scottish population, its impact on breastfeeding duration and to describe the type and appropriateness of the support and management received by affected women from health professionals. Methods A longitudinal study of 420 breastfeeding women was undertaken in Glasgow in 2004/05. Participants were recruited and completed a baseline questionnaire before discharge from hospital. Cases of mastitis were reported either directly to the researchers or were detected during regular follow-up telephone interviews at weeks 3, 8, 18 and 26. Women experiencing mastitis provided further information of their symptoms and the management and advice they received from health professionals. Results In total, 74 women (18%) experienced at least one episode of mastitis. More than one half of initial episodes (53%) occurred within the first four weeks postpartum. One in ten women (6/57) were inappropriately advised to either stop breastfeeding from the affected breast or to discontinue breastfeeding altogether. Conclusion Approximately one in six women is likely to experience one or more episodes of mastitis whilst breastfeeding. A small but clinically important proportion of women continue to receive inappropriate management advice from health professionals which, if followed, could lead them to unnecessarily deprive their infants prematurely of the known nutritional and immunological benefits of breast milk
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