13,980 research outputs found

    Using parallel computation to improve Independent Metropolis--Hastings based estimation

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    In this paper, we consider the implications of the fact that parallel raw-power can be exploited by a generic Metropolis--Hastings algorithm if the proposed values are independent. In particular, we present improvements to the independent Metropolis--Hastings algorithm that significantly decrease the variance of any estimator derived from the MCMC output, for a null computing cost since those improvements are based on a fixed number of target density evaluations. Furthermore, the techniques developed in this paper do not jeopardize the Markovian convergence properties of the algorithm, since they are based on the Rao--Blackwell principles of Gelfand and Smith (1990), already exploited in Casella and Robert (1996), Atchade and Perron (2005) and Douc and Robert (2010). We illustrate those improvements both on a toy normal example and on a classical probit regression model, but stress the fact that they are applicable in any case where the independent Metropolis-Hastings is applicable.Comment: 19 pages, 8 figures, to appear in Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistic

    Stuck in Traffic: The Effects of Regional Trade on Human Trafficking

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    Human trafficking represents one negative side affect of an increasingly interconnected, globalized world. What characteristics of regional trade drive bilateral human trafficking flows? Resource dependent states, or states with an economy established primarily through resource exports, interact with more industrialized states to push and pull populations into human trafficking schemes as a byproduct of economic and political linkages. The adverse conditions of resource dependence push populations into trafficking networks while traffickers and trafficking victims are drawn to economic opportunity in more stable regional trade partners. This theory is tested using ordinal logistic and OLS regression, utilizing cross sectional and time series datasets that capture both trafficking flows and state efforts to combat trafficking. The analyses support the theoretical expectation that economic linkage between resource dependent states and industrial states is positively associated with human trafficking rates for both destination and source countries. In conclusion, different causal factors for human trafficking may be at work in source and destination states

    Scientific Revolutions as Events: A Kuhnian Critique of Badiou

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    In this essay, I will attempt a critique of the Badiouan formulation of the event by asking if Badiou’s theory, as formulated in Being and Event, explains the phenomenon of the scientific revolution. While Badiou remains relatively cryptic about the status of science in Being and Event and does not refer to any scientific revolutions explicitly, there are several reasons why it might seem problematic if they are not to be included within his theory of the event. After all, they are called revolutions and the historical narrative surrounding them typically develops, much like the Badiouan event, with the understanding that the scientific revolutions of any given period are foundational for understanding the culture that proceeds from them. In a word, scientific revolutions are taken to be necessary for understanding the structure of the culture responsible for them. Thus it seems like any theory of the event should explain and account for the revolutions of science. In order to test the compatibility of the Badiouan theory of the event with the phenomenon of the scientific revolution I will turn to Thomas Kuhn’s work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and will ultimately conclude that the two works are not reconcilable: the Badiouan theory of the event does not explain or account for scientific revolutions in the way the Kuhn understands them. The two theories are, in fact, structurally opposed in several ways. This has potentially dramatic consequences for Badiou’s theory if two propositions can be established as true: (1) a theory of the event should account for the phenomenon of the scientific revolution and (2) Kuhn offers a better structural explanation of the scientific revolution than Badiou. If these two propositions are true then a fairly significant failure of Badiou’s theory of the event, as it is expressed in Being and Event, is exposed

    Association Between Race/Ethnicity and COVID-19 Disease Outcomes in the United States: A Qualitative Systematic Review of the Literature

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    Background/Objective: As studies have shown disparities in coronavirus disease-19 prevalence and severity, we sought to evaluate differences in outcomes of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection by race/ethnicity. Design: Systematic review Data Source: Studies from PubMed were included. Review methods: Articles published in English language from January 1, 2019 through March 22, 2020. Studies included were observational studies that examined racial or ethnic disparities in SARS-CoV-2 infection outcomes in the United States. One reviewer performed data extraction. Results: Out of a possible 1,944 articles, 99 observational studies (82 individual-level and 17 population-level) were included. Differential rates of hospitalization or otherwise severe illness (as indicated by intensive care unit admission, complications, and/or death) from coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) by race/ethnicity were reported, with many studies indicating higher rates of hospitalization for minority populations (particularly African American individuals) and results more mixed on differences in severe illness. Ecological studies showed associations between population-level proportion of minority residents and greater mortality from COVID-19. There were few studies examining racial differences in pediatric populations. Conclusions: There are disparities in hospitalization for COVID-19, with non-Hispanic black and Hispanic individuals experiencing higher rates. This disparity is not consistently seen in case-fatality among individuals receiving care, suggesting that social and economic inequity, rather than individual biological factors, drive individual-level COVID-19 hospitalization, as well as mortality at the population level

    Editorial Pages and the Marketplace of Ideas: A Quantitative Content Analysis of Three Metropolitan Newspapers

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    This study was conducted to identify the nature of the content devoted to the 2008 presidential election in the editorial pages of three newspapers. The research sought to discover what percentage of the content was specific to the election, whether this election-centered content focused on the campaign or on specific issues, what issues were covered, and the role in which the author was writing. This study used a comparative quantitative content analysis to examine this content appearing during the final three months of the 2008 campaign in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Dallas Morning News, and the San Francisco Chronicle, three major U.S. metropolitan newspapers with regional focus. The results provided insight into whether a marketplace of ideas exists in the editorial pages of the selected newspapers. Analysis of the election-related material revealed that each newspaper devoted a substantial portion of their editorial pages to the election. However, of that election-centered material, the majority was focused on the campaign, or horse race, devoting much less to the discussion of substantive policy issues. The exception was the San Francisco Chronicle, which devoted almost 50% of its election-centered material to substantive issues. Only a handful of issues dominated the issue coverage in each newspaper: money, social issues, and defense/foreign policy. The general format for the editorial pages in each newspaper allowed for only a limited amount of diversity with the role in which an author is writing (i.e. the newspaper\u27s own editorial writers vs. letters to the editor written by citizens). The majority of columns, the portion of the editorial pages where a diversity of authors has the potential to exist, were made up by authors identified by only a handful of roles
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